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Winter Street Food!

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Sweet Potatoes
When the Beijing weather is bitterly cold, no amount of layers ever seem enough to warm you up. However, a steaming hot sweet potato always does the trick. And they're a steal at just 3-6 kuai a piece. For those of you who are more gourmet than muching on your spud in the street, you can buy a few, take them home and make sweet potato bangers and mash.

Chuan'r  
Hello to our favourite late night snack - chuan'r! While it is a much loved treat throughout the year, these tasty snacks from Xinjiang are especially delicious during the winter. The most common chuan'rs are lamb, chicken-wings and hearts but in tourist areas you can also get them with various types of insects or seafood. Grilled on charcoal and spiced with cumin seed, dried pepper flakes, salt and sesame-oil they give you just the right amount of heat for the hike back home from the office (or bar). And it's a great deal for about 1-2 kuai a piece! For those who can't handle the heat just order a couple of mantou (grilled bread) to soften the spice. Most local chaun'r places start to fire up their barbecues around 5pm and will serve till late. For 100% real Beijing Chuan'r MetroStyle recommends the Gulou area and the surrounding hutongs!

Roasted Chestnuts
If the Beijing winter is freezing your fingertips, and those gloves you bought don’t seem to be doing anything at all. Why not buying a back of fresh roasted chestnuts a super delicious and highly nutritious street snack while warming up your fingers! During the winter season you will find street merchants selling roasted chestnuts for about 10 kuai per pound. And for those who want to enjoy their chestnuts at home while watching a movie you can also roast them yourself on the gas stove. Just place the nuts on top of a flame-tamer and cover with a deep lid. Roast over low heat until done, (approx. 10 minutes), turning often to cook evenly.   


Tanghulu  
You would have noticed by now that tanghulu has taken over the streets. It's a traditional Beijing winter snack which has a sweet and sour taste. Most commonly the Chinese hawthorn is covered in a crispy sugar syrup, some have an additional coating of sesame or sunflower sprinkles. To make the skewers look a little more fancy merchants also use different coloured fruits like pineapple, kiwi, oranges and grapes. So if you haven't tried a tanghulu yet, MetroStyle recommends you invest 2-3 kuai the next time you see a food vendor cycling past with dozens of tanghulu stuck to a huge straw pile. It's definitely worth it!

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