Saturday, October 6, 2012

Xiang Ji Chu Pastry in China 香積廚

Travelled to China Swatow (Shantou 汕头) just before the Mid Autumn Festival, unike the Singapore commercialised mooncakes with brown pastry skin and just lotus paste ingredients, their mooncakes (which I bought from a vegetarian pastry shop which is just below their local Shantou Buddhist Association at Guo Ping Road) uses the traditional Teochew pastry skin with unique ingredients such as the nuts (cashew, melon, walnut), beans (red, yellow, green), maltose, and melon sweet slices according to the label. It even have strange flavours such as Seaweed & Mushroom. I bought 4 flavours for trial: the Mushroom, Seaweed, Green bean paste & Five nuts. I had only tried the Mushroom flavour, which I find it unique with the chewy melon sweet slices and nut pastes which is more like eating the local Five nuts flavour but more refreshing though I hardly find any traces of mushroom. The other 3 flavours were given away with no comments received yet but I certainly like the Mushroom flavour that I tried, and it costs cheap, less than RMB10 per piece which is about S$2 only. (Cant recall the exact price I think it costed only abt RMB5). Comparing the unique taste & price, certainly value for money.
The top picture  is their Black sesame paste pastry which is nice too. (The traditional found in S'pore is yellow in color and green bean paste flavoured.)
This is not a Buddhist pilgrim package tour so my past 1 week of tour gave me the impression that Buddhism & Vegetarian was not flourishing in this part of China. So accidentally chancing upon this Guo Ping Road (国平路) that houses 汕头佛教协会 (Shantou Buddhist Association) and 2 or 3 vegetarian restaurants and bakeries there is comforting.
All my meals were from non vegetarian restaurants and vegetarian culture was not that developed yet for non vegetarian eateries there. However, according to a few tourmates who managed to visit the local vegetarian restaurants, gave praise to the dishes, too bad they don't have the habit of take pictures of food to share...

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