16 August 2011

Ma Hua ("Sesame Flowers")

I really don't know what these are called in English, but the translation of 麻花 (ma2hua1) is "Sesame Flowers". I suppose "Braided Twists with Sesame Seeds" is a better description of the food product though. In the past, I've only eaten the mini version of these ma2hua1, since that was the only kind sold at Kamman, and I don't recall ever eating these in China/HK. I don't think it ever occurred to my mum to buy these for us, actually.
Thus, I feel quite indifferent to these crunchy, crispy, ultra unctuous (Don't ask me how, but oil was leaking out of the neatly-sealed plastic, into the tin, and even out of the tin) sweet fried pieces of dough studded with white sesame seeds.
They've a hint of ginger and are quite sweet, which is not what I'd expected from ma2hua1. The ones I've had in the past (and generally all fried crispy Chinese street food) is savoury, so this is a surprise.
This is another of those traditional Wuhan foods, but again, I'm not sure whether this huge sweet version is authentic. My mum told me about when she was younger, she used to buy ma2hua1, the size of her finger, for for a few cents at street stalls. That size seems more appropriate considering the ma2hua1 I've eaten in the past. Instead of having 2 x 6 strands of dough being twisted together, it was only two strands of dough (Well, technically one strand, since it would be folded in half, and the two ends would be looped around each other).
I think I prefer the finger-sized seaweed flavoured (or even just the original flavoured) ma2hua1 that I've had before. Just my preference.

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