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Friday, 6 January 2012

Incredible Chinese candy: rice dough sculptures

At Chinese New Year (January 23rd this year), there are a billion things that the Chinese do for various reasons. One of the most fun things is creating rice dough sculptures. A little like what the Germans do with marzipan, these are surprisingly elaborate edible sculptures, usually depicting traditional things such as Chinese gods.

Ordinarily, this is something you do yourself. A rice dough is prepared and split into lumps which are mixed with various food colourings. You then create a little model or sculpture (often on a stick like in the video above). When it's finished, you use it to assist with your prayers. When you're finished praying, you eat your little model.

There are professional modellers out there who will sell you sculptures if you don't have time to make them yourself. Although the home-made ones tend to be quite simple, the professional product tends to be incredibly elaborate and it seems almost a shame to eat them.

In our second video, the work of another professional modeller is seen. Later in the video he explains that he makes some of them with silicone mixed in to make them more resilient (which the reporter tests by chucking it on the floor) and how he will varnish models that people intend to keep rather than consume.

The video ends with our man going to a school to teach the kids how to do it. Bonus points if you spot Doraemon in there.

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