We like to call this China’s Fruit-Rollup. The origin of these bright red blocks of chewy candy is often a mystery, but we managed to find an uncle in Xian who has been making this candy by hand for many years.
Hawthorn is a small, bright-red fruit similar to a crabapple. In China, it’s often mashed to create a paste and then sugar is added to form the candy you find on the street. They are also sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine and are generally known to be good for your stomach and digestion. Their tart punch means that they need sugar before they are good enough to gorge on.
Tip: Where to Find Hawthorn Fruit Candy
This is commonly found on any bulk candy aisle in typical grocery stores everywhere in China. Although it’s quite hard nowadays, you can still find them freshly made during hawthorn season (fall and winter) in some places. Our favorite is the old uncle in Xian.
Directions: Head one block east of the Xian Hilton hotel on Xin Jie Street. This cart will be on the northwest corner of Xin Jie Street and Hua Yu Alley, across the street from the Yong xing fang street food market and the east city wall.