Wanderlust Taiwan- To Be or Not To Be? Walking the Fine Line of Pastry Where East Meets West

The pastry shops in Asia are no boulangeries. They have an identity that is a clear fusion of the East and West.  I know I maybe biased for having been in a French family for decades but I strongly believe that excellent pastry should be like the ones you get from a French boulangerie. As a contrast, below is from a fancy pastry shop in the Brother Hotel off Nanjing Fuxing MRT station in Taipei.
The purple burrito like bread, 山之燒竽泥, is supposedly Japanese and has mochi and mashed taro filling.  The green burrito-shaped bread, 山之燒山藥, is filled with Chinese yam.
Now the fun part… Once you bite into it, you see the outer skin or the burrito-like wrapper starting to come off of what one would normally consider as the bread. Between the burrito wrapping and the bread, mochi (the white substance near the top of the photo) acts as the adhesive. Then the mashed taro filling is encase by the bread.  

This feels more like an arts & crafts project than eating a pastry. I don’t even know how to properly evaluate this piece of bread.  I don’t think of bread this way. I don’t even know if I like it. Nevertheless, the experience is out of the box.  Weird, too. 
This is the Taiwanese version of  the “peanut butter sandwich.” It is peanut powder plus butter. Did you notice that every piece of pastry has its own plastic bag?  The entire store is filled with pastry in bags on trays which are placed on shelves.

This only happens in Asia where a Western invention like the bread is brought in and fused with the Asian tastes (burrito wraps), ingredients (taro, yam, and mochi), interpretations (peanut powder and butter) and cultural needs (the individual plastic bags). This is unfamiliar for the French American in me but I’m sure by the time I’m back in New York, I will be missing my burrito-shaped-taro-mochi bread. 🙂

This experience took place at

Brother Hotel Bakery 兄弟大飯店

No. 255, Section 3, Nanjing E Rd
Songshan District, Taipei City, 105
+886 02 2712 3456

Published by

pcorbanese

I am a New Yorker who flies home to Taiwan in the Summer. I absolutely believe food is one of the most pleasurable things in life. Hence, my chronicle of anticipated glorious food experiences.

One thought on “Wanderlust Taiwan- To Be or Not To Be? Walking the Fine Line of Pastry Where East Meets West”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s