Tuesday, September 16, 2008

White Rabbit Creamy Candy

White Rabbit Creamy Candies are perhaps the best known brand of Chinese-made candy in China, and the only one to be marketed significantly outside of that country. They are manufactured in Shanghai by Shanghai Guanshengyuan Food, Ltd .


The candy is white, with a soft, chewy texture, and is formed into cylinders approximately 3 cm long and 1 cm in diameter, each wrapped in a thin edible paper-like wrapping made from sticky rice. The candy is similar to contemporary western nougat.

Although this layer is meant to be eaten along with the rest of the candy, it does not figure in the list of ingredients, which is limited to corn starch syrup, cane sugar, butter, and milk. Each candy contains 20 calories .

White Rabbit Creamy Candies originate from Aipixi Candy Factory, Shanghai in 1943. A merchant from Aipixi tried a milk candy from England then, and thought that its taste was not bad. He then manufactured the factory's own brand of milk candies after half a year. These milk candies were packaged using a red Mickey Mouse drawing, and named ABC Mickey Mouse Sweets. As their prices were lower than , it became widely popular among the people.

In the 1950s, Aipixi became state-owned. Mickey Mouse was seen as a symbol for worshipping foreign countries, so the packaging bore a white rabbit instead of Mickey Mouse. In 1959, these candies were gifts for the tenth National Day of the People's Republic of China.

Initially, production of the candies was capped at 800 per day, and were manually produced. However, commodities were lacking at that time. White Rabbit sweets were advertised with the line, "Seven White Rabbit candies is equivalent to one cup of milk", and was seen as a nutritional product. The candies hence accompanied the growth of a generation. Former students of the early Deng era report taking this slogan literally and making 'hot milk' on their dormitory cooking rings by dissolving the candies in a pan of hot water.

Today, White Rabbit candies has become China's top brand of candies. In 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai even used White Rabbit candies as a gift to American president Richard Nixon when the latter visited China. Although the White Rabbit brand already has some history, it has grown with the economy of China. Cities and agricultural villages' demands are increasing, especially during the Chinese New Year period when many families provide White Rabbit sweets among other candies for visitors. In 2004, White Rabbit candies' sales hit 600 million , with sales increasing rapidly by a double-digit percentage yearly . The candies are now exported to more than forty countries and territories, including the United States, Europe and Singapore.

White Rabbit candies' flavour and packaging has changed over the years. When the candies were first marketed, the White Rabbit was lying down; however, this was changed to the rabbit jumping. Besides the original flavour, flavours such as chocolate, coffee, toffee, peanut, corn, coconut, lychee, strawberry, mango, red bean and fruit have been added. The butter-plum flavour, characteristic of China, was also among the new flavours added among the years. After many improvements made to the milk candy, today's main ingredients include sugar, gelatin, butter and powdered milk.

The White Rabbit brand was transferred to Guanshengyuan in November 1997 . The United States distributor of the candy is Queensway Foods, in San Francisco, California.

Philippine product recall

The Philippine food and drugs administration claimed that the candies contain . The manufacturer of the White Rabbit, Guan Sheng Yuan, cited an independent report by the Shanghai branch of SGS-CSTC, a joint-venture under the Swiss-based SGS Group, the world's largest inspection and testing company, as saying that samples of the White Rabbit ready to be exported overseas and tested contained no toxic substances. . Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority stated after conducting tests, that the White Rabbit Creamy Candy from China was safe for consumption.

On July 24, 2007, the local distributor of White Rabbit bowed to a BFAD recall order from the Philippine market. BFAD met Tuesday with representatives of Cheng Ban Yek and Co. Inc. to discuss the firm's pull out strategy. BFAD officials gave Cheng Ban Yek 15 days to implement the recall, and to submit progress reports every three days, but the latter asked for more time because of the number of places where the products can be bought.

Tong sui

Tong sui, also known as tian tang, is a collective term for any sweet, warm soup or custard served as a dessert at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. ''Tong sui'' are a Cantonese specialty and are rarely found in other . Outside of Cantonese-speaking communities, soupy desserts generally are not recognized as a distinct category, and the term ''tong sui'' is not used.

There is a wide variety of tong sui and in Hong Kong, there are often stalls which devote themselves just to selling different types of desserts. These dessert stalls have also gained prominence in overseas Chinese communities, and can be found in various parts of Canada and the United States.

In , a similar dessert soup is called ''chè''.

Common varieties


Tapioca pudding

Tapioca pudding is a sweet pudding made with tapioca and, usually, milk. It is made in many cultures, in many styles. Its consistency ranges from thin , to thick, to firm enough to eat with a fork. Like its close relation bubble tea, very thin tapioca pudding resembles an emulsion.

The pudding can be made from scratch using tapioca in a variety of forms: flakes, coarse meal, sticks, and . Many commercial packaged mixes are available also. Uncooked, tapioca pearls resemble pellets of styrofoam; cooked, they resemble .



A common variation involves placing sweetened adzuki bean paste at the bottom. Another is to layer cooked tapioca custard and pieces of fruit. In this case the custard is thick enough that the fruits do not sink or rise to the top.

Hong Kong

The pudding is called "Sai mai lo" in Hong Kong as a tongsui dessert. In addition to small pearl tapioca, it has coconut and evaporated milk. Some varieties include taro to make "taro sai mai lo" . Other varieties include fruits such as mango or honeydew. It is served usually cold, sometimes warm.


In Brazil, the dessert ''sagu'' is made from pearl tapioca cooked with cinnamon and cloves in red wine or grape juice.


Tāngyuán is a made from glutinous rice flour. Glutinous rice flour is mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked and served in boiling water. ''Tangyuan'' can be either filled or unfilled. It is traditionally eaten during ''Yuanxiao'', or the Lantern Festival.


Historically, a number of different names were used to refer to the ''tangyuan''. During the of the Ming Dynasty, the name was officially settled as ''yuanxiao'', a name derived from the ''Yuanxiao festival'', also known as the Lantern Festival. This name literally means "first evening", being the first full moon after Chinese New Year, which is always a new moon. This name prevails in northern China.

In southern China, however, the prevailing names are ''tangyuan'' or ''tangtuan''. Legend has it that during Yuan Shikai's rule , Yuan disliked the name ''Yuanxiao'' because it sounded identical to "remove Yuan" , and so mandated that the name ''Tangyuan'' be used instead. This name literally means "round balls in soup". ''Tangtuan'' similarly means " in soup".


In both filled and unfilled ''tangyuan'', the main ingredient is glutinous rice flour. For filled ''tangyuan'', the filling can be either sweet or savoury.

Sweet fillings can be:
* Sesame paste - the most common filling;
* Red bean paste;
* Chopped peanuts and sugar. Celebrated on the longest night of the year, Dong Zhi is the day when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. The coming of winter is celebrated by families and is traditionally the time when farmers and fishermen gather food in preparation for the coming cold season. It is also a time for family reunions.
This celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang, which represent balance and harmony in life. It is believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold are at their most powerful at this time, but it is also the turning point, giving way to the light and warmth of yang. For this reason, the Dong Zhi Festival is a time for optimism.
Dong Zhi is celebrated in style. The longest night of the year is a time to put on brand new clothes, visit family with gifts and to laugh and drink deep into the long nig

Savoury filling is usually a pork meat ball.


''Tangyuan'' is cooked in boiling water. Filled ''tangyuan'' is served along with the water in which it is boiled .

Unfilled ''tangyuan'' is served as part of a sweet dessert soup . Common types include:
* Red bean soup
* Black sesame soup
* Ginger and rock sugar;
* Fermented glutinous rice , Sweet Osmanthus and rock sugar.


The most famous varieties come from Ningbo and Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province. However, they are traditionally eaten throughout China.

Originally, ''tangyuan'' was associated with the Lantern Festival. However, it has also come to be associated with the and Chinese New Year in various regions. Today, the food is eaten all year round. Mass-produced ''tangyuan'' is commonly found in the frozen food section of Asian supermarkets in China and overseas.

Similar dishes

In southern Vietnam, a similar dish, called ''chè x?i n??c'', is served in a mild, sweet liquid flavored with grated ginger root. In northern Vietnam, ''bánh tr?i'' and ''bánh chay'' are also very similar, with the latter being served with coconut milk. ''Gulab jamun'' is an Indian dessert that is made of fried dairy dough balls served in a bowl of syrup.

Tang hu lu

Tanghulu , also called bīng tánghúlú , is a popular traditional winter snack in northern China, especially in Beijing, and particularly for children. It consists of candied fruits on bamboo skewers that are approximately 20cm long. This snack can be found widely along the snack street of Wangfujing but there are street vendors who travel from place to place selling it.

''Tanghulu'' typically has a hardened sugar coating that comes from dipping the skewer in sugar syrup, but versions can also be found with a second chocolate coating, or sprinkles. The fruits used are traditionally but in recent times vendors have also used , , , kiwifruit, or , resembling a fruit kebab.

Sweet potato soup

Sweet potato soup is a dessert found in Southern China and Hong Kong.

Cantonese cuisine

In Cantonese cuisine it is categorized as a tong sui or sweet soup, hence the Chinese name. The soup is usually thin, but potent in taste. The recipe is simple, consisting of boiling the sweet potato for a long time with rock candy. Sweet potato is one of the most commonly found and abundant vegetable grown in China. With its simple recipe and large crop supply, sweet potato soup is one of the most accessible and affordable tong sui in the region.


Suncake is a popular dessert originally from the city of Taichung in Taiwan. It is made of flaky pastry with sweet fillings. They are normally packaged elaborately and meant to be given as gifts.

Many different pastry stores claim to be the "original" store that first produced suncakes. The pastries have become popular souvenirs for people visiting Taichung. In addition to the many stores that sell them, suncakes may also be purchased aboard trains passing through the Taichung area.

Origin of the name

The creator of the suncake is Mr. Chin-Hai Wei. The suncake is a very common pastry that goes with Chinese tea, and its original name was "malt sugar cake". Later on the name was changed by an unknown seller who opened Sun Patisserie. Another possible version of the name comes from its shape since it resembles a Japanese sun flag.