Tag Archives: culture

Taiwanese & Breads

27 Jul

I have always wondered why the world think that bread is unhealthy. I mean, it’s only flour, water, yeast and salt, how is that can be bad? But then, after coming to Taiwan, i understood why they say that. Actually, in most Asian countries it’s also the same: the definition of bread is totally different.
In France, according to the dictionnary, bread is: a food resulting from the cooking of a kneaded dough made of flour, salt, water and subjected to fermentation with yeast.
While in Asia, it seems that bread is everything that you can find in a bakery, including bun, croissants and other viennoiseries, all products, thus those made with butter. So for sure, the definition of “bread” in Asia is unhealthy. The first time when i was working and for lunch, everyone was asking for “breads” but came back with bum or viennoiseries, i didn’t understood. Actually in Taiwan, you have only two categories: cakes and breads, nothing else. They also don’t see the difference in terms of unhealthiness between real bread and viennoiries and buns. And since they don’t like crispy and hard bread, they will naturally choose butter, milk or sweet “breads”. Differences of culture.
While in France we usually like our bread well cooked and crispy, here you have a lot of buns, milky loaf bread, nearly uncooked and totally white breads, and a lot of flavored breads, like red wine and cheese bread, banana chocolate bread, chicken curry, maple sirup…they look like actual bread, but they’re not crispy.
The shape is also different. in Taiwan bread are smaller, usually for 1 person, rounder and thicker, like 2 times thicker than in France. That’s because of the filling (cheese, bacon, cream, honey, chocolate, butter chicken, onion, fruits, nuts…). And usually they sell only half of a bread. Price is also more expensive than in France curiously.

Now bakeries also work at different pace. In France, they open at 7/8am until 8pm usually. Here it’s more 9/10am to 10pm.

In the end, Taiwanese bread and French bread don’t have anything in common, so i don’t know why they love to put “french bread style” or french everywhere while actually it doesn’t even exist in France. Just like French fries. Why French? We’re not even sure that’s French! (even if we don’t really know yet from where it’s from). For French people, fries come from Belgium not France. But that’s another subject.

Anyway, i tried several Taiwanese breads for a few weeks, including pumkpin bread, nut and cheese bread, and this one, the mix nuts bread. It had peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pumkin seeds, sesamy, dried grape and some other seeds that i don’t know. It’s pretty good compared to what i thought, and even though the bread is not crispy, the nuts make it crunchy.

 

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Taiwanese Dessert or how to think over your foundations

19 Sep

I wanted to finish my diner by something sweet because as you may know, they don’t eat sweet things at the end of a meal in Asia. So my buddy and her friend brought me to a famous shop for a dessert. This dessert doesn’t have any name, because you can choose 4 ingredients between a lot to put in, so basically you can have an infinite possibility of different tastes.

I chose a cold one, with tapioca, another thing that made the shop famous, ice and something else which was white. I must say that so far it was the worst dessert of my life. Imagine hot jelly things with ice under, that you have to mix to make it neither hot nor cold in the end, that is extremely sweet and in a juice of sugar. That makes what i ate. I wasn’t able to finish.
However, the Japanese girl chose a hot one, with red beans and sweet potatoes and something else, and even if it wasn’t really good, it was better already. I just must not take the jelly things.

That’s where you can really feel the difference between the 2 cultures. For me who’s a sweet tongue that got used to delicious western pastries the last few months with the game of textures between crispy, smooth, creamy and all…jumping to those “jelly-lover” dessert is really hard. I mean, i’m pretty sure that the shop they took me to was really popular and good for them, but my view about dessert is just so different. It’s quite hard to get your tongue used to their desserts. They have amazing food concerning main dishes, but desserts… so far that’s pretty hard. I have to totally think over about what is considered as good and as a great dessert here. That’s really challenging. I hope i can do it, but i’m not sure i’m really prepared for it…

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