Monday, October 09, 2006


Treat Your Taste Buds to Fresh Buns, Tarts, Cakes and Cookies

From sweet to savory, meat-filled, red-bean flavored or made with coconut, there is a taste for every palate when it comes to Chinese pastries. Typically, the sweet aroma of a Chinatown bakery can be sensed even before the store is in sight. Visitors to Chinatown cannot help but notice the multitude of bakeries that are scattered around this two-square-mile neighborhood. Most of the bakeries carry classic Chinese baked goods such as egg tarts and almond cookies, but several offer exceptional creations and specialty items not found anywhere else in the city. Proximity to Little Italy, and the cultural blend of American and Chinese heritage means that some bakery items bear a fresh, continental twist.

The Best Baked Goodies to Try:
Cock’s Tail Buns (gai mei bao) – in the shape of a cock’s tail, these buns are filled with a sweet coconut paste
Coconut Tarts (ye tot) – yellow tarts made with coconut, usually garnished with a cherry on top
Custard Egg Tarts (dan tot) – a Chinatown favorite, they are made with egg custard baked in a flaky crust
Hot Dog Buns (cheung zai bao) – a tasty combo of both NYC and Chinatown – these are buns with a hot dog enveloped in sweet, fluffy bread and in some cases topped with a honey glaze
Pineapple Buns (bo lo bao) – a delicious bakery staple but don’t let the name fool you; these buns resemble pineapples but do not contain any pineapple ingredients. Instead, they are filled with a sweet mild custard filling or made plain
Red Bean Paste Buns (hong dau sa bao) – contains a smooth red bean paste filling, has an exotic semi-sweet flavor and is made with sweet bread
Roast Pork Buns (char siu chan bao) – whether steamed or baked, these delicious buns blend the sweetness of the bread with the savory taste of Chinese BBQ-flavored roast pork

Tomorrow I will post a list of bakeries you should try the next time you're in Chinatown.


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