At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


The question arises because of the name. Most Chinese baked goods are a bing, a bao, or exceptionally, not so. The 'pei daan sou' (皮蛋酥) is not so. A bing (餅) is round and flattish, like a biscuit, flat filled cake or tart, or a cookie. A bao (包 and also 飽) is a roll or a bun, sometimes stuffed, savoury or sweet, and usually steamed.
These are objects. If it is not either of these, what is it?

Cake? Cake (糕 'gou') is a substance. Usually "egg cake" ('蛋糕 'daan gou'). Sometimes it is steamed rather than baked.
But a jelly roll (卷 or 捲; 'guen') is often an "scrolled egg" (卷蛋 'guen daan'), rather than a gou.
Ice cream, by the way, is "snow cake" (雪糕 'suet gou').

This thing is none of the above. It is sou.

Sou (酥) is not an object OR a substance. Sou is a characteristic: flaky or silky. In the case of confectionery, crumbly and friable. The word describes something, so it should not stand alone.

This is my Western mind speaking, wherein words are assigned a distinct category. I expect a noun after the descriptive term, and in English must reject the anarchy free floating phonemes.
Where is the THING, dammit?

The pei daan sou (皮蛋酥 literal meaning: "skin egg flaky") is a preserved egg on a thin cushion of lotus-seed paste (蓮蓉 'lin yung') inside a buttery pastry shell. It is globular or ovoid, but the pastry component is not a bao, and it isn't flat, so it is cannot be a bing. This disturbs me.

This afternoon I will check to see if one of my favourite bakeries produces it. If so, I shall have one or two with my milk-tea. Pei daan sou are sweet, creamy, rich, and quite delicious, albeit very much an old-school item, and thank heavens pretentious eejit culinarists like Jamie Oliver have not discovered this yet.

I do not want stuck-up sticky-bit white foodies fudging-up the things in this world that are worthwhile. High-fallutin' reinventions of jollof rice, paella, salsa, adobo, curry, or dim sum, are abominations.

Do NOT deconstruct my joys!

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