Friday, August 19, 2005

More than Bubble Tea

OK, OK, I posed a question, but then I didn't post an answer... Sorry! I was traveling, AGAIN. It's been a little bit crazy lately... I'm off to Hawaii this time - I haven't been to Hawaii in 10 yrs, so it'll be interesting to check out how things are... I've been such a jet-setting traveler lately...

Anyway, back to my question from last time...

I'm SOOOOO impressed that Fatemeh and Kei were very, very close! They got all but the red straw right!! The red in the picture is nothing edible - it's just a giant bubble tea straw!

creations-like2It's an aloe-powered mango smoothie from a Chinese dessert place. Bubble teas - hot and cold tea/coffee or smoothies with chewy, giant (~0.5 in diameter) black tapioca balls - have been a staple of my dessert repertoire for a a while now. The satisfying texture of firm, chewy tapioca balls and the sensory pleasures of being bombarded by the tapioca balls coming through the adorable straw with a gigantic diameter that accommodate the pearls are irresistible! And as bubble tea spread in popularity outside of the Asian community, a bunch of dessert places, like the Hong-Kong based franchise Creations (mentioned by Fatemeh yesterday) and other smaller mom-and-pop scale operations in the Asian strip malls in the South Bay (which is where I was at to take this picture) that go beyond bubble tea have sprung up lately. And let me tell you - there is so much more to Chinese desserts than bubble tea!!

The variety of Chinese 'medicinal' desserts that is available in the Bay Area is amazing. From frog ovaries to swallow's nests, you can get all sorts of things added to smoothies and fruit juices! The Chinese principle of combining the pleasures of dining with the benefits of medicinal herbs is the backbone behind these multitude of desserts. Some are a bit too advanced for me - I admit I'm not the most adventurous when it comes to super sweet, syrup-soaked goodies, but they sure intrigue me!!

I'll be posting about the best steak ever next, so stay tuned!

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