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The Incredible Flavor of Cishan Bananas/旗山香蕉好味道

 

The Incredible Flavor of Cishan Bananas

◎English Translation: Peng Hsin-yi 

◎Photos courtesy of Pao Chung-hui, Youth Banana Band

 

旗山老街Cishan's Old Street In Cishan, summer is an image of abundance: trees heavy with bananas ripening to sweetness beneath leaves that sway in gentle breezes, promising the reward of golden richness. No words can describe Cishan's bananas other than heavenly goodness. Visitors to Taiwan's "Banana Empire" are always looking for ways to bring the flavor of Cishan to their friends and families –and there are plenty to be found. On Cishan's Old Street, the confluence of all things ancient and modern, one can follow a waft of warm banana fragrance through the Baroque-style buildings, and find various banana pastries that make the entire trip worthwhile. We are going to sample a few, and show how a fruit excellent on its own can be made into something even better.
Chimei Bread Banana Pound Cake
 Chimei Bread has been in business for more than 30 years; a whole generation grew up with Chimei's flavors, and Chimei is determined to pass those memories onto another generation. The bakery has never strayed from its original recipes. Still, an old shop needs to reinvent itself every now and then so as to stay competitive. About five years ago, Chimei developed a special recipe for banana pound cake, and it was an immediate hit. 香蕉蛋糕Banana Pound CakeThe banana pound cake looks like a giant doughnut. It weighs 3.6kg (about 8lbs), and the store says only tree-ripened bananas grown in Cishan are used. Cake flour rather than ordinary flour is used, achieving a fluffier texture than that of a traditional pound cake or banana bread. Each cake contains at least 2kg (about 4.5lbs) of banana puree to ensure every morsel is saturated with the sweet scent of bananas. Because bananas naturally contains a lot of sugar, Chimei reduced the amount of sugar added to the mix, and uses trehalose (a sugar extracted from seaweed) instead. After two hours in the oven, the banana-laden batter is transformed into a ring of golden goodness. The texture of Chimei's banana pound cake is somewhere between traditional banana bread and chiffon cake. It is moist but not dense; the banana flavor is just right, never too sweet. The banana pound cake is baked in a bunt cake mode; each cake ring can produce 24 slices, and each slice weights about 150 grams (about 5.3oz). It is satisfying in every way, and has quickly become an exceptionally popular souvenir.
Old Street Café Banana Cheese Cake
 If you like bananas and cheesecake, then this desert has your name on it. A perfect mix of two differently wonderful flavors, this delicacy features a tamer banana scent, allowing the creamy cheesecake mixture to take the lead. But the cake reveals its character the moment you put a piece in your mouth. The delicate bouquet of banana flavor blossoms as you bite into the banana/cheesecake mixture. It does not overpower, but lingers and makes you want to try it again.
 The recipe calls for two parts cheese and one part fully ripe banana. The batter requires an hour and a half of baking in a water bath in order to set properly, and each cake weighs about 600 grams (about 1.5lbs). The finished product looks much like a regular cheesecake, but the banana flavor adds depth to the eating experience. Many foreign visitors used to cheesecake in its original form have been impressed. During the Chinese Lunar New Year, Old Street Cafe sold more than 200 of them, and it is now the most popular item in the shop.

  Where to buy ?
  ‧Chimei Bread
  No. 62, Jhongshan Rd., Cishan Dist., Kaohsiung City  
  ‧Old Street Cafe
  No. 32, Fusin St., Cishan Dist., Kaohsiung City

 

旗山香蕉好味道

◎文/侯雅婷 

◎照片提供/鮑忠暉、台青蕉樂團

 

 豔陽下,一片無垠的蕉海,隨風搖曳,壯闊的景觀是「香蕉王國」旗山予人豐饒的視覺印象。造訪旗山的旅人總想將香蕉的曼妙滋味與人分享,走一趟當地最熱鬧的旗山老街,一抹香蕉香迴盪在老街知名的巴洛克建築中,推薦給您各具特色的香蕉蛋糕和香蕉乳酪蛋糕,全然不同的呈現手法各自演繹香蕉豐富的風味。
吉美西點蛋糕 香蕉蛋糕
 開店30多年的吉美西點蛋糕是老字號的麵包店,以傳統口味的麵包讓當地民眾吃出感情,也獲得認同,但老店也要創新,約莫5年前,取材在地特產香蕉,開發出香蕉味濃郁的香蕉蛋糕,重達3600克的超大甜甜圈造型的香蕉蛋糕,使用蛋糕粉取代麵粉,製造出鬆軟的口感,而每一大圈蛋糕須加入2000克完全成熟的香蕉打成香蕉泥,讓嚐一口的人都會說,香蕉味好濃喔!考量香蕉本身帶有甜份,加入海藻糖降低甜度,歷時2小時烤焙,散發濃濃香蕉味、質地鬆軟且不會太甜、太乾,這款濕潤度適中的香蕉蛋糕切成24片販售,每片重量約150克,扎扎實實、份量十足,推出後,成為旗山老街最具人氣的香蕉伴手禮之一。
香蕉乳酪蛋糕Banana Cheese Cake老街咖啡 香蕉乳酪蛋糕
 如果您喜歡香蕉,也喜歡乳酪,那您一定要試試這款把香蕉的味道融入輕乳酪的香蕉乳酪蛋糕,品嚐時,香蕉和乳酪柔軟綿細的口感在嘴裡化開來,香蕉味道儘管淡淡的,卻很迷人。製作比例上,3分之2的乳酪加上3分之1的完全熟成的香蕉,隔水烘焙1.5小時,一條乳酪蛋糕重達600克,加入香蕉味的乳酪蛋糕,不慍不火,卻大大地提升乳酪蛋糕的質感,這款乳酪蛋糕讓外國朋友嚐過後都驚艷不已!今年農曆年期間,熱銷200條,由此可見受歡迎的程度。

  哪裡買?
  吉美西點蛋糕
  高雄市旗山區中山路62號     
  老街咖啡
  高雄市旗山區復新街32號

  


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