In the heart of the Milanese China Town, a few steps from via Paolo Sarpi, there is a hidden pastry shop which offers a large quantity of interesting desserts. Mr. Time is not a pastry shop like many others, but Chinese.
It is not possible to stop for a drink: inside you will find the shop and the laboratory. It is also possible to order themed desserts for a special occasion.
Here you will find curious products that will introduce you to a relatively new and booming confectionery tradition.
China does not have a strong confectionery tradition like many western nations, or at least understood as we Westerners imagine it. This is because in China it is customary to consume fruit at the end of the meal and the dessert is something strongly linked to national celebrations or is intended as a snack to accompany tea. For this reason, Chinese sweets amaze with the low sugar content and overall lightness.
The gastronomic panorama of Chinese pastry over the years has gradually established itself mainly in Shanghai and Hong Kong, precisely where the English and Portuguese colonies have exercised their power for a long time. It may therefore not be a big surprise to discover that the Chinese make sweets that seem "copied" by our Westerners: one of all the typical Portuguese pasteis de nata (pateis de Belem), made following the Portuguese colonization of Macau.
The main inspiration comes from the French school, obviously, and from the American one. In fact, you will find many leavened baked desserts, such as brioches and puff pastries, without missing the Chinese cheesecake.
What makes Chinese pastry peculiar is the wide use of fruit, wheat and rice flour, whipped cream, green tea and matcha, azuki and agar agar. In addition, you can find an immense amount of savory preparations containing cheese, salami, dried meat, seaweed and even crab meat.
But returning to the western inspiration, it demarcates even more in the creation of themed cakes. More and more young couples decide to choose a western, multi-storey wedding cake. Some, to remain tied to tradition, choose it red with gold ideograms above. The same goes for birthday cakes, one more colorful and bizarre than the other. A true eye paradise.