Foshan Meat Cake (Blind men Cake)
2009.06.05

Foshan Meat Cake (Blind men Cake)

 Heji’s meat cake is one of the famous specialities in Foshan. Since its contriver was a blind men, it got a name “blind man cake”. 
 160 years ago, Foshan meat cake was first made in the late of Jiaqing age (1796-1820AD). This blind men named He Shengchao, who got the disease and became blind as a result of no money to cure when he was 8-year-old. He began to study to divine with Yishu and started a Fortune Telling Shop “qian qian tang”in Jiaoshan Fangkou, Foshan. He was trusted by some people at that time. He had two sons, one named Yinyuan, the other named Fengxing (courtesy name Yuzhai). Yuzhai worked with his father in the shop. Owing to the children came with their parents were noisy, Yuzhai found a way that: making some meat cakes with worn parched rice, sesames, peanuts and oil and selling them to the children there. That made the children quiet and also gained some money to support the family. As a result of different facture, tasty and the low price, more and more people like the meat cake. In order to make some money, the neighbors tried to copy the meat cake and sold, but it was far from the original ones. Everyone went and bought the cakes from He’s place, people who bought from He called these meat cakes “blind man cake”, that is why we call it “blind man cake”. But in the feudalism society, blind men didn’t like others called them “blind man”, so the afterworld of He had not take “blind man cake” as the trade mark, but using the name of “Heji’s Meat Cake”. In order to promote local products in Foshan vigorously, the trademark has been changed into “Blind Man Cake” since the city took part in the Exchange Of Goods in South China in 1952. 
Since the cake came to the top figure, people took it as a present. The cake was bigger than a copper and there was no pork pie at the beginning, people added some pork pie for perfection. After the set up of Heji, 12-13 employee carried out the production, but the actual production personnel was only 7-8. Daily production was about 10,000kg; 1933-1936 was the flower, the daily production up to 20,000kg. Most of the cakes were sold to Dongguan and Shilong; visitors from Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao who purchase the meat cakes as a gift. Before the liberation, it was retail only for Hejihao in Heyuanshe, no wholesale or agent, and just few for export. One year before the Anti-Japanese War, only hardcover 4,800kg (no meat pie) with tin were shipped abroad. Workers were back and farming during the Anti-Japanese War, and the market of the cake was not as good as before. The daily production was 300-400, and sometimes the production would stop for few days. After the victory, the production was recovery slightly, workers moved from rural areas and returned to Foshan, but under the rule of reactionary Kuomintang, there was no great development of production, the daily production was only 30,000, which equivalent to about 15,000 large cakes before the war, that had not returned to pre-war production levels.
After Foshan Liberation, under the leadership of party and government, through the socialist transformation, Hejihao was changed into public-private partnership Heji Candy and Biscuit Factory. Since the product acquired by the stated-owned department store, the business was increasingly improved and the production by leaps and bounds. There were 120 workers in 1958 and the daily production was 500,000, which sold both at home and abroad, it was the highest-ever production. Despite the production had developed, but had not been able to meet the increasing living standards of the people's needs.

The facture of making blind man cake is different from the others. It is unique owing to this cake was made by sticky rice combined with sugar, peanut, sesame, pork and oil etc. choice materials, while the others vending in the market are made from flour. The pork inside the cake is dealing by a special way: pickled for months with fine white sugar, that make the pork mellifluence, dainty. Those make the cake renowned at home and abroad. The cake had been made in the traditional way in the past 100 years, the efficiency was extremely low. Workers there were standing and making cakes with chopping board until 1955 instead they were sitting and producing before. Thanks to the improvement of the work technique, the efficiency had been increased greatly. Now there are two kinds of specification, one package with 6 bigger cakes and one package with 10 smaller cakes. There are boxes and cans package for export or gifts in addition.