Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 349

Dry Meat Bun: Out of all the foods I've tried for this blog, this one had to have one of the most unappetizing-sounding names. Dry Meat Bun? It doesn't sound like something anyone would ever want to eat, but when I saw it at the Oriental Bakery on Buford Highway a couple days ago, I was intrigued. The bakery had a rack of the ubiquitous cellophane-wrapped Asian pastries (most of which I'd already tried), but this one was something I'd never seen before.

It looked like a small loaf of white bread, but it was topped with a brownish substance that I couldn't identify. Was that the "dry meat?" The first few ingredients were pretty standard (flour, sugar, oil), but the last two were "salad" and "dry pork sung." Hmm, ok. I had to know what this was, so I bought one to take home.
Since fresh pastries have a habit of going bad quickly, I gave this one a try this afternoon for a snack. I broke it in two to see if there was any sort of filling, but it was just plain bread on the inside. The bread itself was light and fluffy, and a bit sweet. However, the topping was something entirely different. It was indeed "dry meat," and it tasted like finely shredded dried pork that had been sweetened. It actually tasted good, and the saltiness of the topping worked well with the sweetness of the bread. Not as scary as I first expected, but I doubt I'd buy one again.
I had to know what "pork sung" was, so after some research, I discovered that it's a Chinese dried meat product that's made by stewing cuts of pork in a sweet soy sauce mixture until the meat can be fork shredded. It's then dried in an oven, followed by drying in a wok. The resulting product (also called "rousong") can be used as a topping for many dishes.

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