Shanghai is filled with fusion foods geared towards the local palate with some proving appetizing, while others are, in our humble opinion, pants-crappingly terrifying. Throughout this Halloween season, we’re trying the most hyped (okay, hyped by laowai) Frankenfoods to see if they taste as scary as people claim.
Popularized by Singapore’s BreadTalk, the fire floss mayo bun is a fixture throughout Asia. The fire floss, soy-sauce-sweetened pork strands with chili (also known as pork wool), spices up the otherwise mundane milk bun while mayonnaise glaze offers a creamy complement. But for whatever reason, with some versions these ingredients go Jekyll-and-Hyde on you, forming a terrifying chimera of a baked good.
Enter Tous les Jours’ unholy trinity of overabundant fire floss, milk bun, and copious mayo guts. It looks like any fire floss bun does – a baguette that mated with an Irish setter – but in this case, I’d rather eat the latter. You bite down and the fiery mange incinerates your sinus passages as if you snorted a colony of fire ants. You look to the milk bun to soothe the flame, but it offers little relief, and just when you’re praying for a sweet creamy center to save you, your teeth plunge into the gooey mayonnaise-filled bowels.
And their spicy pork floss and mayo bun isn’t a one-and-done affair. No, its aura festers in your gag reflex and psyche for the rest of the day, threatening to creep back up your throat at the mere thought of it. I haven’t eaten pork wool since (I’d now rather eat steel wool), and when I last tried a burger with mayo-based dressing I couldn’t finish it (no joke). Like with a once-lovable Disney character that violated you, I can’t look at the mayonnaise the same way ever again.
Now I realize many are partial to the more intense fire floss bun, and if you are more power to you. Unfortunately, my Asian background and liberal arts upbringing professing the virtues of “cultural understanding” went out the window within the first bite, screaming and pants-pissing the whole way down. Followed by a half-eaten fire floss bun.
You can find fire floss mayo buns at all Tous les Jours outlets for 7RMB.
Tous les Jours – 735 Ling Ling Lu, near Xietu Lu (零陵735号, 近斜土路). Tel: (0)21-6427-0917.
See a complete list of our Freaky Frankenfoods series here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].