Have you ever tried a Taiwanese pineapple cake? These dense treats are flaky and doughy all at the same time. You might be wondering why they’re called pineapple cakes when they don’t look anything like pineapples. The short answer is that the dough is flavored like pineapples, and there is usually a core of pineapple flavored jelly in the middle.
Symbolism is important in Chinese culture, and that extends to Taiwan as well. The word pineapple means “prosperity arrives” so it means that it’s very lucky. Pineapples have become a national symbol of Taiwan and of good fortune and increased prosperity. That’s part of why pineapple cakes have become so popular.
What Makes Them Special
Unlike many other snacks, pineapple cakes can stand the test of time. If you’re not able to eat them right away, they will keep until you do. Plus, they’re small, so if you’re traveling, you can pack several at a time and have them when you need them. Plus, they’re hard to crush, so they won’t turn into crumbs if you drop the bag that you’re holding your pineapple cakes in. Traveling through Taiwan and looking for something to bring back for your friends and family? Think about getting pineapple cakes. While they are commercially available here in the United States, they are much cheaper in their homeland. There will never be a shortage of pineapples, either, since the pineapples used to make the cakes are all produced on the island.
The Importance of Pineapples
Taiwan has long been considered one of Taiwan’s most important exports. When the Japanese took control of Taiwan, though, it revolutionized pineapple production. New types of pineapple made it to the island that had never been encountered before. In 1971, over four million boxes of canned pineapple left Taiwan which led to a boom that lasted until the 1980s.
The 1980s slump refocused production of pineapple products from international markets to domestic ones instead. But now, supply and demand have come back around, making pineapples even more popular and causing a surge of demand for pineapple cakes around the world.
The Creation of Pineapple Cakes
Once upon a time, pineapple cakes used pineapple for the crust and were shaped more like conventional cakes. But this method was inefficient, and not the best way to capture the delightful flavor of pineapple. Winter melon was the key to making a better cake since it made for a tastier filling.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.