I always say that the best souvenirs to bring home are edible. And Hong Kong’s got plenty of those kinds of souvenirs – some are even quite unfamiliar. Acquiring them was entertaining on its own. It probably would’ve been a crazy adventure of me buying random things in the store, but our local marketing guy volunteered both of his interns to come with me and explain what everything is. There’s a fun internship – take the random coworker from the headquarters grocery shopping.
So here’s the list so far. It’s got the good and the OK. Thanks to the interns, none of it was bad or ugly.
Crispy shredded pork – pork is sure popular in China. In fact, it’s so popular, that recently a Chinese company bought a significant number of shares in a US pork producer. This is essentially a mutant version of beef jerky – seasoned and sweetened pulled pork that’s been dried and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Oleg summarized the experience as eating sweet pork tasting carpet. It works great when added to a pot of rice.
Little dried fishes, shrimps, etc. – often served as a pre-meal snack, similar to the way our restaurants give you bread. Sometimes breaded and fried, sometimes just dried, these little critters have a strong taste (I would say a strong fishy taste, but I guess that’s kind of obvious). By the way when I say little shrimps, imagine something about the size of a dime.
Crispy pork thins – now we’re talking! These are almond and pork crisps of various flavor. It’s pretty much an extra thin cracker that tastes like maple bacon (and in this case black pepper). Very tasty!
Pineapple cookies – a biscuit dough filled with a rather artificial pineapple jelly. Nothing to get too excited about, just pretty simple.
Peanut cookies – many varieties are available. The ones I got were beautifully formed with the texture of extra thick peanut butter.
Mooncakes – a pastry that probably deserves a separate post of its own. It’s usually available around fall time during the autumn festival. These little cakes are filled with lotus or red bean paste and will come with salted egg yolks inside. The egg yolk came as a surprise to me when I grabbed some unrefrigerated prepackaged mooncakes – there will actually be a full egg yolk inside!
Dragon beard candy – a Chinese specialty with a long time history. The outside is made from spun sugar, similar to cotton candy. The spun sugar is made into hundreds of thin threads, which gives it the “beard” look. The filling can be sesame, peanut, or more recently pop rock candy. The treats came in sealed pouches and should be eaten quickly before they get the chance to absorb moisture from the air.