Archive | May, 2012

Eating Cactus…

20 May

I don’t know how many westerners can say they have ever tried to eat cactus, but my friends and i did. It’s a delicacy of Penghu island. You don’t eat the whole thing, don’t worry, but only the part that will turn into a flower. In Chinese it’s called 仙人掌 (xianrenzhang). You can have several desserts with this cactus fruit.

I tried the ice-cream, the granita and the pie. My favorite goes for the ice-cream, even though it would have been even better if the taste was a little stronger. Then the cactus pie was also nice but a little too jelly-like (it’s nearly like a mochi). Finally the granita was tasteless.

Pastry Idea: Chocaki

13 May

Almond pistachio biscuit, persimmon and ginger compote, chocolate ganache covers with scratches of pistachio and persimmon coulis.

Pizza is a vegetable*

13 May

*According to the US Government.

Just a small introduction of a negotiation case that i’m presenting tomorrow. We could choose anything, so of course, i had to pick something linked with food.

Pizza is a vegetable ppt

Sweet Tea 3

13 May

Another round. I still have a few left and i will have try everything i wanted to. I went to look at Jean-Paul Hévin’s shop which was just next to this one, but there were only macarons and chocolates, and 135NTD (3,55€) a macaron it’s just a joke, especially when it’s less than half the price in France (1,45€). I think that people start to get a little bit crazy. Macaron is still in the end only an almond shell and a ganache or a cream, and it doesn’t ask as much creativity as other pastries, since they always look the same. It only ask for creativity in flavor, and to adjust the ingredients, which you also need to do everytime you create a pastry. So in the end, you have less to do, but it’s crazily expensive. Even though it might be difficult to make, it doesn’t justify this crazy price. I don’t really like macarons, and when i see how people go crazy for it, i like it even less.

Anyway, today is the third round at Sweet Tea. I chose a mini marbré. The pastry chef seems to like gold, because he puts gold in all his pastries. The cake is nice, but too sweet. The melted chocolate that covers half of the cake (i love the idea by the way) is a way too sweet so it spoils alittle bit the taste of the cake. Except that, it’s nice. 
The problem i have with those cakes made by good pastry shop is that they are supposed to be cakes for travel, but here it looses all the simpleness and the raw aspect of the product. Of course it’s nice, but it looses the traditional aspect and the childhood memories.

Well, the second one was a Pain au chocolat but with a difference that the pastry dough was also in chocolate. I like the chef here because there are a lot of unique ideas, but it still needs a few adjustments if i may say. The dough was indeed to weak. Usually it should be a little friable and crispy, but here it wasn’t. I know that the weather is an important factor and that Taiwan is really bad for viennoiseries and dough since the weather is so humid, but i was a little disappointed. The taste is here thoug, you really taste the chocolate.

The third one was a chocolate and caramel tart. The chocolate ganache was too weak, overtaken by the caramel, you couldn’t feel all the flavors clearly. The caramel wasn’t as good as Sadaharu Aoki’s one. The pastry wasn’t really interesting. But again, i’m not a chocolate lover.

The meringue lemon tart. This one was nice! The meringue was cloudy like, not chewy at all, agreable in mouth. The lemon cream would have been a little stronger in taste it would have been even better, but that’s my personal preference. Tthis one is a really good lemon tart, and really beautiful too.

For today, the lemon tart was nice, but the rest wasn’t that great. The second one is the marbré, then the pain au chocolat and the less interesting was the chocolate caramel tart.

Tea & Coffee Plantation in Laos

10 May

In Laos in went to a tea plantation and a coffee plantation.

The tea plantation was mainly to see the bushes. I thought a “tea tree” would have been different. I really like the flowers those.

For the coffee, i only remember that it needs to dry for 3/4 weeks and the way of roasting the beans differs from a country to another. I just didn’t know that coffee beans looked like that, because what we often see on packaging is quite different from these beans.

Market & Snack in Cambodia

10 May

I noticed i didn’t write anything about Cambodia and the food there, while actually it’s a really nice place if you want to eat delicious food. The coffee is amazing, the best i’ve ever had, but the food is also awesome, like in Thailand and Laos.

In this article, i just want to show a typical market in Cambodia. Merkets are usually located in the center of the city. People just put their products in wicker baskets directly on the floor or on tables. Maybe not in touristic cities, like Siem Reap, but in the other cities i’ve been, it was like that. Of course for us it’s a little disturbing because of the hygienic requirements, but if you’re careful, it should be ok. I mean, during the all trip i was only sick once in Laos because they washed the vegetables in the Mekong (I don’t even want to think about what kind of chemical products and other things there are in the river).

So yeah, basically, you have a lot of fruits, and vegetables, fishes, meats, spicies. What really surprised me is that they have so many choices, there is a lot of food, so many fruits that are expensive to us, but actually they are so poor. There is a huge contrast in that way.

The other thing that i liked is that you can have snackes or fast food everywhere. I just don’t get how easily it seems in Asia to eat everywhere, while in Europe you have to be in a restaurant. You have small shops on the streets, near the river, selling fruits, juices…for a very cheap price.

Mangoustan – Mangosteen

10 May

A fruit that i tried in Cambodia and i really liked, is the mangosteen. I had never seen any before, but it’s really delicious. It’s just a pity that you can’t find all the fruits in Europe, because that opens to a lot more diversity and creativity i think.
The seller in Cambodia told me that to see the number of slices the fruit had, you need to look at the bottom of the fruit and count the number of leaves. Don’t the find the fruit is really cute?

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