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Review: Dragon Beard Candy

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Foreign (non-US) Candy,New Candy





Dragon Beard Candy closeup
(Dragon Beard Candy closeup)

Have you ever wondered what kind of candy was eaten in the imperial court of ancient China 2,000 years ago? Me neither, but I have found the answer and it is called Dragon Beard Candy. Here is how the candy is made:

A skilled candy-maker repeatedly stretches and doubles a small mass of sugar and maltose until over 8000 fine strands are formed. Finally, the strands are trimmed and wrapped around finely chopped, lightly roasted coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds.

Traditionally, the candy must be eaten within 30-60 minutes of it being made before it starts to become sticky and lose its fine texture. Because of this, it has rarely been seen in countries outside of Asia. However, a new packaging technique has been created to allow the candy to last longer without any artificial preservatives and the candy is now available outside of Asia.


2-box
(The beautiful box)

My shipment of Dragon Beard Candy arrived on a Saturday and we (my wife and I) were eager to give it a try. The packaging of the candy is beautiful. It is packaged as gourmet candy in a nice faux wood box that reminded me of a high-end box of chocolates. I had the 18-pack and since they are packed in tubes of 3, I had 6 tubes in the box. We popped one of the unopened tubes into the refrigerator and waited for 60 minutes to give them a try.

When you open the tubes, you see 3 furry white candies that look like little pillows. The candies are about the length of a small Tootsie Roll (maybe an inch long?), but much fatter. The white sugar strands are wrapped around the but mixture in the center, but the ends are open – I thought the ends would be sealed. Because of this, some of the nut mixture from the middle does fall out into the packaging so when you are done with the 3 candies, you can eat the scraps left in the package.


4-tubes
(six tubes of three)

Each candy is in its own little cupcake wrapper and are placed in a plastic tray so that they do not touch each other. There is also a packet of silica gel in each tube (WARNING: Do NOT eat) to remove moisture. The candies are so soft and delicate, they really are amazing. The texture was very delicate and they were not too sweet at all and the nut mixture was a nice flavor combination. My wife said it was “like eating a cloud”. Even my four-year-old daughter liked them and she’s not crazy about nuts. In fact, thanks to her, I think I figured out why it is called Dragon Beard Candy – when she took a bite, she got the fine white sugar “hairs” all over her lips and chin – just like a dragon’s beard!

Dragon Beard Candy closeup of 3
(closeup of three)

Overall, the candy was very good, a unique taste and texture and definitely one of the most interesting candies I have ever had. These would make a great gift for someone who enjoys the finer things in life – these definitely feel like they are decadent and only for the “aristocrats”. They are a bit pricey too – an 18-piece box will set you back $28.

I am taking the other 5 tubes (15 candies) with me when we visit the family for Thanksgiving since these will be a special treat. I’ll post again after they all try it and we’ll see what they have to say about the Dragon Beard Candy.

Dragon Beard Candy main page
Closeup pictures
Video showing how the candy is made (4:41 minutes, 8.42 MB, WMV)
My Flickr pics of the packaging




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17 Responses to “Review: Dragon Beard Candy”

  1. 1
    Lys says:

    I might have to look into this. I love Dragon’s Beard candy, which I’ve tried on trips to visit relative in Hong Kong. I didn’t know it was available in the US, and I’ll definitely check for it in the market.

    RESPONSE: The links to purchase it are at the bottom of the review. As far as I know, that is the only US importer.
    –The Candy Kid

  2. 2
    GummiBear says:

    I want some! Sounds awesome!

  3. 3
    hilary says:

    i had read that dragon beard was just another name for cotton candy. is it at all similiar? (aside from the filling of course)

    RESPONSE: Not really -the dragon beard candy is not nearly as sweet as cotton candy.
    –The Candy Kid

  4. 4
    Dragon Beard Cotton Candy says:

    Dear Sir

    I just found out that the chinese candy you pointing as “Dragon Beard Candy” is call “Long Shi Tang” . Dont make sense 2000 years ago chinese speaks english. You should use the original name. However today Long Shi produced in many different way and technics around the world. If you like to have some sample from real Long Shi please do not hesitate to contact me. I never expect to offer such high price for Bamboo Dragon Beard Candy in Hong Kong. You can buy Dragon Beard as low as $5 per 1 Kg in china with real taste of Long Shi not Dragon Beard.

    Ling Ling
    Dragon Beard™ Master
    China

    RESPONSE: I’m not exactly sure what you’re saying, but if you are offering to send me free Dragon Beard Candy, email me! :)
    –The Candy Kid

  5. 5
    Dragon Princess says:

    I had luck to try the Icy-Crispy Dragon Beard Candy at the Hong Kong International Airport. The taste was so nice and unique.

    The crunchy texture and icy feeling is so different from the ordinary one bought on the street. I tried to put the ordinary one in refrigerator. It was so sticky & moisted.

    The candy from Bamboo Garden is the best I’ve ever tried. And I just found that they accept international orders now. That’s good for dragon beard candy lovers. Check it out : http://www.bamboogarden.com.hk

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    You can probably get Dragon Beard Candy fresh in the US; it is definitely available in Canada at certain times in the year in Chinese malls / districts. It is also much cheaper to buy it fresh! (Although definitely not $5 for 1kg…!)

  7. 7
    Anonymous328 says:

    Yes, you can def get it fresh in the US. In NYC, it’s available on Elizabeth & Hester in Chinatown in a store that sells prepared foods. In San Francisco, you can get it at dim sum at Koi Palace (Daly City). Yum!

  8. 8
    Trish says:

    Hey “Dragon Beard Cotton Candy” / Ling Ling!

    Long Xu Tang is the original Chinese name of Dragon Beard Candy, true, but what you should be aware of is that “Dragon’s Beard Candy” is a direct translation of the Chinese name. “Long” is Chinese for Dragon, “Xu” is beard/whiskers, and Tang is “Candy”. So, it’s quite already for all you English speaking people to call Long Xu Tang “Dragon’s Beard Candy” as it means exactly the same thing.

    How do I know this? Why, it’s because I’m Chinese American and I learned Chinese starting practically from birth from my parents and from special programs for ABCs (American born Chinese). I’ve also made numerous trips back to Taiwan where my extended family lives. Trust me, I know my Chinese culture.

  9. 9
    Celeste says:

    Does anyone know anything about LongXuSu? I found it at the Chinese Grocer near my house. Is it the same or similar?

  10. 10
    Jonathan says:

    I ordered from Yuzumura.com and it was very fast friendly service. The candy is very beautifully packaged. And of course the flavors are so amazing. I have not had Dragon Beard Candy since a few years ago during my last trip to HK and was delighted to locate this site. I must recommend the candy to everyone. It’s a delicious, marvelous and unique experience. You have the soft taste of the hair and then the crispy burst of flavors as everything melts. Exquisite, elegant, magnificant and fit for an Emperor. Wonderful treat.

  11. 11
    FoodLoverOz says:

    If you have ever been to Sydney, you may have been lucky enough to try the dragon beard candy made there. It is really awesome, the best I’ve had, even better than bamboo garden, and all the other street stalls in HK, Singapore or China. The candy can be eaten fresh and soft, or straight out of the fridge when it’s crispy, no preservatives. One is never enough!

  12. 12
    snowy says:

    I love dragonbeard candy! They sell ‘em by packs of maybe abt 8 pieces at the small stores in Singapore and it only cost abt usd$1.50/ pack. Oh how i miss it! I wonder whether there’s any stores in MD that sells ‘em :\

  13. 13
    Chrissy says:

    Hi
    I am also a lover of Dragon Beard Candy. I live in Melbourne, Australia and have not been able to find it here. I am going to Sydney in Sept 07 and would love to know where I can get it in Sydney. Does any one out there know??
    Chrissy

  14. 14
    bellabeauti says:

    I LOVE THEM~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. 15
    baker says:

    If you live in the Raleigh/ Cary area of North Carolina you can get it freshly made at Grand Asia market in Cary. It costs $3.99 for 6pcs. A larger box is also available.It’s really yummy too!

  16. 16
    Kevin says:

    Where can you get fresh candy in Seattle?

  17. 17
    Linda says:

    I had heard about this rare candy a few months ago. After reading about it on this website, I decided to order some for Christmas. I paid extra for delivery and as of today, we have yet to see it. Website said it was available when I ordered it; needless to say, I am not happy.

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