This peddler is called a Chinese doughnut or cruller peddler for lack of a better translation. The peddlers buy the crullers from the small shops that make them and peddle them from house to house. The “Yu cha kuei” is made of flour with a little soda and alum added. It is a small twisted cake which is fried in sesame oil so the inside becomes hollow.
These peddlers also sell a wheat cake with sesame seed pressed into the top as well as the crullers. Their call is –
“Shao ping, yu cha kuei”, “Wheat cakes and crullers”.
The shops which sell the wheat cakes and crullers to these peddlers have a rime which their cooks often chant. It is given below –
“Yu yu hsiang, mien yu pai,
Jeng ti kuo li, p’iao chi’i lai,
Sai kuo hsiao ch’uan erh ti yu cha kuei”.
Or approximately –
“The oil is fragrant, the flour is white
Throw it in the pot, it floats just right –
It is bigger than a small boat – this cruller!”