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Archive for the ‘Ube ensaymada’ Category

purple yam bread (purple, lower right corner)

Because I’m holed up most of the time in a kitchen creating foods under someone’s direction and eating meals made by someone else, I rarely have the time to eat meals that I have full control of. When I do, I spend a lot of time—almost too much, one may say—weighing whether I should eat something I’ve eaten before or seek new tastes, and whether this new or old edible means I should buy or cook. Yesterday after a trip to Sripraphai in Queens to scratch an itch for Thai (old, seeking memory), we walked to Phil-Am market (new to us), a store selling goods from the Phillippines, and found this bread above, called ube ensaymada. I immediately reached for it, because it’s familiar; my mother, a nurse, often brought these home, given to her by her Filipino colleagues. I remembered its sweet, cheesy fluffy-ness, when as a teenager I would eat the loaves without knowing or caring what was in them. It was, simply, good.

Different story now! I took care to note, that the label says it’s a brioche, which I didn’t know 14 years ago. It also has ube, purple yam, which is probably good for you if it’s not doused with artificial coloring (other ensaymadas had coloring, which we eschewed). The cheese is actually monterey jack; I don’t know why exactly monterey jack, except that it’s probably one of the milder cheeses that won’t upset the sweet to cheesy balance, and the topper you see that the brioche is slathered with is probably margarine, not the butter—both are listed, but the former probably performs better with a higher melting point, if any. The whole equation, as my other noted, tastes “like a Danish,” sans the shape of a jam or cheese-filled nest or bear claw.

Still, re-jiggered memories, however picked over and made not as fun, are delicious, as are new tastes, like purple yam, that you might file away for your next, precious, short days off.

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