Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Candies fit for Royalty

Wonder why I am constantly talking about food? I love to eat! Anything interesting, new, yummy, extremely fattening and savoury…However, I am still contemplating whether to chomp down escargots—snails that are cooked and served as food. And I am a bit queasy putting gooey things into my orifice, so I usually avoid oysters and clams (not even in char kway teow)! I think I have a general abhorrence for mollusks cos they are slimy creatures. I will puke if I eat them raw, and will only eat baked oysters in creamy cheese, cooked in garlic and herb sauce.

Anyway, back to sweets. I also do not like to consume sweets on their own. Mints are for freshening the breath, but I prefer using the potent breath spray more. Maybe I had tasted all the lovely candies in the world during my childhood. My mother used to buy us the most wonderful assortment of international sweets—Japanese, Swedish, English, American, Turkish…and I no longer find them novel.
It’s ironic that I continue to love desserts like ice-cream, chocolates, brownies and cakes.
BUT, there is always 1 exception that I will break the rules for. The candy is a Chinese traditional candy called “Dragon beard Candy”. I suspect it’s named after its appearance. But maybe, as its Chinese name "龙须糖" suggest, it may be named to signify its status as a palace delicacy and something that is fit for a king.

Dragon Beard Candy

How it is made:
The 'shifu' will sprinkle flour and knead at a hardened piece of malt candy till it’s relatively soft, then start pulling its ends. Soon, countless fine threads will be produced and, and these are used to wrap crushed peanut.
Every time I see someone selling it, I will buy at least 2 boxes. It costs $2.50 for a box of 5. 1 for 50 cents! Not cheap. =(

They look like silk worm’s cocoon and can be eaten in two ways.
1. When consumed freshly made on the spot, it’s fluffy and soft. It melts when put into the mouth and the fragrant peanut brings out the flavour of the malt. Simply yummy.

2. When chilled in the refrigerator, it turns hard, but because the malt is in fine strands, it will make the candy crispy when bitten into and you will have a crunchy good time.

Crushed peanut fillings within

Yea, this candy is my weakness. Since I see some aunties making them to sell in pushcarts, I hope that I can learn the craft in future and be self-sufficient to satisfy my own sugar cravings.

Daily Trivia:
, common name for members of a phylum of soft-bodied animals (Latin mollus, “soft”), usually with a hard external shell. Familiar mollusks include the clam, oyster, snail, slug, octopus and squid. The mollusk phylum is the second largest in the animal kingdom, after the arthropods. Eat all the oysters you can! =P



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