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Erduoyan Zhagao

Erduoyan Zhagao (Tianjin-style Deep-fried Cake) is one of the city’s “Three Top Specialties”. The dish originates from the Guangxu Era (1875 to 1908) of the late Qing Dynasty. It was created by Liu Wanchun, a man of Hui ethnic group. His zhagao was made with a fine selection of ingredients, refined cooking procedures, great quality and was a reasonable price, winning him the nickname “Zhagao Liu”. When the rich families and common people in the area celebrated their birthdays or held wedding banquets, they bought his zhagao for its auspicious implication of “progress” (gao), and his business grew more and more prosperous.

The zhagao is made of a traditional stuffing mixture of red beans and white sugar covered with fine glutinous rice. As time passed, old zhagao formed its own unique taste with a long lasting flavor. Zhagao must be eaten straight after it is deep-fried, when the golden, crispy coating and the glutinous stuffing fill the mouth with a strong and lingering aroma.

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