Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I think the title says it all. As a starchmouse (and one who happily eats bread sandwiches) you can understand my excitement. But there’s more to the story:
A very very long time ago my family went to LA. Besides the obligatory stop at the happiest place on earth, we also went to Koreatown so that my parents could buy 밑반찬 (for years I thought it was “meat” 반찬) and get their fill of 순두부찌개. My brother and I would clamor for 크림빵. At one of the bakeries we stopped at, we bought a loaf of 오란다빵 – unfortunately, we didn’t try it until we had driven back home. Had we exhibited less restraint, I’m sure my brother and I would have made our parents drive back to the bakery and buy enough to last through the year.
I don’t really remember what made it so delicious at the time, but during our next few trips to Korea we would always pop inside a bakery, hoping they had this bread. No luck though, and I think we eventually gave up trying…
Last week I found myself at 태극당, a bakery known for its 모나카. I really had no interest in ice cream, but just wanted to smell all the yummy bread smells…and then I saw this:
It was like that scene in Ratatouille when Anton Ego takes one bite and is transported back to his childhood…I snatched the last loaf before anybody else could take it and hurried home.
And so the mystery of why this bread is so delicious is finally solved. Rolled inside a buttery brioche-like dough is a loaf of castella. Keeping the castella moist is a layer of jam. And sprinkled on top is some sort of nutty crumb topping.
A few other offerings:
태극당 (Taegukdang) is directly outside exit #2 of the Dongguk University subway station (동국대입구) on line 3.
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