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Jan 19, 2007 06:51 AM

Haw (as in Haw Flakes)

I love haw (hawthornberries; 'shan zha') and wonder whether it's available here (e.g., in Chinatown) in any form other than candy flakes, fruit roll-up, and juice. Does it exist, like tamarind, say, as a paste? Or a powdered drink? Or as a dried fruit (like Chinese dried/salted plums)? My palate wants more haw.

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  1. By the way, sugar-coated haw-on-a-stick (pinyin: bing tang hu lu -- literally, ice-candy-popsicle) was a popular street-snack in Beijing. Is that available here anywhere?

    2 Replies
    1. re: sequins

      I've seen some sugar-coated haw on a stick in manhattan's Chinatown but mostly in the East Broadway ,Fuzhou part of the Chinatown.

      The Chinese Shuan1 Mei2 Tang1 (preserved plum juice) usually has haw in it, as well as Chinese herbs. It's very familiar to the taste of the Tamarind in the Tamarind soda (Mexican soda), but more smoky and rich. You can get the concentrate in Chinese Grocery stores. In the summer it's easier to get them house-made.

      I just found some haw flakes while in last month I haven't had in a long time. They were pale and thicker(1/8th ins) than the usual thin flakes, and had a more complex flavor. They haven't been available in the States for a long time now, at least 20 years.

      Haw on its own is not too flavorful. I have had Haw Jam, (though can't remember where) that taste a lot like Rose Hips Jam.

      1. re: HLing

        Haw-on-a-stick: would you happen to remember whether you saw it in a shop (or shops) on E. Broadway, or from a street vendor?

        Several years ago I also found some thicker haw flakes, but those were large rectangles and a bit off in flavor. The version you mention sounds delicious.

        It's nice to know that haw jam existed somewhere, at some point. I have some rose-hips jam in the fridge -- will have some and think of haw.

        Thank you!

    2. check groceries in ctown. japanese groceries sometimes carry them as well.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nyufoodie

        By 'them,' you mean haw in what form exactly?

          1. re: nyufoodie

            Thanks -- I love haw flakes but am looking for some weirder incarnations of haw. (Not that flake-form isn't weird.)

      2. you might be interested to know that Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware produced a beer based on the contents of 9000 year old Chinese pottery shards, from hawthorne berries, rice, barley, honey and chrysanthemum. Chateau Jiahu, available at American Thrifty on Court St in Carroll Gardens, maybe also at New Beer Chrystie at Delancey.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kenito799

          Oh my. That sounds freaking exquisite. I will certainly track it down. Thanks for the tip!

        2. They sell haw (shan zha) in its dried form in the herbal shops of Chinatown. It's pretty sour. For medicinal purposes, it's used for things such as high cholesterol, food stagnation. About eating it on its own, it's too dry and sour for that. However you can steep it in hot water for tea. It will probably taste better sweetened.