Growing up in Medan where Chinese culture is pretty much intact, we always had traditional Chinese snacks at home and one of my most favorite was Sweetheart Cake – literal translation of Lou Pho Piang from Cantonese dialect.
This is a big round Chinese pastry with winter melon, almond paste, sesame, five spice powder (Chinese spice blend of fennel seed, star anise, licorice root and cloves) and pork lard. The pastry skin is flaky and thin – literally melts in your mouth.
There are many version of legend how this pastry has such an adorable name. Each one involves how a wife sacrificed her own freedom for the husband / family. Just how a good Chinese wife should be – selfless and put others before herself.
These days, this sweet pastry is used as part of traditional wedding snack party favors for family and friends. In Medan there are less than a handful of shops who still sell these – they are not that popular anymore. In Hongkong and China, these are everyday snacks.
I still enjoy them tremendously.