Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Day Glo Dumplings and other New Year Treats

One of us was in NYC the past weekend celebrating the incoming year of the monkey with her family. She returned for cake hour with some "traditional" treats that are featured at a Chinese New Year celebration.  Since we didn't know what any of the names were, came up with some of our own.  Included were some cupcake like concoctions made of rice flour, not particularly sweet, and with no particular flavor. What they did have was color.  We called them day-glo dumplings. See if you can guess which things they are in the pictures.
If you guessed these were the Day Glo dumplings you guessed correctly!
Less colorful treats!
Sugar Sticks
And some sesame nuggets
Peanut Surprise!
The several other offerings were varied small baked treats.  One were longish tubular cracker type things with a granulated sugar coating.  We called these "sugar sticks".  We also had "peanut surprises" which were wonton like things that had a candied peanut - like in Cracker Jacks on the inside.  Finally there were small sesame crusted things that we named "sesame nuggets".  All three of these were fine - a little dry which is not surprising since they should be consumed with tea or similar beverage. Typically Chinese, they are not outrageously sweet and relatively blah er I mean subtle in flavor. That's not to say we did not enjoy them.
A trio of treats!
We see them in New York every year!
We remember these from our younger days!
We have several folks now from the People's Republic.  They all confirmed that what we had was authentic and that they had had them at the New Year celebration before...during their childhood.  Back then this was the only type of thing that most people could afford.  Now that China has advanced, folks are getting to experience more western or global treats to the detriment of their public health.  So thought these treats may have provoked happy childhood memories today they are probably more likely to eat a Snickers bar or a slice of cheesecake. All power to them!
Our last "Dagashi"

It wasn't a hit with us but this is the favorite flavor!
Close to the expiration date it would seem!
We also finished the last Corn Potage treat.  A family member bought a bunch of these at Christmas as special stocking stuffer treats and they were all the same Corn potage flavor.  Corn Potage is a Japanese soup.  This treat is something referred to as Dagashi which is an informal treat in Japan like something you would buy for kids. This particular thing is called Umaibo which means "delicious stick" and is described as a small, puffed, cylindrical corn snack from Japan.  Its consistency is similar to Cheetos. We agree with the last statement.  Although we had one flavor, there are many both savory and sweet versions.  The corn potage was not a big hit but with luck and/or continued collaboration with Japanese colleagues we may get to try some of the others! For more info:

We have lots of flavors to try yet, it would seem!

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