Today’s bread purchase brings us to the previously uncharted region of “fusion” cusine. In what is apparently a misguided effort to do something “new”, the good people at BreadTalk, Siam Paragon, have somehow got in in their heads that the combination of an Indian bread and a Thai soup is what people want. And when I say combination, I don’t mean a bowl of tom yam soup served with a piece of naan bread. That would be normal. Rather, BreadTalk has created what must be the world’s first soup-flavored bread. Or perhaps the world’s first bread-flavored soup. Thus, behold the Tom Yam Naan:
Seen from the outside, the Tom Yam Naan looks innocent, even harmless. However, upon closer inspection:
we are able to break the Tom Yam Naan into it’s constituent parts: 1) The naan, consisting of naan bread. 2) The “tom yam” filling, consisting of chicken, slime, chilis, and cilantro (coriander). Not sure what this has to do with tom yam. Where’s the galangale? I certainly don’t see any lemongrass. And tom yam doesn’t have slime. Oh yes, and let’s not forget that tom yam is a freaking soup. Inspired by the Tom Yam Naan, I’m thinking of writing BreadTalk a letter with some of my own ideas: Som Tam Donut: a deep-fried crispy roll with a tender papaya salad filling. Phat Thai Bagels: a sassy “bagel” of fried rice noodles with a zesty tamarind-based topping. Green Curry Baguette: a bright green baguette with hidden bites of eggplant, Thai basil, chilis and chicken. Mmm….
Today’s bizarre Siamese baked concoction is the elusive Bacon Pastry. Observe:
Here’s a closeup of the bacon:
I must admit, I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. I mean, everybody likes bacon, right? But does everybody really like bacon artfully twisted in flaky pastry dough and baked until cripsy? Well, now that I mention it… Honestly though, I think bacon, and the world, are probably not ready for this. I’ll probably get tons of hate mail from people accusing me of being a bacon conservative, but I have to go with my gut instinct here and give Tesco/Lotus’s Bacon Pastry a thumbs down. The dog liked it though.
The photo below is a response to this thread at eGullet concerning Thai bread. Bread is not, of course, a staple food for Thai people, but it is very popular nonetheless. Normally the Thais are brilliant at taking foods from other cultures and integrating them into their own cuisine in delicious ways, but with bread, something went wrong. Very wrong. This wrong (WARNING. The following contains graphic images of disgusting bread!):
The bread above was labelled as Deluxe Floss (heh heh) and was purchased at the brand new Siam Paragon branch of Bread Talk (heh heh). Floss refers to the topping of sweet, golden fluffy strands of pork (heh heh), and is a very popular topping for Thai baked goods. I’m not sure where they got this idea. One imagines they should probably abandon it. The bread, as with the majority of its genre, is so soft it makes Wonder Bread look like a pain poilane and it is painfully sweet with a disturbing oily sheen.
I think Deluxe Floss is a good place to our journey through the Magical World of Thai Baked Goods, and in future installments I will touch on the use of cheap hot dogs, sweetened condensed milk, and mayonaise.