Asian Bakeries

One of the joyful experience coming to Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, China) is the extravagant and huge variety of breads. American bakeries focus mostly on the crust and the texture inside of the bread. The fancy ones add aromatic or mild flavors such as Rosemary or Olive. Then there is the variety of grains or refinement methods. The key point is the the bread is done when the baker took it out of the oven. There is usually no filling in bread.

Asian breads have a very distinct layer on top: sometime baked in and sometime added on after the bread has been out of the oven. They also usually have some kind of filling. This practice makes Asia bread a step closer to desserts. They are usually consumed stand-alone, instead of being part of a meal.

This is a forehead slapping “of course” moment. The main staple of meals is plain steamed rice that is served in bowls. Dishes are picked up from the communal plates and placed onto the rice and eaten. Traditional breads do not go well in that process. Bakeries, instead, went for “substantial snack” route and thrived.

Skip hotel breakfast and stroll out to find a bakery nearby. Pick one and get your favorite breakfast drink too. Chances are you will be pleasantly delighted. Of course you can also find them in the US, you just need to venture into a neighborhood that looks like China.

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