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I am going to Beijing soon and in Japan it's common to bring a souvenir back from your holiday.

I want to bring something edible.

Are there any small portable edibles Beijing is famous for?

If Beijing is not famous for any such thing, is there anything China is famous for?

Just to give an example: If I went to Belgium I would bring back chocolate.

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Finding suitable souvenirs for office distribution (会社用バラマキお土産) is a problem of every Japanese traveller, but this article in Japanese has lots of tried and tested ideas for Beijing. To quickly summarize:

  • China-only variants of Japanese candy, like banana milk or wine & chocolate Pocky. Even Chinese packaging of "normal" Japanese candy is unusual and interesting.
  • Western-style pastries from Daoxiangcun (稻香村), Weiduomei (味多美), or Holiland (好利来)
  • Red and green bean paste buns (紅豆焼, 緑豆爽)
  • Chestnut jelly (栗子羹)
  • Tea-flavored candied kumquat (茶香金桔蜜銭) and cranberries (紅茶蔓越苺蜜銭)
  • Pineapple tarts (風梨酥), although this is more of a southern Chinese thing (no pineapples anywhere near Beijing...)

And one thing not to buy: guǒfǔ (果脯) preserved fruits may be Beijing's most famous souvenir, but they're way too sweet for the Japanese palate.

As an aside, the casual observer might look at the list above and sputter, "But most of those aren't really Chinese!" That's not the point: the primary purpose of omiyage is to show your respect your colleagues, and the secondary goal is that whatever you bring back is tasty and goes well with tea. Being "exotic" is, at best, number three on the list, and being so exotic that it interferes with goal 2 is not good at all.

  • Thank you, your answer is awesome!! I tried to upvote but I don't have enough reputation (yet) (T_T) – ナウシカ Jul 21 '15 at 11:12
  • Even though you do not have enough reputation to upvote, you can mark the answer as accepted. You can click the checkmark under the voting arrows for this answer. Read more here: travel.stackexchange.com/tour – Sara Barnes Jul 21 '15 at 12:17
  • Aren't the characters for Maidangao 买蛋糕? 好利来 would be haolilai, which I think corresponds to Holiland. – Peter Olson Jul 22 '15 at 0:45
  • @PeterOlson Whoops, fixed, got thrown off by the first Google hit for 好利来 being maidangao.com... – jpatokal Jul 22 '15 at 3:32

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