Filled with Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Phillipino bakeries, the city of Cerritos pops with culture in all the most unexpected places. You can find unique flavors of coconut, jackfruit, matcha, ube, and even beef in pastries that tell stories. Stores are filled with native Cerritos community and people, like myself, who are curious about ingredients that aren't usually found in American cuisine . The demographics of the city say that Cerritos is 61.9% made up of the Asian community, 23.1% white, and 0.3% native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. When exploring Cerritos my dad came upon a coffee/pastry shop called Kape Republik that he went to with one of his very close friends with and was amazed. He took home an ube crinkle for me to try and I was speechless. Not only had I not ever tasted ube before but I had also never head about it or known what it was. Ube is a purple yam or a root vegetable that is usually found white on the outside with a bright purple inside. It can be mashed and transferred into all types of food.
On July 30th both my dad and I decided to visit the coffee shop to try even more. We started out by trying a pastry called baked turon roll. After some wikepidia-ing we found out that a turon roll was a pastry filled with sliced banana and jackfruit that had been rolled in brown sugar. The crust of the pastry was crisp but also flaky and the banana was smooth and was complimented by the sweet jackfruit. The jackfruit almost reminded me of a date, it added sweetness and made the pastry even better.
Next we tried the baked ube roll that was sadly disappointing. It had the same crust as the turon roll, but without the sugar, and was filled with a very mild ube paste. The top was covered in coffee tasting coconut.
The third pasty we tried was called a beef bomb was THE MOST AMAZING THING! It was extremely fresh and flavorful and was filled with potatoes and beef, it was almost like a phillipino version of Porto's potato balls but taken to a new, even more amazing level. If you are ever to come to Kape Republik I recommend that you order 1,000 of these.
Right after trying the beef bomb, the very kind owner's mom came over with two ube brownies she told us to try. I took one bite and my mind was racing with happiness and excitement. The brownie was perfectly baked to where it seemed both unbaked and baked. Your teeth sink into the brownie and a bold sugary-sweet flavor fills your mouth. This is another must have when visiting the coffee shop.
To finish this incredible place off, we had another ube crinkle that was melty with a perfect doughy textured a slap in your face sweetness. This is a definite must have for all adventurous food eaters. Kape Republik perfectly represented the diverse and beautiful city of Cerritos. Have a tasteful day!