For my birthday I got a packet of my favourite sweets in the world. I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but these are delicious, so today I’m going to tell you all about them, as if you haven’t tried them you really should.
Here’s the last one, seconds before I ate it….
They’re chewy white milk sweets, with a rice paper wrapping, that my Philippino Aunty first introduced me to at some point in the early 90s. You can buy them from Chinese supermarkets, but it occurred to me while chomping my way through this packet what lovely Art Deco style wrapping the sweets have, so I decided to look into it’s history a little.
White Rabbit Candies date from 1943, so a little later than I would have suspected from the packaging, and were initially marketed using a red drawing of Mickey Mouse. In the 1950s it’s manufacturer became State owned and the new owners were not particularly pleased with a drawing of a huge American cartoon mouse on it’s packaging (odd that.) and the candies were changed to the White Rabbit logo.
If you look at the top picture you’ll see the external packet features a leaping rabbit with huge Manga style forward facing eyes. This packaging has been changed over the years, but it seems the gorgeous internal Art Deco wrapper has remained unchanged since the 1950s.
They’ve also apparently been subject to some product recalls over the last few years, which may explain why I hadn’t had any for a while, but much like salmonella and BSE this appears to have blown over. Presumably because everyone realised they were really very yummy sweets indeed.
The sweets are popular in China at special occasions such as Chinese New Year and are given to greet guests. In 1972 they were given as gift to President Nixon when he visited China.
They do look rather fabulous all piled up in a bowl, but don’t expect to get any if you come to my house. They’re far too tasty to stick around for long!
You can buy White Rabbit Candies in Chinese Supermarkets, or there's some here!