Friday, December 23, 2011

What is honey tarae?

I suppose you could call this a side view. Just tilt your head 90-degrees to the right. Trust me, if I was any more proficient at this, maybe I could figure out why the photo is determined to remain sideways.
I can tell you what it isn't; it's not a typo. According to my friend Diane, this is something she's only seen in Korea. Yet we found it post-happy hour in our local Irvine Spectrum at a cart. Not exactly the type of place that would sell such ethnic treats. Let's face it, the vendor was somewhere between Old Navy and Red Robin, with Forever XXI in the background. It was out of place, to say the least. Why hadn't I seen them sooner? Turns out they've been on site since spring, but only operate on the weekends. Sounds pop-up(ish), if you ask me.

In Asian culture, honey tarae is a traditional royal court cake consisting of ripened honey and malt. The process in which they make it sounds nearly impossible, yet believable once you see for yourself. These specific cakes are filled with your choice of either nuts or Oreo flavors, and can be ordered individually or in packages of eight.

The sole operator is a friendly chap who passed the time making these single bite morsels. Crafted from a modest piece of solid honey, he pierced a hole into it before going through the motions. It reminded me of an Amazing Race episode where teams had to create noodles from scratch. He took this itty bitty sweet, and deftly stretched it to exponential proportions in under a minute. We're talking upwards of 16,000 strands without batting an eyelash.

While the texture is definitely unusual for what you'd expect, it manages to melt better than any caramel I've ever had. Just a dollar for one of these meticulously crafted lovelies, and that includes a live demonstration. Akin to a puppet show, his hands seem to dance in front of a miniature curtain. Now THAT'S entertainment!

1 comment:

Tracey Pullman said...

It is best to keep your honey at room temperature whatever flavor or color your honey is.
Why is Honey Different Colors