Longevity Peach

I remember seeing these at a restaurant a few years ago in Ann Arbor – delicious little steamed buns, shaped like a peach, filled with some kind of paste. So cute… they also happened to be at the Chinese food restaurant in Rochester tonight:

Yeah, so, what are they? From Chinatownology:

The longevity peach is not a fruit but a popular Chinese pastrythat is the representation of a celestial peach 仙桃.

This celestial peach was mentioned in several Chinese legends and is said to grow in the garden of the Queen Mother of the West, 西王母. The celestial peaches ripen once every few thousand years and humans who consume the celestial peach achieve immortality.

This other blog entry  tells the story of how longevity peaches were used to show gratitude to deities… and when the real peaches could not be found, these peach-shaped buns were offered instead. The pink blush was achieved by using red and pink flower dye… according to that legend, anyway!

I like these buns because they are almost like pastry, but very light in both texture and sweetness. It’s like eating a little peach-filled cloud bun filled with paste (red bean paste or lotus paste, I could not tell). The pink blush adds some visual sweetness. Very cute touch.

The ones at the restaurant are smaller than others I have seen and come frozen (I saw bags and bags of them in the ice cream cooler), but were still very good. Recipe about how to make steamed buns like the longevity peach can be found here. If you are interested in learning more, try other names for the longevity peach like “baozi” or “shou tao“.

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