Xiting cracknel, 西亭脆饼, Xi Ting Cui Bing [Photo/mlhaohe.com]
Xiting cracknel started being made at the beginning of the Guangxu Period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), with a history of nearly one hundred years. The material of Xiting cracknel is very elegant, and the workmanship is fine, with the unique style of crispy, sweet, delicious and tasty. Xiting cracknel selects top white flour as the main material and is made by hand in 28 processes. Flaky Pastry is baked with small fire, and the surface is yellow but not burnt; the process of Flaky Pastry is very exquisite and each pastry has exactly 18 layers. If you don’t believe it, you can soak the pastry with water and the layers will be shown. There are two ways to eat Xiting cracknel - eating it directly or eating it after soaking it with water. It is crispy if eaten directly since there is sesame on it and it is more and more savory when chewing it. If eaten after soaking with water, it is fresh and sweet and is especially suitable for appetite of the aged. Once holding commercial official of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Zhang Jian enjoyed the Flaky Pastry every time he returned to Xiting for ancestor worship. Apart from loving to eat, he also presented Flaky Pastry as a gift to Chinese businessmen, foreign businessmen and high officials. Xiting cracknel was not only welcomed by common people, but also won good reputation in royalty.
Local masses have a song that goes, “Xiting cracknel has 18 layers, every layer is very clear, eat at windward and smell at leeward, we really love it for its sweetness and crispiness.” This is probably the most concise portraiture and praise to the traditional food!