Li Hing Fuji Apples, distributed by Aloha Gourmet Products
(product of Thailand and Taiwan)
The comments made in the past two entries reveal there’s a marked interest in anything and everything Li Hing. Which is a bit ironic, as I just had a nice phone conversation last week with Patty, the third generation owner/operator of Yick Lung Company, which used to be a household name here in Hawaii when it came to Li Hing Mui, cracked seeds and other Chinese style pickled fruit snacks.
As you may have recently seen and/or read here, there was Pacific Beach Hotel’s Li Hing Mui Cranberry Relish (originally sauce), and then my sister’s own Li Hing Mui glazed Ham. Also, a while ago I showcased a Li Hing dressing with a Kamuela Tomato by Alan Wong; all absolutely fantastic modern marriages of this traditional chinese fruit pickling spice.
Sticking with the theme, and continuing on with local style snacks (from the previous post about Mochi Crunch), here now we have Li Hing Fuji Apples.
Here’s a look into the container…
I don’t know what it is about things covered in Li Hing Mui powder that automatically causes one to salivate just looking at it. I just did. lol
Let’s zoom in further..
How does it taste? Way better than Li Hing Mango. Way, way better. Actually, addicting. The apple, although a little difficult to detect really being apple (or even a Fuji variety for that matter) due to it being dried, matches perfectly with the rather mild Li Hing spice and sugar coating it. That’s where they got this one right – they didn’t over-do the spices and sugar. The balance factor is spot-on. And while the apples are dried, they still have retained some moisture in them, making the texture chewy, yet smooth, not “fruit jerky” like.
Here you can see a cross-section view of one…
With that, if you’re a fan of Li Hing-flavored fruits and candies, DO pick up one of these Li Hing Fuji Apple treats. Winnah!
What? Li Hing Fuji Apples (dried)
Where was it purchased at? KMART (Nimitz, Honolulu; you’ll probably find it at most major grocery retailers around the islands)
How much did you pay for it? $7.99 for a 25 oz. canister (regular retail price)
Who is the manufacturer or distributor? Aloha Gourmet Product
What’s in it? Apples, sugar, sulfur dioxide, salt, citric acid, aspartame, licorice, FD & C red #40, phenylketonurics; contains phyenylaline
What’s the Tasty Island SPAM Musubi rating for this product?
(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)
Wait now, we’re not pau yet. While we’re on the subject of seasoned dried fruits, let’s take a look at this here Chile Spiced Mango a coworker recently brought back as omiyage for us (along with some other stuff. Big mahalo for that, AC!) from a Trader Joe’s in L.A….
Let’s look at a few out of the bag…
Notice how course the seasonings are.
The ingredients listed on the package are: Mango (mango, sugar), paprika, sugar, salt, citric acid and cayenne.
It’s exactly that paprika and cayenne that are WAY too pronounced on it. It’s like taking the stuff in those little glass jars with jade green tops that’s been sitting in your pantry for years and just dumping them on some dried fruit with no abandon. Or pouring powdered gravy mix over dried-out turkey it to try and help it out. Ya know? lol
The heat from the cayenne pepper is also aggressive enough where I’d keep a glass of water around just in case you can’t handle it.
I’m not sure if they had “Mango Salsa” in mind when thinking this up, but the flavor and texture combinations just do not work.
Anyway, nice try Trader Joe’s. You’re a very cool store, and you make some delicious nuts and dried fruit snacks for sure, but this “Chile Spiced Mango” gotta’ go back to the drawing board.