As the weather cools and the streets slowly fill with people wrapped in coats and scarves, so do street vendors warm the air with their roasting vegetables and nuts. In this post, we explore 5 of China’s top winter favourite street foods.
Baked Sweet Potato
Number one on the list is baked sweet potato. In most central and northern cities sweet potato vendors pop up around this time on every corner. They recycle old tin barrels into portable wood-fired ovens, which are carted around the city on the back of a bicycle. Baked sweet potatoes can easily be sniffed out as they always come with a waft of smoke. They’re a cheap, healthy snack that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One of our favourite things to eat around this time is roasted chestnuts. Slowly turned so that the chestnuts fully roast without drying out, these Christmas warmers can be found on the streets by vendors, or in the many nut shops.
Popular as a dessert is sugar-coated hawthorn. Found all over china, sugar coated hawthorn (or many other types of fruit) on a stick is very popular. Tasting very similar to the English toffy apple, toffy hawthorn is sweet and hard on the outside and slightly tart on the inside, delicious!
Hot Fruit Drinks & Milk Tea
Hot fruit drinks are sold in plastic cups with a straw pushed through. These drinks usually contain synthetic sugary syrups, however, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a vendor who used real fruit. Add to this, hot milk tea with tapioca balls is also a very popular winter warmer.
Street Style Hot Pot
Meet and vegetables boiled in spicy soup or broth. Similar to Chinese favourite Hot Pot, street vendors see a surge in pocket sized hot pot buckets on the go during the winter months. People can be seen all over the streets playing pick-a-mix with skewers of meat and vegetables on a stick dunked in hot spicy soup.