Taste of childhood: lard swelled candy rice
Lard swelled candy rice is a popular local snack in Taicang's Shaxi town. [Photo/WeChat account: taicangdaily]
In Taicang's Shaxi town, lard swelled candy rice is the traditional snack.
It tastes sweet, melts in your mouth and is the sweetest memory of many Shaxi residents. It is even still popular today.
Liu Bingyuan is an inheritor of the ancient art of creating the snack and has made a career of it for more than 20 years.
His lard swelled candy rice is not only well renowned in Taicang, but also in its neighboring cities, including Shanghai.
Liu only makes the sweet snack from September to May each year as lard melts easily in summer, making the snack impossible to create.
So from September 1, Liu and his wife begin to soak and then dry the rice, fry it with lard, pour in the boiled syrup and mix it well, before finally compressing the mixture into cubes.
After packaging the cubes, Liu and his wife bring them to their stores in town the next morning.
Liu said that he usually adjusts the sweetness according to different customers' tastes and sugar-free lard swelled candy rice is prepared for children.
In November last year, Liu's individual workshop was granted the first Food Workshop Certificate of Registration in Taicang by the local market regulation bureau, which means that customers can totally trust the hygiene and safety of snacks made by Liu.
The Taicang craftsman also opened an online outlet and is expecting to promote the Shaxi delicacy all around China.
Liu Bingyuan collects the packaged lard swelled candy rice. [Photo/WeChat account: taicangdaily]