There are numerous sweet shops scattered throughout the city that carry a plethora of savory and sweet treats, most dating back to the 1930s-1950s. Nougat, plum, orange and ginger candied prunes, and sesame/almond varieties are perhaps the most common ingredients and flavors. Not only are these candies nostalgic, as most locals have fond memories of eating the sweets as children, but their packaging and design is quite extraordinary.
Orange Jelly sticks (which are made of a jelly substance, soft and sweet, yet despite the name do not have much orange taste) and Smith Nougat (peanuts, egg white, sugar) are still made locally in Kwun Tong, Kowloon. White Rabbit may have the most fascinating history, with its routes from mainland China. Originally positioned as a healthy sweet (7 nougat candies = one cup of milk), the original packaging had a drawing of Mickey Mouse on the label. In the 1950s, the packaging was seemed as a symbol for worshipping foreign countries, so the current art deco design was developed. Is still the top selling sweet in China and the packaging has become synonymous worldwide.
Chan Yee Jai, originating 70 years ago, is perhaps the most famous sweet shop in Hong Kong. Located between Sheung Wan and Central, in addition to carrying the above sweets, it also includes lemon dried ginger, almond cookies and other sumptuous treats.
Chan Yee Jai located at 176 Queen?s Road Central, Central
January 24, 2011
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