When Chinese people think about food in Tianjin, China two things instantly come to mind 狗不理 (goubuli) dumplings and 麻花 (mahua) traditional fried snack. However how about really traditional and local things? things that people now in Tianjin remember from their childhood for example. Here I post two types of candy that are engraved in Tianjin people’s hearts:
This is a traditional “blown candy.” The person who makes them is called a 吹糖人 (chuitangren), although I hear the candy itself can also be called 吹糖人 which literally means “person who blows candy.” The candy is blown like a balloon and molded into different shapes using only the mouth and fingers. When the candy cools it becomes hard and fragile.
The one in this picture is supposed to be a tiger, though it looks more like a ferret…
This is a traditional “drawn candy.” The person who makes them is called a 画糖人 (huatangren), and like the blown candy above I hear this can also mean the candy itself, which literally translates as “person who draws candy.”
Here the melted candy is pour onto a metal plate in different shapes that will hold together once the candy cools off and solidifies. It is not as fragile as the blown candy once cool, and it can be eaten.
This particular one is a Chinese short sword with a ring hanging from the blade (the ring was a separate piece of candy that was really hanging loosely from the main piece).