“You know you’re Asian if…you don’t like cheese” I thought that was received wisdom but apparently not so anymore. You see a lot more cheese here than you’d expect. It’s mostly mozzarella because other kinds of cheese are imported so they are rather expensive here. I adore cheese, so never have the strength to say no to it even though I’m lactose intolerant and shouldn’t really be eating most kinds. So one of the reasons I was happy to move here was I thought my dietary restriction would be a non-issue.
I was wrong.
The other day it was the birthday of one of my workmates and one of her presents was a cheesecake from a local patisserie. I’ve eaten there before and La Genoise on Nimmanhemin Road is really rather good. The pastry chef is Thai but I think she has had plenty of work experience in France.
It has actually taken many, many goes over the years before I could claim to be a fan of cheesecake. For so long I always found it so thick and stodgy and just so cheesy! I think it’s not that easy to make a great cheesecake so perhaps I never had great ones starting out. Certainly not good baked ones anyway. Other kinds of cheesecake are much easier to get right.
The cake we had the other day tasted okay was a baked one but it reminded me of how I used to find cheesecake — hard to swallow. It was better than the average slice of cheesecake you get here but perhaps you can’t get really good cake because of the availability of cheese here.
Frankly though, I’m surprised that people seem to love cheesecake so much and that it’s popular here. But maybe that just goes to show that as food cultures spread all over the world more and more, tastes have started to change as part of that process. Even though it’s also very likely that, like me, most people here are lactose intolerant.