Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Confection of Dragonbeard Candy





    Introduction:

    Dragonbeard candies are popular traditional Chinese snacks that are made from maltose and flour, with a filling of peanuts, other nuts and sesame. Maltose is first melted on top of hot water and kneaded repeatedly in order to obtain the a jelly consistency. After it chills, the sugar jelly is then covered with glutinous flour. The hole in the center of the sugar dough is enlarged and the dough is twisted into the shape of an “8”. The sugar dough is folded over and over on itself and stretched repeatedly into very thin strands. In the end, the strands are wrapped around a specific filling and cut into smaller pieces. The process includes melting the sugary maltose, kneading the resulting jelly, twisting the dough, stretching the dough into very thin strands, noting that the preparation of this sweet requires a great deal of experience and a refined technique from the pastry chef.

     

    Conservation Status:

    The making of dragonbeard candies is part of the traditional Chinese knowledge of dim sum techniques, having been transmitted throughout history for more than one thousand years. The dragonbeard candy is a traditional snack that is much appreciated in Macao. For decades, the techniques used in its production were transmitted verbally from each generation of pastry chefs to the next, enabling the continuity of this traditional local delicacy.

     

    Heritage Value:

    The dragonbeard candy is a traditional snack that is very typical of Macao, being a good example of the collective memories of the city, as well as a good testimony about the resilience of traditional Chinese dim sum techniques locally. This recipe and techniques are also important representatives about the diversity of the local gastronomic culture, having great value for the study of local folk food culture.


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