You know how there are certain things that you loved when you were a little kid, things that to everyone else was just a 'meh' sort of thing, but to you (and you alone!) this thing was so cool and so special! Well, the other day I stumbled on a package of Haw Flakes, or 山楂餅, and it was like deja vu right to that little kid state of mind. Haw Flakes was one of my all time favorite treats when I was a still a wee lass!
I loved these candies because of their special super cool (in my eyes) packaging. Perfectly round and flat and thin wafers wrapped carefully inside a bright red paper tube of paper that you had to peel off to get at the deliciously melt in your mouth flakes of sugary tart goodness. The very first time I ever saw these Haw Flakes candies, I somehow visually connected it to the allure and mystery of chinese fire crackers in my little girl's mind and thus the legend of Haw Flakes was cemented forever for me. There is also nothing so fun and engaging as a candy that you need serious! paper ripping skills to open and consume correctly and that prolongs the sweet treat experience by presenting itself in thin and seemingly endless wafers. Fun for hours and hours!
Luckily the good folks who make Haw Flakes have not made the mistake of modernizing their packaging (like so many of their peers.) These beloved treats look exactly like they have always looked, right down to the flimsy paper packing inside and the way that the individual Haw Flakes tend to stick together, needing your expert and practiced flip of the fingernail to separate. What a wonderful feeling to chance upon a childhood treat and find that it has come back to your loving attention unchanged by the passage of time!
Not only are these Haw Flakes a delicious blast from the past, but apparently one can make a knock out sweet and sour sauce by using haw, which is of course the main ingredient in Haw Flakes. Haw is a the extract of the Chinese hawthorn, which is the berry fruit of, you guessed it, the Chinese Hawthorn Tree. Seriously, though, I have heard from sources that the original chinese sweet and sour sauce used haw on the sour side to create some really delicious flavor. This is a definite must try for us so stay tuned for Sweet and Sour Haw Sauce!
Psst...if you're having a hard time finding these delicious wafers, you can get Haw Flakes here.
|The Chinese Hawthorn Tree|
More delicious Sweet Recipes at The Hong Kong Cookery: