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Daoxiangcun Grocery is packed with interesting foods, but ma la su, a crisp mix of sesame, chilies, and peanuts, deserves a little special attention.

In the store, you can’t miss it – its bright red colour shines out from the white breads around it. I can’t eat peanuts, so I recruited a tasting assistant. The verdict:

“This is basically the perfect snack food. The photo makes it look like a bit of a mess, but it’s dry on the hands and the heat isn’t overwhelming. The sesame seeds, just a little sweetened, add enough moisture to make the mix easy to chew. It’d be great with beer or while watching a movie–and it was cheap even by Chinese standards!”

(It was 3 RMB for our little bag).

Generally speaking, Daoxiangcun is a very fine store, with terrific Dianping ratings at just about every branch. They serve up a variety of prepared meats, dumplings, tiny cakes, and cookies. There’s almost certainly one in your neighbourhood, so go check it out!

Daoxiangcun/稻香村

Many, many locations. If you read Chinese, check out this Dianping page. If you don’t, copy and paste “稻香村” into Google Maps to find the closest one to you!

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A Canadian student eats her way through Beijing and writes between bites.

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