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Dessert Goes East

Delicious pastries and rich breads

make Canaan Bakery a sweet spot

Typically Asian cuisine is not associated with dessert and pastries so I was delighted by the deliciousness of the breads and pastries I found at Canaan Bakery and Cafe in Hicksville. Savory and sweet buns, Danish and Korean pastries, cookies and very good coffee can be enjoyed at the café, which is located at the entrance of the H&Y Supermarket. This is the Nassau County outpost of the four Canaan bakeries—the other three are in Flushing.

The patriarch of the family, Seung Gu Kim, arrived in the US in the late 1980s. He had been a baker in Korea and took up his profession here in New York, opening his first bakery in 1990 with this wife Il Rye Kim. Their adult children are involved in the business. Ki Young, who attended the International Culinary School, bakes the Danish at one of the shops in Flushing; Ki Yong, who went to the French Culinary Institute, takes care of the bills and the accounting. Their sister, Kay Kim, is in charge of quality control.

Kay Kim says that the small buns are the most popular, and after tasting them, I could see why. The Danish is filled with red beans, mocha cream, butter cream or custard cream. One variety is topped with crumbs. The breads are larger versions of the buns.

The pastries at Canaan bring together Korean ingredients and European techniques. Discussing the cakes with my guru for Asian food, Robert Han, the vice president of H&Y Supermarket, we came up with the word “gentle” to describe the pastries, not a usual word when talking about food. “Koreans like their bread lighter and fluffier,” said Han.

Canaan offers two over-sized buns—a macaroon, made with walnuts and almond paste, and green tea bread with chestnut, walnut and raisins. “People are always coming back for the macaroon,” says Kay Kim, who estimates that 60 percent of the customers are Asian, 40 percent Western. “The two big ones are most popular with Westerners,” she says.

You can also get typical Korean cookies at the bakery—white bean and chestnut, red bean and walnut, and chestnut, plus layered cakes.

Canaan, at 478 Plainview Rd., is open seven days a week.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Social and Ballroom Dancing

September 5

ECC Open House

September 6

BOE Meeting

September 10



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com