One of the more interesting selections available during Epcot’s Holidays Around the World can be found at Joy of Tea in China. I was really looking forward to trying the Kaikouxiao, a Happy Faced Fried Cake (kai kou xiao, according to Wikipedia, puts the literal translation at “happy mouth smiling,” and there are several other translations out there).
$3.99 buys you an order of three golf ball-sized “cakes,” which are more along the lines of a hard cookie. They are served from a large jar near the cash register holding them.
The sesame seed-coated exterior of each cake was quite hard, and I tried pulling it apart to eat. This proved tricky, but once I did open one up, the interior wasn’t much softer.
Matt tried a piece and did not like it at all. He found the sesame overpowering, and it’s a flavor he is not fond of. I, on the other hand, like sesame seed, and found the slightly sweet cookie-cake pleasant. Unfortunately, I could barely break through it without feeling like I was going to crack a tooth. After getting through my second bite and cutting up the roof of my mouth a bit, we were finished.
As I’ve never had Kaikouxiao before, I can’t attest as to if this is the traditional texture, or if these were just not fresh/dried out. I was anticipating a crunchy exterior and a soft(er) interior. Instead, they reminded me to Kaytee Fiesta Krunch-A-Rounds, which I used to buy for my pet rodents way back when I had them, but they had the teeth for it. I did like the flavor and would have finished all three if not for the pain they caused trying to eat them. Perhaps they need to be paired with a beverage, like coffee or tea, into which to dip and soften them up a bit. Does anyone have some insight they can share?
If you’ve tried the Kaikouxiao from Joy of Tea during Holidays Around the World, what did you think?