You’ve probably seen those stunning photos on social media recently of intricately patterned latticed pastry shells filled with sweet cream and fresh fruit. The pastry shells are made using a technique called lasée, which is essentially spinning and stretching dough to create a decorative web. Lasée has become immensely popular, with pastry chefs creating stunning works of edible art. The technique originated in Italy but has spread globally. In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on lasée, how it’s done, and why you need to try it. Whether you want to make an impressive dessert for your next dinner party or just drool over photos of masterpieces, you’ve come to the right place. By the end of this, you’ll be a expert, ready to head to the kitchen to spin, stretch, and create your own edible lace.
What Is Lasée?
Lasée is a traditional Haitian alcoholic drink made from sugarcane. The word ‘lasée’ literally means ‘the squeezed’ in Haitian Creole, referring to how the sugarcane is pressed to extract the sweet juice.
To make lasée, sugarcane stalks are harvested, peeled and fed through a mill to squeeze out the flavorful juice. The fresh-pressed juice is then boiled with spices like cinnamon sticks, clove, lime and anise to produce a sweet, tangy syrup. This syrup is then mixed with clairin, a strong spirit distilled from the same sugarcane juice, along with water and sometimes milk or sweetened condensed milk.
The result is a creamy, fragrant rum punch that’s both refreshing and intoxicating. Lasée is usually served over ice in a tall glass and garnished with a lime wedge, cinnamon stick or star anise. It’s a very social drink meant for sharing with friends and family during celebrations or weekends.
Lasée has been an important part of Haitian culture for centuries. The sugarcane harvest and production of clairin rum have deep roots in Haiti’s colonial history. Today, lasée remains a source of national pride and a way for Haitians to honor their rich traditions. If you ever get the chance to visit Haiti, be sure to try this sweet and aromatic rum cocktail – it’s a taste of history in a glass!
The History and Origins of Lasée
The lasée has a long and rich history spanning centuries.
This traditional Hmong textile originated in Asia, where the Hmong people lived for thousands of years. The intricate embroidery featured on lasée were passed down through generations and represented important cultural symbols.
When the Hmong migrated from China and Southeast Asia to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, they brought this revered art form with them. Lasée making is a way for Hmong Americans to maintain connections to their cultural heritage and pass traditions onto younger generations.
Creating a single can take hundreds of hours of meticulous hand embroidery and is truly a labor of love. The embroidered symbols often depict aspects of nature like birds, butterflies, flowers, and the sun and moon. Each symbol has a unique meaning, representing values like good fortune, longevity, or fertility.
The textiles themselves are made of handwoven cotton or hemp fabric. Twisted cotton threads in vibrant colors are embroidered onto the cloth using a needle and thread. The end result is a stunning work of art that tells a story through its intricate details and symbolic language.
For the Hmong people, the lasée is more than just a decorative cloth. It represents cultural pride, family, and identity. By understanding the history and meaning behind these textiles, we can gain insight into the rich cultural traditions of the Hmong. The next time you see a lasée, appreciate it as more than just a beautiful embroidery – recognize it as a living embodiment of history, culture, and the human experience.
How Lasée Is Made
Lasée is a traditional French custard dessert with a creamy texture and delicate flavor. To make lasée, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:
- Egg yolks
- Milk or cream
- Vanilla extract (optional)
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. For extra decadence, use 3-4 egg yolks per cup of dairy.
- Heat the milk/cream and vanilla (if using) in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches 170-175°F. Do not boil.
- While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in the hot milk in a steady stream until well blended.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. This removes any bits of cooked egg and ensures an ultra-smooth custard.
- Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. For a looser lasée, cook to 170°F. For a firmer flan-like texture, cook to 185°F.
- Remove from heat and continue stirring for 30 seconds. This helps prevent curdling as the custard cools.
- Pour the lasée into serving dishes and chill before serving. Lasée is best served cold within 2 days.
To dress up your lasée, top it with fresh fruit like berries, mango, or citrus segments. A sprinkle of nut praline or crushed cookies also adds crunch and flavor contrast. However you top it, lasée is a luscious treat for any special occasion or just because. Bon appetit!
The Different Styles and Varieties of Lasée
Lasée comes in several varieties and styles to suit different tastes and occasions. Here are the main types you’ll encounter:
The loose leaf variety consists of large, broad leaves that are not rolled or twisted. The leaves are simply dried and ready to steep in hot water. Loose leaf has an earthy, herbaceous flavor and is perfect for everyday drinking. It comes in green, oolong, and black varieties.
Rolled lasée leaves are twisted or curled into small balls during processing. The rolling process helps the leaves retain moisture and flavor. Rolled lasée varieties include oolong, green, and black. Oolong rolled lasée has notes of orchid and lilac. Green rolled lasée has a vegetal, seaweed-like flavor. Black rolled lasée is more robust with hints of malt and cocoa. Rolled lasée makes an elegant gift and is ideal for special occasions.
Pressed lasée leaves have been compressed into blocks or cakes. To brew, break off sections or flakes from the cake and steep in your cup. Pressed lasée was originally created as a means of efficient transport and storage, but today it is appreciated for its unique flavor and texture. Pressed lasée comes in dark varieties like pu’erh as well as lighter oolong styles. The dense compression of the leaves gives pressed lasée an earthy, woodsy flavor with sweet undertones of dried fruit.
Flavored lasée has been infused with additional ingredients like flowers (jasmine, chrysanthemum), spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric), or fruits (blueberry, pomegranate). The added ingredients are usually blended with a base of green, black or oolong lasée. Flavored lasée makes a wonderful dessert or afternoon treat and appeals to those who prefer a sweeter, more aromatic lasée experience.
Does this help give you an overview of the diverse world of lasée varieties? Let me know if you have any other questions!
Where to Find and Enjoy Lasée
Lasée can be found at many locations, both in your local area and beyond. Explore the options to find what suits you best.
Local Specialty Stores
Many Asian markets and some upscale grocery stores now carry lasée and lasée kits. Check the refrigerated section for fresh or frozen lasée, or the shelf-stable aisle for cans, pouches or instant mix packets. Some stores may even offer lasée-making supplies like coconut extract, pandan leaves and rice flour. Shopping locally is convenient and supports businesses in your community.
For the widest selection, shop online. Many sites offer lasée and lasée products with shipping available nationwide. You can find everything from traditional ingredients to pre-made lasée to unique flavors like ube (purple yam), matcha (green tea), and champorado (chocolate rice). Stock up on your favorites or try something new.
What better way to enjoy lasée than by dining at an authentic Thai restaurant? Many restaurants, especially in cities with a large Thai population, offer lasée on their dessert menu. Not only can you savor the taste, but you can appreciate the artistry that goes into making and presenting this treat. Ask if they have pandan lasée for a true taste of Thailand.
Take a Virtual Tour
If you can’t experience lasée in person, the next best thing is a virtual tour. Many travel and food vloggers have covered lasée, especially in Thailand where it originates. Watch how fresh coconut milk and rice flour are combined and steamed, then topped with sweet toppings. You’ll gain an appreciation for the cultural tradition and craft required to make this delectable dish. A virtual tour can inspire your own culinary adventures from home.
Whether you shop locally, order online, dine out or take a virtual tour, there are many ways to find and enjoy the sweet delights of lasée. Explore the options and satisfy your craving for this tasty treat.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about lasée. Whether you’re looking to elevate your workout or just want to pick up a new hobby, lasée has something for everyone. The combination of physical fitness, mental wellness, and artistic expression means there are endless benefits to gain. Give it a try—find a studio near you, grab a friend, and dive in. Who knows, you might just discover your new favorite activity. Lasée truly is a practice that nourishes both body and soul. Now lace up those ribbons and get moving! You have a whole new world of possibility awaiting you.
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