Anyone who knows me knows I have two addictions (three, if you count the internet). Sugar, and bread.
Living in Taiwan is a special kind of torture. There is sugar in everything — way too much sugar, in fact, and it makes me nauseous, to the extent where I daren’t order a drink without trying to convince them to leave out the fructose. My habitual sugar cravings are dying, and instead I crave something, anything, which isn’t disgustingly sweet.
There are bakers at every street corner, but none of the bread (even the cheese- and bacon-covered confections) is savoury. It’s all brioche-type sweet, spongy mush. I loathe it. And so even my toast habit is dying off.
Today I thought I’d struck lucky, with this strangely-named “Taiwan-when little-big pancake” (I sort of interpret that to mean “big Taiwanese cake like when you were a little kid” but it could go any way really, plus “bing” isn’t necessarily a sweet bread product, just a flat round one). It looked JUST LIKE Turkish bread, one of my favourite types of bread.
But no. I got out of the shop, ripped open the bag, and tore off a piece. As soon as I touched it I knew it was too soft, but kept hoping right until it hit my tongue that it would at least have the right flavour.
I almost spat it out onto the ground. It was our good old friend, the nauseatingly sweet cakey bread. I shouldn’t be so sad or disappointed but I just can’t stop hoping and dreaming…
So I guess this time in Taiwan is my “learn to stop loving bread and sweet things” training. 😦 A cruel exception to this rule of overpoweringly sweet foods, is the little tray of apple slices I purchased at the same (evil) supermarket this afternoon. The apple is of course one of Taiwan’s own specially created sugar-apples, of which a single bite is enough to send you into diabetic shock. However, every single slice has been dipped into some sort of salty solution, presumably to avoid it from going brown (couldn’t they just use lemon juice like the rest of us??). So every bit tastes like apple-candy drenched in sea-water.