"Tanghulu" describes candied skewered fruit sold by street vendors in China, especially in the North. Since I'd tried the typical version, which is dipped in a clear syrup that crystallizes into a transparent glaze, I ventured a different skewer with an opaque candy coating ($1).
The traditional fruit for tanghulu comes from the Chinese hawthorn, which appears in Manhattan as processed sweets; it also has cousins in the South, in Mexico, and elsewhere. This was not that, I knew after one bite. The coating was sweet, but the "fruit" inside was sour, perhaps pickled, and it contained a pit rather than several small seeds. I thought back to the vendor's display, and to the green bagged items on top; did I buy a skewer of candy-coated olives?
Follow-up: If the darkest of several lacquered skewers ($1) was the "same inside," as the vendor maintained (we spoke in broken English and more-broken Mandarin), the fruit must have been macerated, or further ripened. Unlike my previous skewer, this one was sweet through and through.
East Broadway, under the Manhattan Bridge