Have you bought your Chinese New Year goodies yet? PrimaDéli sent me some samples recently as an introduction to their selection of Chinese New Year goodies.Pillow Pineapple Tarts @ S$14.80 per tin (left) & Fortune Pineapple Tarts @ S$1.60 each (right) Image reproduced with permission from PrimaDéli
For many Singaporeans, Chinese New Year is synonymous with goodies such as Bak Kwa and Pineapple Tarts. Given the Chinese propensity for all things auspicious during the Lunar New Year period, pineapples (凤梨 feng li) are regarded as symbols of wealth, fortune and luck. Aside from its auspicious symbolism, why are Pineapple Tarts so popular? Encased within a buttery crust, the tartness and sweetness of the pineapple jam is tempered by the savoury flavour of the pastry.Clockwise from top left: Pillow Pineapple Tart, Golden Orange Cookie & Chicken Bak Kwa Cookie @ S$14.80 per tin for all 3 flavours
The bite-sized Pillow Pineapple Tart had a soft and crumbly pastry that yielded to a sweet pineapple jam. The filling was a little too sweet and a little too smooth in texture for my liking. The pastry was not buttery enough for me too but in all, it was decent for a store-bought Chinese New Year treat. The Golden Orange Cookie and Chicken Bak Kwa Cookie were new creations for 2013. I didn’t like the strong orange essence-like flavour and the slightly spongy texture of the Golden Orange Cookie as I prefer my cookies to be crumbly. The Chicken Bak Kwa Cookie sounded really interesting but the Bak Kwa bits were very dry and had a flavour that reminded me of bottled bacon bits. However, one man’s meat is another man’s poison so you should try the samples at the store if they have them on hand before deciding if they’re worth your while. Amongst the three different treats that I tried, my vote goes to the Pillow Pineapple Tart. Check them out and let me know what you think.
If you’ve ever tried making Pineapple Tarts, you’d know that making it the traditional way (although there are many recipe variations) is a labour of love. Traditional pineapple tart filling involves grating fresh pineapples by hand to retain the fibres and cooking it slowly, stirring constantly, for a few hours with sugar and spices (such as cinnamon, cloves and star anise) till a thick paste is formed. Last year, I decided to make a small quantity of Pineapple Tarts from scratch. I grated pineapples by hand and stood over the stove for about 4 hours to cook the filling…man, that was 4 hours of my life I ain’t ever getting back. I understood why many people have opted to buy ready-made pineapple paste which is what’s found in most of the commercially available pineapple tarts right now.
The goodies come in airtight containers and are available at all PrimaDéli outlets islandwide till 9 February 2013.
PS: Thank you, PrimaDéli and Celina Lim of Foreword Communications for the samples.