25
Jun
09

Why Asian bakeries suck

Shilla Bakery in Annandale. Try it for the bubble tea, shaved ice and (if you dare) baked goods.

Shilla Bakery in Annandale. Try it for the bubble tea, shaved ice and (if you dare) baked goods.

 

Ok, they don’t totally suck. I mean, they’re cheap.  For instance, you can get a deal on a wedding cake – expect to pay around $300 to serve 150 people. Plus – and this a big plus – you can get Boba (bubble) tea there.

BUT-

There’s a reason Chinese restaurants serve orange slices with your check. Desserts are more of a Western culinary tradition. Sure, we Asians have our shaved ices, our fried bananas, our mango sticky rice. Then there’s the sweet stuff I prefer not to go near: mochi, bean-filled moon cakes, taro-root anything. But mostly, I grew up eating cut fruit for dessert, cultivating a hankering for the cakes and cookies I couldn’t get my hands on.

When I lived in Taipei, there was a bakery on every block. You could count on them for a cheap lunch. Vienna sausage bun topped with corn kernels, anyone? To this day, that sweet yeasty smell I associate with Asian bakeries (and Subway) can make my stomach turn.  The breads are too sweet; the cakes are pale versions of their Western counterparts. Fresh dairy ingredients are nowhere in sight. But me, I need my artery-clogging buttercreams and ganaches to be truly happy. Now excuse me while I go do some frosting shots.

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