GuSao cake has had a history of hundreds of years in Wuzhen. In the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty, there was a biography in volume 20 (Chapter of Local Products) of “Wuqing Records”, which was originally edited by a Sub-prefect Dong Shining and continued by another Sub-prefect Lu Xuepu. It said that the cake "is made into a round shape with very fine wheat flour, sugar and sesame seeds. There are several forms of stuffing, salty and pepper and white sugar. The cake tastes sweet and moist, and is famous all around." There is a story about its history.
More than a hundred year ago, there was a Fang family in Wuzhen. The couple opened a "Tianshun Pastry Shop". They could not afford to open a workshop, so they had to sell ordinary pastries wholesale from the big workshops to make a living. Later, the couple gave birth to a boy and a girl, and a small business had been difficult to support a family with four people. The couple thought to expand their business. They saw that the ingredients of crispy sugar made in the big workshop were cooked with refined fine materials. Then they used fried flour, boiled sugar, shelled sesame, and boiled lard, and carefully stirred, cooked and pressed them into a small crisp cake with a mould. Although the materials of this kind of cake were similar to those of crisp sugar, it was very popular among customers as soon as it was on sale because it looked exquisite and easy to eat. Business was getting better and better. By the time his son got married, the small shop had expanded to have two facades.
The owner of the Tianshun Pastry Shop knew that only the exclusive operation could keep the business booming. He made strict rules: secret ingredients and production, and no tools lending to others. The production method was only passed on to son and daughter-in-law but not to girl. The method of making was kept to be a secret, but the family was no longer harmonious. The daughter was dissatisfied, thinking that she was also their biological daughter but could not learn the method. Father treated her unequally. The girl was even more jealous of her sister in law, but she was afraid of her father and dared not to speak. She could only be angry at her sister in law. Once, the daughter waited for her sister-in-law going out, and rushed to the stove She grabbed a handful of salt and mixed it in the pile of flour made by her sister-in-law. She thought that this time, the cakes would taste too salty and her father would never teach her again! God knows that the cakes this time were even more popular than before. The customers said that the cakes were sweet and salty, tasting very delicious. As thus, the cakes were not only famous in Wuzhen, but also spread to other countryside. Tianshun Pastry Shop had a more prosperous business. In order to do the business, the shopkeeper promoted this new kind of cake with declaration that it was made by his daughter and her sister-in-law. The name of the cake was changed to "GuSao Cake” (sisters-in-law cake)
Later, the shop grew bigger and bigger, and there were branches in four scenic zones. The daughter and the sister-in-law were no longer angry with each other. They made efforts to make GuSao cakes. And this kind of pastry has become one of Wuzhen's most famous snacks.Keyword: food,Wuzhen GuSao Cake