Tuesday 1 July 2014

Lollypops can never be more natural than this...

For those that being following my blog SWEET MAN TALKING would have already read my previous post on Ding Ding Candy (叮叮糖)... on how i started making the traditional all natural Ding Ding Candy. And all thanks to people who appreciate the effort put in, it was selling really well since its launched. Due to the fact that fresh natural ingredients are being used, I didn't really dare to put it on the shelf as a regular product at first, worry I can't finish selling them after each batch of the making... but surprisingly, looking at the good public responses to the traditional candy, its being moving off the rack pretty fast, hence we decided to keep it as a regular product. We even managed to confirmed a few road show cum demonstration for corporate in coming months!

Based on the good response of the Ding Ding Candy and some "crazy" suggestions of customers, (and also because of playful hearts of all the candy chef at my little lolly shop), we all decided to make an attempt on the traditional Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu (冰糖葫芦) a few days ago.  And so we launched the "Sugar-Coated Strawberry"...

I used to travel overseas for my work few years ago before I exposed to the art of making candy and set up my little lolly shop back in Singapore in a neighbourhood known as Orchard Road (Yes, the one and only handmade candy shop that have a Orchard Road address, don't go to wrong ones in small lanes). I remember I used to visit this little Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu shop in a small town in China, next to the town where I stayed. I would take a 45 minutes walk, crossing a river via a bridge to enter the other town just to get to this shop to buy Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu from this old uncle. This old uncle sell this yummy delicacy only during certain season of the year...

(Photos taken by me in 2007 in a small town in China)

He offers a wide variety of fruits for his Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu... even banana! I still can remember the delicious taste of all the fruits he used to coat with the sugar....
And among the variety of fruits he offered, I enjoyed strawberry the most...
(photos taken 2007 in China)

Which explains why when i first decided to do the Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu (Sugar-coated fruits), I chosen strawberry.
Why strawberry? Simple... Because I like the taste of it.  I still remember getting down to the strawberry field in China plucking my own strawberries during the strawberry season...

I always managed to pluck all the big and juicy ones...

And after awhile, the boss of the strawberry field gets so worried whenever she sees me... worrying that I might clear all the big and juicy ones, hence she increased my fees slightly!

Honestly, it is not easy to get sweet strawberry all the times, but when it comes to the Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu, the sweetness of the sugar coating easily balanced the sourish citrus flavour of the fruit itself. I can still recall how the juices of the strawberry burst out the crispy layer of sugar coating when I bite into the Bing Tang Hu Lu of that old uncle.... which is precisely how i determined to make my Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu too...

Every piece of it is a nicely balanced for its taste between sweet and sour. Its a well balanced of its texture between the crispy outer coating and the soft inner fruits. The sweetness of the sugar easily compliment the sourish strawberry. The process of doing the coating of sugar makes a difference too since the thinner the coating, the more crispy the sugar coating will be. But if it is too thin, it will not be able to hold the juices inside the strawberry. The "shiok-ness" (fun) of it comes when you break the crust and let the juices burst inside your mouth.

Fresh strawberries are being used in my little lolly shop's (LollyTalk's) Bing-Tang-Hu-Lu (Sugar coated strawberry) hence it contains all the natural goodness of the fruits, including vitamin C as well as the fibre.

Here are some natural goodness of strawberry that I extract from internet...
10 Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. Helps burn stored fat 
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)

2. Boost short term memory - The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)

3. Low in Calories – High in FiberOne cup contains only 54 calories.

4. Ease Inflammation - Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. (Harvard School of Public Health.)

5. Lower cardiovascular disease Flavonoids — which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease. (Care2 Healthy Living Portal)

6. Promote bone health - Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.  (Care2 Healthy Living Portal)

7. Prevent oesophageal cancer - Studies show freeze-dried strawberry powder may help prevent human oesophageal cancer.  (Care2 Healthy Living Portal)

8. Anti-ageing properties - Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.  (Care2 Healthy Living Portal)

9. Good for weight loss - The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.  (Care2 Healthy Living Portal)

10. Promote eye health - Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss. (Archives of Ophthalmology)

And the Bing Tang Hu Lu at my little lolly shop does not contains any additional colourings and no citrus acid being used too. It is truly all natural and fresh!

After stating all the good things of the Bing Tang Hu Lu of my little lolly shop... one down side of making Bing Tang Hu Lu... Due to the fact that fresh fruits are being used, I couldn't make Bing Tang Hu Lu in big quantity unless I can sell it all on the day itself. I cannot make it a readily available product on the shelf too since it got a very short shelf life and storage is also an issue.
With this in mind, I would have to allocated certain days where I can make limited sticks of it with a first come first serve basis selling them fresh. If getting the Bing Tang Hu Lu is important for you when making a trip down call first before you come?

Where to find the Bing Tang Hu Lu (Sugar coated Strawberry)...
LollyTalk Handmade Candy
68 Orchard Road, Plaza Singapura B2-20
Singapore 238839
Instagram: @LollyTalk http://www.instagram.com/lollytalk

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