Once I completed my thirty days of Chinese postpartum confinement (zuo yuezi), restrictions on staying indoors and resting have started to ease up. I still need my daily Nana-nap, but I am now starting to return to the real world. But we waited until baby was nearly six weeks old before we began introducing him to too many people, due mainly to a superstition about babies not going out for the first forty days. As it has been hot and humid outside, it has actually seemed like a good idea to keep him inside to avoid potential heat stroke. We could of course have taken him out for a stroll to enjoy the cool of the evening air, but as it is currently ghost month that would have been an even greater transgression.
So since hitting key ‘we are all safe now’ milestones last week, we have begun to get social again. We took baby out twice to introduce him to groups of friends, and have entertained a series of visitors. Which in part explains why I have not written quite as many blog posts lately. But at least I have fresh inspiration by way of something less healthy than confinement food — namely cake.
I love the way that Taiwanese friends always bring some rare or unique gourmet treat when they come visiting. There always seems to be a story about where they bought it or why the food item is special. The latest offering of Uncle Tetsu’s Cheese cake is from Mr Taiwanxifu’s cousin and her boyfriend; her man queued up at the immensely popular outlet near the Taipei Main Railway station for hours to procure this freshly baked cheesecake.
Uncle Tetsu’s Cheese cake produces Japanese style cheese cake (perhaps one of my readers will know whether this is actually a Japanese chain or a Taiwanese company). The texture is light and fluffy rather than dense and thick like American-style baked cheesecakes. Many Japanese-style cheese cakes (and Taiwanese imitations) tend to be so floaty they are more like a sponge, but you can still taste the cheese in this cake despite its fluffiness. Still, it was so deceptively light that I was almost convinced that it did not contain any calories.
Each smallish cheesecake comes packaged in a cute pizza-like box and wrapped in translucent material. When you open the fabric it reveals a cute cartoon ‘Uncle Tetsu’ character branded onto the cake. This elicited cries of ‘too cute’, or rather ‘好可愛’.
Uncle Tetsu’s is at level one of the Taipei Main railway station (台北火車站微風一樓價位). Their six-inch cakes costing NT$199 each are baked on the premises and they only sell them as they are made. Demand at their Taipei store exceeds supply, which explains the long queue. And since Taiwanese tend to gravitate towards things that are popular, the more people line up for the cheese cake the more people want to line up to get it. It was deliciously moist and airy, but I must admit that I am not sure if I would have the patience to wait that long in the name of cake. But thankfully for me my husband’s, cousin’s, boyfriend did not mind waiting. I can’t wait to taste their wedding cake.