Dessert in western countries is typically sweet foods like ice cream, doughnuts, cookies, and candy. In China, dessert stays away from these super sugary concepts — even cake is turned on its head and means something different. For example, the round shape is meant to represent family completeness.
Dessert in China can be either sweet or savory, and many times, it’s both, making for a delicious combo that satisfies both kinds of cravings.
Chinese desserts are sweet foods and dishes that are served with tea, along with meals or at the end of meals in Chinese cuisine. The desserts encompass a wide variety of ingredients commonly used in East Asian cuisines such as powdered or whole glutinous rice, sweet bean pastes, and agar.
East Asians do not like extremely sweet desserts. For example, chocolate cakes, brownies, macarons are considered to contain way too much sugar to their liking. On the other hand, many Japanese and Chinese (southern) love spongy/sticky food.
of Chinese treats have a purpose to bring luck when eaten, and it’s often
gifted to others during the holiday. People also give them as gifts to friends
and family to wish them good fortune.
We’ve all seen artwork of food that looks so appetizing that we want to eat it. In China, there’s a form of art that you actually can eat, if you don’t mind eating pure sugar. Sugar paintings are exactly what they sound like: paintings made out of liquid sugar. It’s thought that these edible works date back to the Ming Dynasty when sugar figures were part of religious rituals.
The best Chinese desserts are red bean buns, dragon’s beard candy, egg tarts, candied fruit, pumpkin pancakes, sweet egg buns, deep fried durians, sweet soup balls, almond jelly, and grass jelly.