Archive for September, 2010
Lychees have a sweet, melon-y, floral flavor and aroma. I waxed poetic on them in a previous post, so I won’t go on about them here. What I’ll do instead is just share the recipes with you. Without further ado, here they are. Enjoy!
Read the rest of this entry »
Hi, gang. Today, I’d like to talk about buns. Not the kind you sit on, but the kind you eat.
Chinese cuisine boasts a particular specialty that is a huge part of Chinese culture: Baozi, or buns. Baozi, said to have been invented sometime in the 3rd century, come in a variety of styles. There are savory buns, filled with barbecued pork, beef, vegetables, and seafood, and there are sweet buns, filled with red bean paste, coconut, lotus seed paste, black sesame paste, and cream. Some buns are fried, some are steamed. There’s even a type of bun that is filled with soup—diners put a straw in the center and drink the soup, then eat the bun (if they choose).
I work in a very ethnically diverse neighborhood and one of the great things about being there is being able to go around trying the different eateries, most of which are mom-and-pop small joints. (I only wish I could do it more often, but I can’t afford to and neither can my waistline.)
Anyway, one part of this particular city is populated almost exclusively by Asian stores, restaurants, and businesses. On one of my walks, I passed by a Chinese bakery, Yi Mei Fung Bakery, which had shelves of buns in the window. I was intrigued. I stopped in. I looked. And, of course, I bought. I made a modest purchase of two buns for the whopping price of $1 each. One was a Coconut Milk Cream and the other was a Pineapple-Red Bean Paste.
The thing about Chinese sweets is that they’re not overly sweet. They are just sweet enough to satisfy that desire but “unsweet” enough to taste the flavors of the other ingredients.
The Coconut Milk Cream bun was almost cake-like with a custardy coconut center, and it was open at the top so that the yellow, creamy filling spilled out as it baked, turning the top a nice golden brown. The filling had nice coconutty flavor without that fake taste that coconut sweets often have.
The Pineapple-Red Bean Paste bun was a little more bread-like but with a sweet edge. The bean paste was smooth and thick and reminiscent of plums. The pineapple flavor was very faint, but it was probably what gave it that fruity flavor. (The red bean paste bun doesn’t look like the ones in these photos; rather, it looks more like a cheese danish.)
Yes, buns are beautiful things. They can be had as a snack any time or even, as the Chinese do, for breakfast or lunch. They are little packages of potent flavors, and best of all, you don’t need a fork or knife. Just pick it up and eat.
Okay, the Yi Mei Fung Bakery is part of a chain. That doesn’t mean what it sells sucks. I’m going to be making a trip back to Yi Mei Fung to try more of their buns. But I will be sure to share. After all, I’m supposed to be on a diet.
Yi Mei Fung Bakery
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Hi, all. If you’ve joined me here before, you know that I consider it my duty as a foodie and a food writer to experience local cuisine whenever I go anywhere. You know, when in Rome…
This time, I was visiting friends in Alabama, and here’s my foodie report.
Hi, gang. I’m away from home this weekend (as I’m sure many of you are), escaping the ravages of Hurricane Earl (as I hope many of you are). So, my blog this week is going to be short.
Short but, I think, thought provoking. On a small scale. A question popped into my head the other day and the more I thought about it, the more and more curious I got. So, here it is:
What is your least favorite thing to prepare?
For me, it’s salad. Love to eat it, hate to make it. You have to wash each leaf, dry them (not easy) or spin them in a salad spinner (another thing to wash), break or cut them up, chop up your other stuff … and, in the end, all you have to show for it is a salad.
Now, I refer to your basic green salad with a few extras, like carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and maybe olives. (And, really, it’s mostly the lettuce part that annoys me.) Other kinds of salads are fine with me to make. Tomato and mozzarella salad—no problem. Apple-Walnut salad—great. It’s that basic salad I hate to make.
So, what’s your least favorite thing to prepare?
Okay, gang. Stay safe and dry, and I’ll see you next week.