Tag Archives: taiwan

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.

 

花生包和芝麻包 – Peanut bun and Sesame bun

11 Jul

My 2 favorite steamed bread. Sweet, not salty, of course since i’m a sweet tooth. The peanut ones is crushed peanuts, a little bit sweet like peanut butter but you can really feel the peanuts under your teeth. I like it because it contrasts the blandness of the bread and also the soft/crispy texture is really nice. The second one is the sesame steamed bread. Less crispy and sweet, you can still feel the small seeds under your teeth, and the black and white color is also very nice.

NCCU – 蔥油餅 and other 餅

4 Jul

A new shop has opened near NCCU (again, yeah), and it sells one of my favorite Taiwanese snack: green onion pancakes, or 蔥油餅. Basicaly, it’s 50% 餅 (pancake), 40% 油 (oil) and 10% 蔥 (green onion). You can have the thin ones like omelettes (here you change the proportions: 50% oil and 40% pancake), or the huge ones, bigger than pizza and thicker too. These ones are a little like pizza dough/focaccia. The shop vendor will cut it in 8/6 and then when you buy it, he cuts it again in smaller pieces and gives it to you in a bag.

I went there several times to try some of their other 餅 since one is pretty huge. I tried the Coconut pancake and the Sesame pancake. Coconut one is dry and pretty empty so not that good, and the sesame one is not really what i execpt concerning the sesame. I like it traditional small buns where it’s still seeds, but here it’s just like a jam that has lost its flavor.

So for the 蔥油餅, you can go there, but for the other products….

Melon Bread

30 Jun

One bread that i found strange at first (and that is not a bread but a bun) is this melon bread. It looks to me like a pineapple, don’t ask me why, so melon was really a weird name for me. The surface is basically made with butter. I’m not really fond of this one because their bun are usually really fat, but dry and the same time, i mean they don’t have the real butter flavor. But you can find this one in every bakeries in Taiwan, it’s a classic.

Pain à la crème pâtissière

30 Jun

If the Taiwanese have not created the “Pain au Chocolat”, at least they thought about something as good, if not better: a longer and thiner puff dough filled with pastry cream instead of chocolate! If that’s not genius! I love it.

Pancake sandwich Ice cream

27 May

Another strange product we can’t find in France, the Pancake ice cream, but beware: “Made in Taiwan”. Ohoho. That’s the real thing. Basically, it’ just two pancakes that are totally soak because of the ice cream with in the middle a flavorless ice cream (go for the vanilla/milk industrial ice cream). Everything is soft because of course defrosten pancakes are pretty bad. There’s always those strange things with ice cream in Asia. I remember a few years ago when i want in Japan, they also had ice cream in a king of a heart-shape meringue. Good and creative ideas but still i think that a really good ice cream speaks for itself.

Bin

27 May

I spotted a new thing in my breakfast restaurant, so i went for it. It’s a simple “bin”, without any green onion or pepper, or anything. It’s exacly like a pizza dough. The recipe is also the same, only the way of cooking it differs. Good to know.

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