New loaf of my life

Abe’s Bagel Crisps. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Marks & Spencer mini snacks. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Marks & Spencer mini snacks. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANGST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG
Magni Lachiara (left) and Pour Magni Lambrata (right). -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Magni Lachiara (left) and Pour Magni Lambrata (right). -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANGST PHOTOS: JOYCE FANG
Campagne Yuzu bread. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

One of my favourite things to do was to go to Maison Kayser and get one of its excellent baguettes and a couple of the boulangerie's Pain Aux Yuzu. This was a white, crusty roll with chunks of aromatic yuzu peel in it. I would toast it, split it in half and have it with a cup of tea for breakfast. The aroma of toasted bread studded with yuzu was amazing.

One day, I went to get some and found it had been removed from the roster. Gone, just like that.

I ranted at the hapless staff behind the counter and whined about it to everyone who would listen. I contemplated starting a petition to bring back the roll. Short of reverse engineering it, I thought there was no way it would ever come back. Well, life sometimes surprises you.

Recently, I went to get a baguette and my eyes went to the shelf where the yuzu rolls used to sit. Could this be true? I saw the words Campagne Yuzu (above right) and did a double take.

Yes, my bread is back but it is a little different. Instead of white flour, this one is made country- style, with whole wheat. It is heartier and there is nothing wrong with that.

Best of all, the chunks of yuzu are still there and the heady citrus flavour is strong and true. This is already hard to top but the bakers have worked pieces of roasted pistachios into the bread, too, and they add such an appetising aroma.

It is more expensive but this reboot is bigger.

I have learnt my lesson. Who knows when it might just disappear? They will not do this to me twice. I have space in the freezer and I am stocking up.

Campagne Yuzu bread, $4.50 each from Maison Kayser, B1-09 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, tel: 6636-3672, open: 8am to 10pm daily



Brilliant beers

The selection of craft beers in Singapore is so vast that it is difficult sometimes to pick something to drink.

I like Antico Birrificio Magni's craft beers from Tuscany a lot.

Magni Lachiara is the sort of beer to drink at a picnic because it is light and refreshing, with hints of apricot.

Pour Magni Lambrata into a glass and a thick, creamy foam sits on top. The beer has a slightly smoky aroma and tastes malty. This would be great at a barbecue.

Antico Birrificio Magni, $8.50 for a 330ml bottle, from Brewers' Craft, Block 354 Clementi Avenue 2, 01-191; Bistro One Zero Three, 103 Pasir Panjang Road, tel: 6476-6373; V Wine Studio, 11 Sin Ming Road, 01-23 Thomson V Two, tel: 6451-2263; and Isetan Scotts Supermarket, B1 Shaw House, tel: 6733-1111

Mini bites for less guilt

The problem with opening a pack of biscuits is that it is all too easy to finish the whole thing. Suddenly, entire sleeves of this or that crunchy thing end up in the belly and the guilty pangs start to haunt me.

That is why I am glad Marks & Spencer has a selection of treats in small, 100g bags. Share them to spread the calories or, if you are the politically correct sort, the love.

Mini Jaffa Cakes ($3.90 a 100g bag) are the best of the four. Buttery mini biscuits are covered with chocolate and there is a burst of orange when you crunch into them.

Mini Oat Biscuits ($3.90 for a 100g bag) are plain but good, and work with sweet, savoury or no toppings. They are also marginally less sinful than the rest, assuming you do not pile them with cheese and the like.

This is not to say that the Mini Milk Choc Fingers ($3.90 for a 100g bag) and Mini All Butter Scottish Shortbread Fingers ($3.90 for a 100g bag) are not good. They are irresistible and when I open a pack, suddenly all thoughts of sharing just go puff in the air.

Thankfully, good things come in small packages.

Marks & Spencer mini snacks, from Marks & Spencer stores. For locations and opening hours, go to www.marksandspencer.com.sg

Chip, chip hooray

Now here is one snack that would benefit from going mini: Abe's bagel chips from New Zealand.

I have just stuffed the bags into containers, hidden them in my snack basket and latched it firmly. Left to my own devices, I'd finish them in a jiffy, then tear into the Jaffa biscuits and there will be chaos.

I shall eat a small handful of them at a time, alternating between the two flavours, Roasted Garlic and Marlborough Sea Salt.

While these bagel crisps are baked, they are not entirely guilt-free, as with anything that tastes good.

The garlic version carries no sting, just mellow, caramelised sweetness from roasted cloves.

Marlborough's sea salt makes an impact. It is a clean, sharp sort of saltiness that contrasts beautifully with the nutty flavour of the toasted chips.

My hands are itching to get at the bags again. I might have to move the snack box to a secure location.

Abe's Bagel Crisps, $5.20 for a 150g bag, from Cold Storage, B1-18/19 Great World City, tel: 6735-4730, open: 9am to 10pm daily