Raise your hand if you have a sweet tooth! Then, this article is definitely for you! If your adventurous foodie heart wants to give Chinese desserts a shot, then this list won’t disappoint.
Here are five popular pastries that Chinese people from all over the world love!
1. Egg Tarts (蛋挞)
Also known as custard tarts, these classic treats consist of a sumptuous flaky pastry shell filled with a luscious egg custard. The dessert’s origins can be traced back to early 20th century Guangzhou, which was then the only port in China that was accessible by foreign traders.
Because of the flourishing trade between Britain and Guangzhou, economic developments allowed for Western-style department stores to be established in the city. It was in one of these department stores that pastry chefs invented egg tarts, ultimately taking inspiration from the English version of the dessert.
2. Pineapple Buns (菠蘿包)
Pinyin: bōluó bāo
Despite their name, these buns don’t actually contain any pineapples. Considered to be a popular snack originating from Hong Kong, pineapple buns are named as such because of their golden sugar cookie-like crust topping, which resembles the skin of a pineapple.
Pineapple buns are especially well-loved due to their unique texture: crunchy on the top and soft on the bottom, with a delicious sweetness spread all throughout. Adding this to their inexpensive prices, the pastries have become so well-recognized that Hong Kong has even listed them as part of its intangible cultural heritage!
3. Pineapple Cake (凤梨酥)
Pinyin: fènɡlí sū
Unlike the previous item listed, this traditional Taiwanese pastry actually does contain pineapples! Made of butter, flour, eggs, sugar, and pineapple jam or slices, this dense dessert is not only a popular souvenir but also an important facet of the country’s culture.
Because of the fact that the Hokkien word for pineapple (王梨, ông-lâi) is similar to a phrase which means “to come forth, prosperous and thriving” (旺來, ōng-lâi), pineapple cakes are often used as presents to wish others well. They have also been historically served as ceremonial food.
4. Mooncakes (月饼)
Pinyin: yuè bǐng
You can’t celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival without mooncakes! These decadent delicacies are typically known for their soft wax-like pastry and sweet rich fillings, which include a variety of options such as black sesame seed paste, lotus seed paste, red beans, mung bean paste, and salted duck egg yolks.
Mooncakes take the round shape of the moon and have long been considered a cultural symbol of oneness and unity.
5. Salted Egg Yolk Buns (流沙包)
Pinyin: liúshā bāo
Take a bite off a salted egg yolk bun and you will taste heaven! Also known as custard buns or molten lava buns, these delightful desserts are known for their oozing salty-sweet golden filling, which will always leave you wanting more.
When steamed to perfection, you will never find a more luxurious dim sum treat. Just trust us with this one— it’s an all-around favorite!