Autumn snacks #2

In the last post, I mentioned roasted sweet potatoes and candied fruit skewers sold on the street. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.

Yam? Sweet Potato?


It’s hard to tell the difference between yams sweet potatoes. Specifically, yams are supposed to have a drier, starchier texture (more info: Library of Congress). In China, it seems like everyone has a different name for each. Anyway, when you go on the street and the sweet aroma of sweet potatoes roasting drifts toward you, just ask for a roasted sweet potato: 烤红薯 kǎo hóng shǔ.

Sugar and fruit on a stick:

糖葫芦 táng hú lú


A step up from caramel apples, these skewers of candied fruit have kiwi, orange slices, strawberries, and haw fruit, and sometimes they’re dipped in nuts or raisins after they’re dipped in boiled sugar. When the sugar dries and hardens, you have an extremely sweet treat. Haw fruit (山楂 shān zhā) (also called Chinese haw or haw berries) is the small, round, red fruit that sometimes take up a whole skewer. It’s slightly bitter and sour. You can get haw berry flakes, haw berry juice drinks, and haw berry roll-ups at the local supermarket.

shan-zhaNext time when we wrap up, we’ll have a few more foods plus a few things to be careful of when eating street snacks (街头小吃 jiē tóu xiǎo chī).