Chinese Childhood Candies


In the immortal words of singer Aaron Carter, let us all say in chorus: “I want candy!” And want candy we do, but it strikes a special chord when our childhood candies are put in front of us. We are transported back to simpler times and lesser problems. The sweet, mouthwatering taste is not always in the forefront of my mind, but it’s always a welcome intrusion when I do find the memories of the colorful treats from my youth interrupting my more grown-up concerns.

Here are a few Chinese childhood candies that I think of often:

1. White Rabbit

Source: Says

These suckers were in every school canteen, and they were a fun break time treat to chew on. These creamy candies were fun, and those edible paper wrappers? A delight!

More recently, there are no shortage of White Rabbit products for fans of this beloved candy. Check them out here.


2. Classic Guava Hard Candy

Source: eBay

These fruit-flavored candies were usually packed in your Amah’s bag or your Angkong’s pockets. They considered it “healthier” because of the fruit in it. Now, we know that isn’t true, but sometimes we’ll pretend so we can have a few more pieces.


3. QQ Jelly

Source: AliExpress

This was a favorite of mine because it wasn’t too sweet or too soft. The texture was great, being just tough enough for your teeth to bounce back a few times before completely going through the little nugget. There were a couple of fruit flavors when they first came out, like grape and orange. Nowadays, there are even more flavors to choose from!


4. Gold Chocolate Coins

Source: ChinaSprout

This isn’t exclusively a Chinese candy, nor is it Chinese in origin, but I say we give it a pass since it was passed out during Chinese celebrations as a symbol of prosperity and wealth! It was never the best-rated chocolates, but it was a fun treat to get. And when we were kids, all that glittered was gold. I may not be such a huge fan of it now, but that doesn’t stop me from getting excited whenever someone hands me one of these golden circles of joy.


5. Chinese Peanut Candy

Source: TradeWheel

This one is very similar to Baguio’s famous peanut brittle, but a little thicker. These fun snacks were nice and crunchy, usually already cut into bite-sized pieces, almost minimizing the mess of sugar crumbling when you break corners off. Keyword: almost


6. Tanghulu

Source: OntheGas

These straddle the line between an actual snack and a candy. Fruits on a stick coated with a brittle layer of syrup. These may not be available in packages, but if you go to the right place or know the right people … or if your A-is love you enough, you do get a supply of these every now and then. Strawberries are probably the most common tanghulu base, but you’ve also got grapes, tomatoes, and oranges.


7. Haw Flakes

Source: Bon Appetit

These were, and still are, a staple in almost every Chinoy household I have ever visited. Whether they have the ones that are shaped like little discs or those skinny rectangular bars, everyone in the family usually enjoys them.


8. Li Hing Mui Drops

Source: Snack Hawaii

Remember these salty gems coated in wonderfully smooth hard candy? The symphony of sweet and salty is a dream come true. It was fun for kids to eat and is still a favorite among the adults.


Still craving something sweet? Check out 4 unique dessert shops to satisfy your cravings here.

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