Monday, April 02, 2007

The Incredible Stretching Dragon Beard Candy

The other day, a friend gave me a package of something she seemed to have a loss of words for except to say it's like a frosted mini-wheat. The package read "Bamboo Garden Icy-Crispy Dragon Beard Candy." It sounded pretty neat, or at least certainly better than a glorified chunk of cereal. So I put it in the freezer to enhance the icy-crispyness, took it out a few hours later and carefully sunk my teeth into it.

Taste-wise I'd have to say it's decent. Not amazing, but pretty good. It's lightly sweet, fluffy and only lets me down right now cause I'm bloated and craving Pinkberry. (oops, did I just say that?) But check this out: That piece of fuzz ball is actually made of a mixture of sugar and maltose—over 3,000 strands of it. (Believe me, I counted each one.) The filling is made up of finely chopped peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds that fall out once the cocoon is unraveled.

According to the Internet, the 3,000-strand candy is a 2,000-year old technique first introduced in China. The amazing part is how you get that many strands to fall in place. The technique is called "halving" and it's done completely by hand. Here's a video that shows a guy demonstrating the technique with some noodles. Check it out. You'll be dumbfounded:
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11 comments:

rameniac said...

did i give you that totoro kid figure? i just watched that finally btw...

Pirikara said...

Hmm, honestly I have no recollection. I know you gave me my Sylvania family collection, though. =)

Victor said...

they should call it coccoon candy...

David said...

but where can i get them??
(i'm gonna read through it again after i post this just in case i missed it...)

Pirikara said...

Hmm, good question David. I heard that you can get it made fresh in Hong Kong but stateside might be more difficult. I'll ask around though. =)

teckiee said...

The Totoro girl looks extra cute eating the candy!

David said...

thank you.. i found some websites that i can order them from, but.... i was hoping to see them and taste one before i order a box. oh well - they look too good to resist anyway. Thanks for the post!

Pirikara said...

Cool~! Tell me what you think.

Eddie Lin said...

oh damn, i've always wanted to try dragon's beard (and this is way after my D&D days *dork*). i used to see it available all the time at the entry way to 99 ranch in roland heights. an old lady used to sell them from her stand. she's no longer there and i've never tried it. *sob*

rameniac, you JUST NOW saw totoro??? what kind of wannabejapaneze iz u?

Yuzu said...

Oh my gosh, that photo of Mei taking a bite out of the candy is so cute! The candy itself looks really funky. Fascinating! But funky no less. ;D

Jane Kaylor said...

Oh... the above website is down!!! Here is found another online store http://www.geocities.jp/family_hong_kong/English/Dragon_Bread_Candy_index.htm .