The snacks in China are to-die-for! I owe it to my best friend Yuting for showing me around China and introducing me to all of these new treats. There's not a single one I didn't instantly start craving once I got back on the plane headed home...I'll be back soon though I'm sure! These snacks were way too addicting.
Below is a list of some of my favorites, but feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let me know what I missed! I'll make sure to try your suggestions on my next trip to China.
Liǎng gè dàntà
(Two egg tarts)! I can’t tell you how many times I used this phrase at the bakery by our hotel. Yuting and I ate so many we actually became ‘regulars’ there, and the shop workers were sad to see us leave. What makes this treat so yummy is its combination of flakey crust and custard-like filling.
I’m not sure a day went by in China where I didn’t eat at least a few of these. Not only are they cheap, they’re easy to eat on-the-go and don’t make a mess. While buns can be stuffed with everything from pork, vegetables, or even taro, the creamed corn ones were my definite favorite.
I didn’t think yogurt could taste much differently in China, but I was wrong. The yogurt here is INCREDIBLE. It’s much more natural tasting and almost liquid-like. Instead of eating it with a spoon, people often drink it from a bottle or with a straw. I do recommend trying more than one brand though, as they’re all a little different.
The first time I tried sugarcane was actually in Tanzania, but we found it again in China. To make the juice, street vendors run sticks of sugarcane through a press that crushes them down and forces the liquid out. Then they pour it into a bottle, and wait for you to come back begging for more.
Believe it or not, the instant noodles here were gourmet! I'd never tried a pack with as much flavor as these. This particular brand comes with three different packs of flavoring inside, and is twice as big as the ones you normally see in the U.S. One local thought I was crazy though for dumping in all of the seasoning - too much salt apparently. :p
These aren’t your ordinary dumplings. Each one is stuffed with a spoonful of hot and savory broth to go with its meat filling. Dip it in soy sauce, and you have perfection! Be careful when your eating them though, and make sure you don't let all of the soup drip out (I did this a few times).
Chinese Swiss Rolls
This cake may seem a little plain-looking at first glance, but it should not be passed up. Yuting convinced me to try it, and I’m so glad I did! It's fluffier than most cakes back home, and a bit sponge-like. On top, dried cranberries add just the right amount of sweetness to every bite. Eventually, I ended up ordering these just as frequently as I did the egg tarts.
Flavored dove chocolate! I'm sure other countries besides China have these but the United States sure doesn't. If they did, I would have bought them all by now. While I didn't get around to trying the strawberry and lemon flavors, I did make sure to buy a green tea one. I'd had green tea KitKats before and loved them so I knew what I was in for. ;)
Warm Soy Milk w/ Sugar
While I’ve never been much of a soy milk drinker, having it warm and served with sugar is a must-try in China. It ended up becoming part of our routine in the morning to buy two bowls with breakfast. The milk warms your tummy up, and goes perfectly with a basket of buns.
Red Bean Porridge
Sweet red beans are tasty no matter what, but the best way I've found them is as porridge. You can find it either warm and served in bowls at restaurants, or cold and in cups on the streets. However, some street vendors will actually heat the cup up for you if you prefer it warm. They do this by steaming it like they would to a bun.