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Are you an Asian culture enthusiast? If so, you’re like millions of others who have either an academic or personal interest in the history, daily life, politics, and social life of nations like Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and dozens of other countries. One of the most rewarding ways to explore the ancient continent and its customs is through food and drink. You can learn first-hand about what those thousands of miles away find delicious by eating and drinking exactly what they consume. In order to get an authentic impression of Asia’s culinary delights, it helps to go straight to the source and order from sellers located there. Here are a few of the most delicious choices for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live in Asia.

Japanese Plum Wine

Plum wines are popular all over Asia, particularly in Korea, China, and Japan, but the Japanese version, called umeshu, is perhaps the most popular of all because of its wonderful taste and long history. Thousands of years ago, the Japanese and Koreans borrowed a basic Chinese recipe and changed it to suit local tastes. Japanese pure umeshu contains nothing but alcohol (about 15 percent), sugar, and unripe plums. That might not sound like a recipe for a delicious drink, but once you try Japanese plum wine, you’ll never forget it. You can also have fun finding seasonal side dishes to pair with this unique flavor profile. Order from in-country sellers and consider buying a variety pack of different strengths, flavors, and mixtures.

The Best Korean Snacks

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a mystery box of the savoriest Korean snacks delivered to your door every month, without fail? Order online and get the tastiest, most delicious, authentic Korean snacks and candies shipped directly to your home. Monthly boxes of special Korean treats are a great way to augment your study of the nation’s history and culture. The country has been known to produce some of the world’s best sweets, treats, desserts, and gourmet candies for hundreds of years.

Hopia From the Philippines

Hopia is so popular in Asia and around the world that companies based in the Philippines sell millions of pounds of it to buyers from hundreds of nations. What is it? It’s a traditional pastry filled with bean curd. You can order it with flaky or more cake-like breading and a wide variety of fillings. The better sellers offer taster packs for first-time buyers. Prices are reasonable and there are seasonal discounts during holiday time.

Vietnamese Coffee Buns

Banh tra xan is the name for delightful Vietnamese coffee buns that are quite rich but not too sweet. They’re sold all over Vietnam and Southeast Asia and are typically flavored with things like spices, chocolate, fruit, vanilla, and cinnamon. On the outside, the buns are sort of crunchy but they’re soft and moist on the inside.

Chinese Moon Cakes

Moon cakes are a Chinese dessert named for the moon-watching season and are a favorite all over the country. Sellers in China ship vast quantities of the cakes to lovers of the lotus seed or red bean-filled cakes year-round. The sweet crust is made from many different ingredients but generally has a sweetbread taste. Moon cakes are the perfect match for hot coffee and tea.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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