Adventures in East Asia

Sugar Cane Cutters

During the Chinese New Year shows in Ting Kok Village, there are always a few stalls set up to sell some light refreshments. They're usually outside the performance theatre, since there is a raised concrete area conveniently close by, that includes seats.

They sell anything from homemade tofu to red bean desserts and a few traditional hawker favourites such as fish balls, squid and hot dogs on sticks. There is usually also sugar cane, which needs its tough, dark skin shaved off first before consuming.

Here's a video of a couple of the sugar cane sellers in action, that I took tonight, which is the busiest night of the performances.

Each stick sells for 5 HK$ - costing us less than 50p a stick. Seeing how long it takes and the effort required, its hard for someone like me from the UK to see the point in running this stall. It wasn't exactly inundated with customers, perhaps averaging ten an hour.

However, since I don't know any details, I won't know if they get the cane dirt cheap and are making a killing or if this is simply an extension of another business. In Mong Kok and probably in most areas in urban Hong Kong, I've seen shops which sell sugar cane drinks that are freshly pressed efficiently with machinery.

But I guess that would take the fun out of chewing a fresh, hand-shaved sugar cane stick. Its a bit tiresome after ten minutes, but the idea is to chew off a piece of the sugar cane, munch on the tough fibre to suck out the juice and then spit out the spent pieces.

This entry posted in : Culture. Hong Kong. New Territories.

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