The longevity peach (shou tao) is not a fruit but a Chinese steamed bun in the shape of a peach, with lotus paste filling and coloured a bright festive pink. Traditionally, the shou tao is eaten at birthday celebrations of elderly folks where the buns are piled at least knee high on a tray.
Peaches are well known Chinese symbols of longevity and there is a Taoist story about the Queen Mother of the West who has a magical peach tree which bears peaches granting immortality to those who eat them. The tree however only bears fruit every three thousand years. The peach shaped steamed buns are made to symbolize those magical, immortality granting peaches.
In Singapore, we mere mortals do not need to wait three thousand years or even wait for someone's birthday to eat the longevity peach. My mom who loves steamed buns buys them all the time. These ones in the photographs are from a Teo Chew pastry shop near the Hong Lim Market. The bun is fluffy but still a bit chewy, the lotus paste fragrant and not too sweet, just the way I like them. My brother and I were laughing at the shape of these longvity peaches as they were rather round and reminded us of (insert celebrity of your choice) surgically enhanced derriere. We were snickering like teenagers when my mom told us not to umm "disrespect" the buns. I thought I saw Mom giggling a little though. Peach or derriere, we all agreed that these buns taste great.
Poh Guan Cake House
Blk 531 Upper Cross Street