I had a fancy Chinese banquet dinner last night with my family and we had this number for dessert. I’m familiar with it – the name (in Cantonese), the taste, the fact that it’s a delicacy, that I’ve been told it’s nourishing – but that’s about the extent of my knowledge!
Curious, I began to search the inter webs to find out what this was. I had no luck! I had no idea what it was called in English. Thank goodness for the help of my father! After typing its Chinese name in Google Translate, the results were hilarious! “Snow Cream” was the first one which was inaccurate; the second, “Snow Nail Cream” would be the closest because it is the literal meaning of each Chinese character that makes up the name of this dessert. After a few more attempts, Father + Google Translate = Success! The results may astound you… Or not… If you are of Asian descent and can afford to enjoy this on a regular basis. But if you’re in the same boat as me then this is a jaw dropper. (Maybe)
Those bits you can see in this milk based dessert is Hasma. What is Hasma? It’s fatty tissue found near the Fallopian tubes of true frogs (as opposed to… False frogs? I may be naive). Anyway, Hasma or Xue Ge Gao (in Mandarin) otherwise known as toad oil or Snow Jelly has a light, glutinous texture and has a slight sweet and savoury taste when used in desserts. It’s potential health benefits include: improving skin complexion, replenishing vital organs and treatment of some respiratory symptoms like coughing. Another common dessert combination is Hasma and Red Dates, seriously soothing on the throat. But regardless of whether it lives up to its health claims, Hasma used in Chinese desserts is delicious and has a soothing feeling on the palate. If you’d like more information on this Chinese delicacy, click here.