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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Gelato in Rome

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During a walking tour of Rome, the group stopped at the Trevi Fountain for lunch. After enjoying a stromboli for lunch at a small spot a couple blocks down from the fountain, stopped at Gelateria Cecere on the way back for gelato.

Walking into the tiny establishment, which occupied the corner of a building, customers are greeted with a wide freezer display with heaps of flavors, along with a backdrop of multicolored cups – a different color for each size.

Seeking out which flavor was calling, went with the pistacchiosa – it was not the standard pistachio. Beyond the creamy texture of the gelato, the delicious pistachio taste, and the sprinkling of chopped pistachios, there was also a ribbon of pistachio spread that snaked through the scoops.

It was the kind of thing that could potentially swear one off the typical pistachio.

According to a TripAdvisor review, “The pistachio gelato is unlike any I have ever had and, believe me, it is my favourite dessert.”

Written by Paulo Loreto

June 20, 2017 at 9:42 PM

Taro bingsu is lovely

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It has been a while since getting to enjoy a huge bowl of bingsu, the Korean shaved ice dessert. Have tried to keep track of the different flavors tasted but that’s been lost. Took a shot in the dark and ordered the taro bingsu, whether it’s been requested before or not, it was delicious.

The refreshingly flavored ice, red beans, ice cream, cheesecake bites, and whipped cream mode for an amazing treat – as always.

It is amazing how all the different flavors go so well together and the ice, as it melts in the mouth, takes on a creamy feeling, not just water. The worst part is when it is over; it’s such a unique dish with a taste that is all too delicious.

Taro bingsu with red beans, cheesecake bites, and ice cream.

Written by Paulo Loreto

March 19, 2017 at 12:18 AM

Encountering a sweet monster in Hong Kong

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Wandering Mong Kok, meandering through the market stands just opening up for business, walking in and out of the endless shoe stores, and perusing menus of all the restaurants lining the shopping avenues in the area, attention was grabbed immediately while passing a shop covered in cartoon monsters. Took a closer look and it was a soft-serve stand.

Amongst the bright colors and caricatures, there were a variety of toppings offered for, what appears to be, the standard delicious soft-serve ice cream.

Of course, with a soft spot for peanut butter, it was the first choice – did spend time going back and forth, but it is always good to stick with instincts.

Watched the attendant gather a healthy portion of ice cream into the cone, decorated with the shop’s monsters, followed by sprinkling on powdered peanut butter and garnishing with a pretzel, it looked exactly like the picture on the wall. There was no doubting how amazing it would be and it was exactly what was needed after hours of window-shopping.

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Peanut butter soft serve in the middle of Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Portuguese egg tarts in Macau

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On the third trip to Macau, it became a mission to enjoy at least one Portuguese egg tart, also known as pastel de nata or 葡式蛋挞. Similar to the common egg tart found all over Hong Kong, the Portuguese version comes with a slightly charred top, much like a crème brûlée.

Started at the Lardo do Senado, or Senado Square, meandered through the narrow, yet packed, side streets checking out everything the tourist center had to offer. Lined with a variety of shops, in particular those selling all forms of beef jerky, the streets force tourist eyes to dart all over the place between souvenirs, jewelry, and all types of food.

At the end of one particular street are the Ruínas de São Paulo, built in the 16th century, it was originally St. Paul’s College and the Church of St. Paul. Today, it is listed as part of the Historic Centre of Macau and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

At the foot of the landmark is a shop selling all types of cookies and crackers, but directly in front is an oven filled with fresh Portuguese egg tarts. Each treat costs HK$8, about US$1 (the Hong Kong dollar is just about equivalent to the Macau pataca).

Crispy, creamy, and delicious, there is nothing that could make a visit to the Ruínas de São Paulo any more of a memorable experience.

Given the choice between the two, not sure it would be easy to select a winner, they’re both so delicious. However, to be completely honest, the edge might have to go to the Portuguese variety.

Nothing makes a Portuguese egg tart more lovely than having the Ruínas de São Paulo in the background.

Nothing makes a Portuguese egg tart more lovely than having the Ruínas de São Paulo in the background.

Been eyeing the frozen yogurt

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Stop by the J.Co location at The District-Ayala North Point mall every so often, they offer doughnuts that are very soft and light. Every time, reaching the cashier, always spot the frozen yogurt bar to the left and have always been curious.

As a huge Red Mango fan, had to make the comparison.

On a warm weekend, finally stopped by to give it a try. For one, and this is not an issue with J.Co itself, but moreso the inventory customs of the region, they only had about half of the full array of toppings available. Stop by a Pinkberry or Red Mango, they have every topping and are at the ready to refill when necessary. But, as said earlier, it’s not uncommon for a place to be without half of their menu, it’s a larger issue regarding responsible retail management.

Chose mango, kiwi, and kit kat bars to go with the frozen yogurt. The topping were slices very thin, unlike the chinks of fruit one gets elsewhere. Nonetheless, it looked great.

The yogurt is much sweeter and creamier than other places, am much more accustomed to the sour-y and icier variety other places offer. It did taste good, overall. Probably, if one were looking for frozen yogurt that tasted more like ice cream, rather than yogurt, it’s probably a good spot.

A much sweeter, creamier frozen yogurt variety.

A much sweeter, creamier frozen yogurt variety.

If only the toppings bar was better stocked.

Written by Paulo Loreto

May 29, 2016 at 6:35 AM

Autumn Treat

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Upon visiting New Jersey, it was an immediate dash to getting shopping done to pack supplies for a box to send back to the Philippines. Visiting a warehouse store, picked up a good number of items that would be useful back home, on that last stop before the cash register, a box of cider donuts was added to the cart. Automatically, that brought back memories of apple picking with friends – a pretty remarkable tale – along with everything that makes autumn in the northeast something special.

Getting to enjoy the donut, paired with a cup of tea, it was everything one would expect. Sweet and delicious, the donut was rich, without being heavy, and coated with a light sugary powder that helped completely the experience.

Donuts can be found all over the place, in a variety of flavors, but there’s something that makes the cider donut so special. Perhaps the sentimental value of the season, the warm memories they seem to bring out in people, or just the plain great taste of them that usually isn’t imitated at any other time of the year. Definitely something unique to the northeast and something residents are very lucky to enjoy during that time of the year.

Cider Donut

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 23, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Visiting the Good Batch in Clinton Hill

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Heard about a place in Brooklyn that made stroopwafels; beyond that, heard they made stroopwafel ice cream sandwiches. Stroopwafels, the incredible waffle cookies made in Holland, super thin cookies with a heaping pile of caramel to glue the entire thing together. Pre-packed and bought at Schiphol airport they’re delicious, imagine them fresh and made in-house.

Arrived in the early afternoon and stepped inside. A clean interior with a wide display case, started with baked goods like scones and breads, moving down to the ice cream section. Not noticing the stroopwafel anywhere, asked if they had them available. On this day, they did not have them ready, was simply told, “later.” Buzzkill.

Had been thinking about a stroopwafel ice cream sandwich for, just about, the previous 24 hours, just to arrive too early. Took a gaze back at the ice cream sandwiches for a replacement, and honed in on the toffee vanilla ice cream sandwich. It was delicious. The cookie was soft and sweet from the toffee – even left a bit of stickiness on the fingertips, and the ice cream was great.

The Toffee Vanilla Ice Cream sandwich.

The Toffee Vanilla Ice Cream sandwich.

Mid-treat, a few other customers walked in and took coffee orders to go, while biting through the ice cream sandwich, overheard somebody ordering a hot chocolate – along with a discussion of peppermint hot chocolate; it became a necessary follow-up. Having, pretty much, made myself at home at the bench next to the window, got a peppermint hot chocolate once the ice cream was full enjoyed and it was a fantastic chaser.

A Peppermint Hot Chocolate for a misty NYC afternoon.

A Peppermint Hot Chocolate for a misty NYC afternoon.

While the visit to The Good Batch started as disappointment, there are heaps of treats the place offers to satisfy any craving one might have.