Maerduo Pastry

Relationship: Im/migrant

On the streets of Fujian, Fuzhou, China, there are always street vendors hawking their goods. Most of the time, they're old ladies with a bike or a pushcart, selling all sorts of breakfast foods and desserts. There's youtiao, a long piece of fried dough. There's a savory fried taro cake, creamy and almost jello-like on the inside and crispy from being fried on the outside. There's what my mother likes to call 'hawong' in Fujianese, a flat, doughnut-shaped piece of scallion fried dough. There's are pork buns and vegetable buns, each about the size of two clenched fists. There's tanghulu, "sugar guords," which are hawthorn fruits on a stick, covered by a hard red candy coating. The list goes on and on, but perhaps my favorite of all would be "ma erduo" or 'horse ears' in English. They are twisted to resemble horse ears but is actually a pastry. Following the common trend of Fujianese street foods, it is fried. The dough carries a hint of sweet and has been rolled in white sugar. If you buy one on early enough in the morning, it is still piping hot. The sugar is still in the process of melting on the outside and steam escapes when you pull it open. Ever since immigrating, I have yet to taste one that is as good as those I've had in China, but the ones from Chinatown on the Lower East Side come pretty close.

Year: 2003

– Xi Lu

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant