Friday, October 03, 2008

Calgary Pork Bun Tasting

The buns
Originally uploaded by Suzi Edwards
Eileen kept bringing me delicious pork buns to taste and I got to thinking. Who makes the best baked cha sui baau in Calgary?

This is the sort of thing that runs through my head a lot. Sometimes the voices get so loud that I have to lay down in a darkened room to try and get them to quieten. Why haven't I read the complete works of Dickens? Who is the fifth cylon? What is the collective noun for bears? (Because I don't really like him, Cally and a sleuth, in case you were wondering). Sometimes it gets very tiring in my head.

Luckily I'm an inquisitive soul, generally determined to find out answers. So I gathered a small group, including the lovely Eileen, and we set out to find the best pork buns in Calgary.

Eileen did a lot of the leg work and had already pulled a list of five potential bun sources. So went set off in Taryn's truck, nearly running over Martin Fowler on the way.

Once back in the office, the buns were laid out in a blind tasting. Each was initially graded for appearance, specifically, how much were we looking forward to eating it. Bun B was "freaking Taryn out" because of the "sneaky peek" she was getting of the filling. I'd always seen this as a plus, myself, but I guess there's no accounting for taste. Bun D was marked down for the glaze being "uneven" (yes, we are bun fascists) and bun A was the aesthetic favourite of everyone.

So onto the tasting. We were looking for a bun that had a good ratio of filling to bun, with a "proper" barbecue flavour and that wasn't too sweet. Bun A got off to a good start with a good meat to bun ratio (so important, don't you find?) and Bun B was marked down for "gooey meat" and "way too much bun." Bun C was slightly criticised for some large chunks of fat but overall, the meat plenty was lauded. Bun D was left largely untouched because of the "chemical flavour", "low quality meat" and the fact that it "just tastes wrong." Bun E saw us all on some some sort of pork high and we started making talking faces out of the buns as we enjoyed the "lots of filling."

So the time came to unveil the winner. It turned out the Bun A, from Logos Bakery was the winner, and it was 10cents cheaper than all the others too. However, it is a bit of a schlep, so the best downtown pork bun went to ABC Bakery. Yum.

The worst one? I try to celebrate the good, but I think you'd do well to avoid Maxima's. There, I warned you.

Logos Bakery and Cakehouse is at 1623 Centre St NW (403) 230-1688
ABC Bakery is at 112C 3 Avenue SE (403) 266-2888

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Blogger Shlomo said...

I know this is terribly pedantic, but mentioning collective nouns is really asking for it, so here goes: It is actually a sloth of bears. The term sleuth is a mistake from The Book of St. Albans. George Turberville corrects "They are so heauie that when they be hunted they can make no speed but are alwaies within sight of the Dogges... when they wallow then they go at most ease."

My source here is that bible of terms of venery, "An Exaltation of Larks, by James Lipton".

Anyway, next time I'm in Calgary I'll try your prescription for some good buns.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Suzi Edwards said...

Given that you like DM, I'll let this one ride.

I'm not changing the post though. I still think it's a sleuth and I believe that both are acceptable.

Now what's the collective noun for pedants?

10:50 PM  
Blogger magpie said...

an inkhorn

4:30 AM  

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