Friday, April 28, 2006

Asian Desserts

Why I love Asian Desserts:

1. They're not too sweet. Most desserts are light, delicately flavored, subtle.
Ex: Sweet Almond Tofu w/ fruit or honey.

2. They're rare.
Most Asian restaurants don't serve ethnic desserts and green tea ice cream and chinese fortune cookies don't count. Why?
Because when you visit the home countries, desserts over there aren't as a majority either of two. Go to Vietnam, people eat fruit or icy mungbean-coconut milk confections. Go to Hong Kong, its red bean pudding or egg custard tarts or something else not made in America.

3. Not overly processed.
No corn fructose syup here. Easy to digest and with not too much weight on your diet consciousness.

4. Because they remind me of my childhood.

All very simple reasons. Y'all know that I'm a boba tea fanatic. I think the best bubble tea you can get is in the San Jose/Bay area of California. In Miami, the best bubble tea is at Lan Cafe in South Miami in the Dadeland Station (1st floor).
The worst bubble tea? Easily Ann Arbor, Michigan followed by New York City.

If you're a foodie, you'll find this San Francisco Chronicle article by Jeff Yang engrossing at the least: Don't Miss the Mango Mochi
He's mentioned the latest Asian dessert fads on the West Coast and goes briefly into NYC.
Here's an exerpt:
The fact is, dessert, in all of the intoxicatingly intricate and calorie-choked ways that Westerners enjoy it, is just not a part of the Asian culinary vocabulary. As my foodie friend Wendy Chan -- co-author of the recently published cookbook "New Asian Cuisine" -- notes: "First of all, in Asia, people usually eat sweets as a snack, rather than with their meals. And secondly, you have so many beautiful varieties of fruit available in Asia -- rambutans, longans, durians and so on -- that there just isn't the same incentive to create more complex sweets. In a lot of tropical countries, you put a mango on a stick, and there you have it, that's your dessert."
It shouldn't be surprising, then, that the history of Asian sweets in the United States has been pretty fallow -- a sort of dessert wasteland, if you will. Chinese bakeries, while everywhere in metropolitan ethnic enclaves, haven't exactly spread into America's malls and suburban shopping strips. People aren't lining up on street corners to consume Filipino bibingka or Malaysian chendol or Indian gulub jamun. In fact, there's really only been one major Asian sweet-tooth fad, and it's one whose prime is long past.
The Boba Bubble


thewomanwarrior said...

Asian desserts are the best! When I was still in cali, my mom always bought Japanese cakes for my birthday celebrations. Yummy! :-P When I come back to Miami for grad school, I'll make you some Viet desserts. :-)

Anonymous said...

you can now find great asian desserts in miami's new authentic Taiwanese restaurant.

thank you