What is Liangfen?
Liangfen (凉粉) is a kind of Chinese food which Wenlin translates as “bean jelly.” This is a pretty good translation; liangfen is made from beans and is about the consistency of jelly (although often a bit stiffer). In restaurants, liangfen can be served up like noodles and often looks something like this:
Doing a search for these liangfen images, I was reminded of a very different liangfen which became extremely popular last year:
Tonight I paid a visit to my advisor to discuss the coming semester’s classes and my master’s thesis. His wife brought out a big platter of watermelon slices. He insisted on making me a cup of iced coffee (which was quite good). His son gave me a Glico green tea-flavored snack to munch on. And then the special surprise came: 广东凉粉 (Guangdong liangfen). According to them it’s a traditional Guangdong summer snack, served chilled. You can’t find it in Shanghai, they said. It looked like this:
My only question before digging in was, “does it have animal blood in it?” (I would have eaten some anyway, but I just wanted to know.) They said no.
How did it taste? Well… it was basically “Chinese medicine flavored Jello-o.” Yum yum. Fortunately the flavor wasn’t too strong.