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One of my favorite foods in China is 煎饼果子 (jiānbǐng guǒzi), which doesn't really translate well to English. See Baidu 图片 for images.

One thing that seems strange to me is the use of 果子 (guǒzi) meaning fruit, when there is no fruit in 煎饼果子.

Question: Why is 果子 in 煎饼果子 (jiānbǐng guǒzi)?

  • 夹心的煎饼啊 ^_^, 果子 means it has a nucleus, just like a fruit. – Daniel Yeung Aug 30 '17 at 1:03
  • It is from Manchu. Before Qing, 果 always means the thing from plants. – Jacob Aug 30 '17 at 5:11
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"果子" is a regional name for "糖果糕點" - any sugar, rice or wheat flour-based food that is not a staple food. This broad category includes sweet and savoury items, cakes and candy.

The 果子 in 煎饼果子 refers to the 油条 wrapped inside. Of course, regional varieties of the food can have different fillings.

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I love 煎饼果子 too!

You know what 油条 is. One of my American friends interpreted it as "straight salty donut".

煎饼果子, in fact, is 煎饼 + 油条.

In northern areas, we call 油条 大果子. I don't know why.

Then we got 煎饼果子.

  • Hmm... they don't put 油条 in 煎饼果子 here (Tianjin). I've seen it done occasionally. – Becky 李蓓 Aug 29 '17 at 23:47
  • yeah, I know nowadays most of time they put 脆皮(脆饼) in it. But as the time it was invented, it was 煎饼+油条. Now, you could have 煎饼+脆皮(脆饼). – dan Aug 30 '17 at 0:48
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Just want to add some supplementary info as a Chinese who lived in Tianjin for a few years. You usually got two options for 煎饼 in Tianjin:

  • 果子, which means 油条;
  • 果皮, which means 脆饼, also called 脆皮 or 薄脆.

I believe the word 果子 is actually originated from 馃子. However, it seems to be used only with 煎饼 in Tianjin, and I've never seen such usage in any other region.

  • "It seems to be used only with 煎饼 in Tianjin": Do you mean the word "果子" used in the word "煎饼果子" or the actual food "果子" (which is also called 油条) used in the food "煎饼果子"? or both? – fefe Aug 30 '17 at 5:38
  • Both. 油条 is simply called 油条 if sold separately. – 00007chl Aug 30 '17 at 5:55
  • (大)果子 is commonly said in northeast China. If you Baidu 大果子, you will get it. Let's say, 给我来两根(儿)果子 is very common. The further south you go, the less you would hear people say 果子. When entering into Nanjing and Shanghai in the map, you can not hear it any more. – dan Aug 30 '17 at 6:07
  • One note is that you are still able to hear 果子 in southern areas: Nanjing, Shanghai, etc., but means differently. – dan Aug 30 '17 at 6:15
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The correct writing is 煎饼馃子. 果 is not correct but usual simplified writing among the people. 馃 means fried.

  • In 《现代汉语词典》: 果子: (1) ... (2) 同“馃子” ;馃子: ...... 也作“果子” – fefe Aug 31 '17 at 1:53

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