Blowing traditional Chinese sugar figurines

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The sugar figurine blowing is a traditional Chinese folk art that originated between the end of Ming Dynasty and the beginning of Qing Dynasty. In ancient times, the craftsmen usually carried shoulder poles to sell sugar figurines. At one end of the pole was an oven. On the other end of the pole were a sugar container and other tools. The sugar used for blowing figurines was a mix of cane sugar and malt sugar. The craftsmen could add pigments to make the mixture look colorful. Today, we seldom see these craftsmen on the streets. However, we still can find them at some tourist attractions.

The key to make a sugar figurine is to heat up the sugar mixture to proper temperature. If the sugar is overheated or heated insufficiently, then the craftsmen can’t shape it into figurines.

By the way, the newly made sugar figurines look very beautiful at the beginning. However, they gradually become ugly. You know why? The malt sugar is oxidized so that its color changes from golden to dark-brown.

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