What's the Story Behind Chinatown's Bakeries?

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For years, I've been curious about Chinatown's bakeries—the kind that sell elaborate European cakes, fusion-ish baked buns (like corn-mayo or hot dog-scallion), as well as more traditional Chinese sweets like moon cakes, lotus seed pastries and sesame balls. These bakeries, with their globetrotting cultural references, and emphasis on gorgeous pastry decoration, seem both strange and wonderful.

So in my column this week I try to untangle exactly how this newer, fusion type of Chinese bakery came about, and where they come from.

In the process, I talked to Chinese food expert and author Grace Young, who lamented that the quality of the baked goods at Chinatown bakeries is no longer very good. So I tasted my way through dozens of bakeries to find out which ones are doing certain items well.

And to find that out, you'll have to click the clickity and read the story.


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