Sweet bites in Shanghai
Updated: 2017-01-06

Dishes in the Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River) region are well-known for their color, fragrance and flavor. Representative of Shanghai cuisine, the city perfectly integrates the dishes with sweet flavors. Here are three of the most popular snacks for your sweet tooth.


Dingsheng steamed rice cakes in a plum blossom shape

Dingsheng steamed rice cake (定胜糕)
Dingsheng steamed rice cakes, or cake of triumph in Chinese, were first made by people in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) to wish soldiers good luck for victory against enemies. Made from dates, walnuts and rice flour blended with colorful vegetable juice, the cake is spongy and slightly sweet. The cakes also feature flower and leaf shapes, the plum blossom-shaped ones are the most popular.


Tiaotou cake wrapped with desiccated coconut is popular in Shanghai.

Tiaotou cake (条头糕)
Tiaotou cake is made from red bean paste and glutinous rice, which perfectly complement one another. Another local favorite, tiaotou cake presents a chewy taste with a tender sweetness that lingers on the tongue. Natives also prefer to sample the cakes with osmanthus honey and desiccated coconut.


Mint cake features an emerald and jelly-like appearance.

Mint cake (薄荷糕)
As a distinctive Shanghai dish, mint cake has an emerald and jelly-like appearance, and leaves a clean and cool feeling in the mouth. It is best eaten in summer, as the cake helps to nourish and balance the yin and yang within human body.

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