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Jan 27, 2008 03:50 PM

Chinese New Year on Feb. 7th! What are your favorites?

We love to wander the Chinese markets at this time of year! There are so many festive gift boxes and other interesting holiday items, but I don't always know what is good, i.e., delicious!

Beyond moon cakes (but you can talk about that, too!), what are your favorite Chinese New Year food related items? Since so many of the pieces are imported, please be specific for those of us who can't read the containers.

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    1. re: justagthing

      Thanks for citing this post; it is all very interesting.

      I am focusing more on the market aisles of featured holiday items, the ones that are often gift wrapped: some savory and some sweet. These are the items that are brought in specifically for the New Year; then they disappear until the next year.

    2. Candied ginger, candied yams and black sesame cookie candies. And, of course, melon seeds.

      I also like the White Rabbit Candies, although those are generally availalbe year round. When I was little, we used to have contests to see who could stuff the most White Rabbit Candies in their mouth at one time. I've done 32, with varying amounts of success (or failure, depending on your perspective).

      There are no moon cakes during the Chinese New Year.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Hi, ipsedixit! It's nice to hear from you.

        I appreciate your very useful information, always. White Rabbit candies? I have never heard of these, but for sure, now I will search for them -- with the silly visual of your stuffing 32 into your mouth! Thanks for sharing... By the way, is there a particular flavor that I should try?

        There are no moon cakes during the Chinese New Year? We attended the Asian-American Expo a couple of weekends ago. We were served several New Year sweets samples, one of which was a moon cake. I guess I assumed incorrectly that all of the items were a part of the upcoming festival goodies. I will wait until the Mid-Autumn Festival!

        1. re: liu

          there is only one flavor for the White Rabbit candy. Comes in clear plastic bags individually wrapped. Kinda like a tootsie roll shape with a rabbit on it mostly white, blue and black on the wrapper. Moon cakes are for the moon cake festival.

          1. re: liu


            Here's a picture of a bag of White Rabbit Candy.

            The original flavor is something similar to vanilla, I suppose. Basically just sweet.

            I recall seeing a post with someone finidng chocolate White Rabbit Candy in some store in Taiwan, or Hong Kong. So, who knows ...

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Well, a little digging did uncover "chocolate" White Rabbit Candy.

              Interesting ...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I remember it tasting like sweetened condensed milk. Yummm. Did it also have an edible paper wrapping?

                1. re: mrsleny

                  Yes, wrapped in edible rice paper.

                  1. re: mrsleny

                    Remember the Japanese candy in a green box, chewy w/rice paper. I think it was called Botan. Hard to find and when I do, I buy a ton of those. Wow, chocolate WR candy, if anyone sees any locally, please post!

                2. re: liu

                  The white rabbit candies are milk candies. They're basically like vanilla tootsie rolls, but I think much better. :p

              2. Wikipedia mentions several flavors:

                "White Rabbit candies' flavour and packaging has changed over the years. When the candies were first marketed, the White Rabbit was lying down; however, this was changed to the rabbit jumping. Besides the original flavour, flavours such as chocolate, coffee, toffee, peanut, coconut, lychee, strawberry, mango, red bean and fruit have been added. The butter-plum flavour, characteristic of China, was also among the new flavours added among the years. After many improvements made to the milk candy, today's main ingredients include sugar, gelatin, butter and powdered milk."

                3 Replies
                1. re: liu

                  I would LOVE coffee, toffee and coconut!

                  The closest other I have seen are other milk candies with peanuts in them. (which end up too chewy and just an odd texture)

                  1. re: yumcha

                    Well, here's a website that sells all sorts of White Rabbit Candy flavors.

                    They've got lychee, strawberry, coffee, mango, and several others.


                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Hi, ipsedixit!
                      Your site is really helpful. I wander and stare and stare and wander the aisles of the Chinese markets, just not knowing what is good. Oftentimes, a customer will recommend a personal favorite, but your primer with colored pics will help me recognize a few of these delights!
                      Thanks, ipsedixit...and I hope you are doing well in your new geography!

                2. I could swear they used to be called "Little White Rabbit" when I was a kid, but they seem to have grown up into "Big White Rabbits" since then. Anyway, they are not particularly associated with the New Year, unless maybe it happens to be the year of the rabbit (which it is not). Anyone know of a source for Big Black Rat candies?

                  I always buy dried persimmons at this time of year. They are round and sweet and (sort of) gold-colored, so all the symbolism is there. Kumquats are also good, fresh or candied. Of course I also get niangao (sitcky rice cake), but no one really eats it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                    Dried persimmons...Aaaaaah!
                    Wikipedia also mentions that White Rabbit has changed their logo over the years. So, DeppityDawq, you are quite correct in noting something different with the rabbit.

                  2. Old forum threads are funny. I wondered why no one was mentioning the tainted milk / White Rabbit recall and see this is from the happy days of a year ago before the scandal broke.