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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!


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!