Joanne Chia

Every year the family would buy jars of pineapple tarts and Belly Good Tarts is one of those that would consistently remain on the list. I can demolish a whole box to myself purely because we would not stop at purchasing just one. Yummy!!!

Lee Kok Xiang

As a baking enthusiast myself, I often enjoy trying out different pastries and bakes during my downtimes and Belly Good Tarts was a delightful surprise! The services were good, the staff are friendly and the pineapple tarts were fantastic! I’ll definitely be back for more and I’m looking forward to whatever new items they will put forth in the future!

Jack

It has been a long journey with Belly Good Tarts and I am proud to be part of this team creating and spreading the joy of pineapple tarts. It is always an excitement to see the smiling faces of our customers joking about how much they can eat in one go simply because of how addicting the tarts are!

Xin Yi

When we first started, I didn’t know much about how these would all work out and was really nervous and flustered with the business side of things. Thankfully, a lot of our friends and family were really supportive and we’ve learned so much together and I’ll always be grateful and amazed by the things we’ve achieved with the Belly Good Family!

The Magic behind Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts; A buttery, small, bite-sized pastry well known to be one of the key factors that have increased the weights of people all around.

So what makes them so good?

Is it merely the convenience of having these little pastries being able to quench the sudden urges to have a snack? Or perhaps the way it can be easily passed around and shared with our families and friends?

Does it matter?

Probably not, especially as I reach out to snag the last tart off the plate while writing this.

A quick Wikipedia search would lead us to the humble start of how the little snack was created;

Pineapple tart is a small, bite-size pastry filled or topped with pineapple jam, commonly found throughout different parts of Southeast Asia such as Indonesia (kue nastar),[6] Malaysia (Baba Malaykueh tae or kuih tair,[7] Malay languagekuih tat nanas), Brunei and Singapore in various forms.[6]

The pineapple tart was possibly invented back in the 16th century when the pineapple, a fruit native to South America, was introduced by Portuguese merchants to Asia, specifically the Malay Peninsula.[3][4][1][2] A similarly influenced pastry, known as pineapple cake or pineapple pastry, is also found in TaiwanSouth Korea and Japan.

Which brings a thought to mind: How did the pineapple tarts arrive in Singapore?

Well, once upon a time, Singapore in the mid-1800s had so much pineapple fruit readily available that people were complaining about the fruits blocking out landing places and staircases! In 1849, it was the third most cultivated crop in Singapore by acreage and was often grown as a catch crop alongside rubber trees, which required a considerably longer amount of time to mature. However, the sweet-sour juicy fruit also faced a number of challenges when it came to being shipped off on longer distances; Mainly, it did not fare well on the long journeys and was difficult to keep from rotting as it equated to a longer time out as well.

Thus, entrepreneurs came up with the idea of canning pineapples, leading to a boom in the industry as it allowed the exportations to spread out across the world, creating and providing a lot more job opportunities for the communities of Singapore as one of the earliest manufacturing industries born.

With these, the pineapple tart was eventually born by the various cultures brought in by the different colonials and early immigrants, forming a bite-sized snack of ethnic harmony.

These bite-sized snacks are an amalgamation of ethnic influences in Singapore: a distinctly European buttery biscuit base topped with a dollop of Nyonya-style pineapple jam scented with spices like star anise, cloves and cinnamon, native to this part of the world.

In Hokkien and Cantonese, pineapple is called ‘ong lai’, which literally means ‘fortune come’. The naturally golden pineapple fruit was seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, used in Chinese rituals like rolling it into a new house to welcome riches into the home. Pineapple tarts also became ubiquitous during the Lunar New Year as it gained popularity as an auspicious gift for family and friends.

Source: The Michelin Guide

 

Did you know? There were even pioneers of Singapore crowned as Pineapple Kings!

For more information about the Pineapple Kings and the rare images kept by our very own National Archives of Singapore, check this blog out!

Psst… Our local NLB is also a great source of information about pineapples and their influence in Singapore!

With that said, let us return to talking about the addicting little treat.

As the years go by and the eras roll forward, so do the creative touch of our pastry bakers.

The tart whose classic look would form the image of a little delicate flower waiting to be consumed at once has achieved even more recognition by the hands of these different cultural roots as well as bringing the other types of pineapple tarts to attention to the classic-lovers.

For example, the Taiwanese Pineapple Cake has a rectangular shape and a mix of pineapple-winter melon jam filling, adding milk powder and parmesan cheese powder to the dough mixture which changes the texture of the pastry and adds a touch of that mild, sweet-pungent flavors to the taste.

Food For Thought shares with us the difference between Malaysian Pineapple Tarts and Taiwanese Pineapple Tarts, bringing out detailed observations of their unique points.

So which type of Pineapple Tarts do you like?

If you have yet to try the classic open-faced pineapple tarts or the enclosed golf ball pineapple tarts, do give our humble little store a try!

💖Contact us with the Contact Form or call/WhatsApp us at 8213 8199 today!💖

A New Year, A New Tart

Chinese New Year Traditions

How much do you know about the traditions and customs of the upcoming Spring Festival? Are you ready for all the fanfare and exciting events to come?

Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for the various Asian countries throughout, with all of the family members gathering together for:

  • Spring Cleaning 【大掃除】;
    • Clean the house to welcome a fresh new year!
  • New Year’s Shopping 【新年購物】;
    • There is a saying amongst the Chinese, “Celebrate the New Year with New Clothes” and thus many people would take the opportunity before the New Year to shop for new clothes in order to ‘start anew in the new year’.
  • Hanging up of Spring Couplets 【贴春聯/貼揮春】;
    • ‘Couplets’ in Chinese means to be synonymous, thus ‘Spring Couplets’ means to be blessed synonymously with the words written and hung. (For example, commonly used spring couplets often hope for good luck and prosperity, thus hanging them up would portray a jovial atmosphere as a decoration as well as an extension of sharing the equivalence of good luck and prosperity all around.)
  • Thanking the Stove God 【謝灶】;
    • The legend goes that the Stove God is in charge of cuisines, fortunes, and prosperity, thus every year he would return to Heaven on the twelfth lunar month and report to the Jade Emperor about the good and bad deeds of the mortals. (This is a tradition that carries high importance amongst the people.) The twenty third or fourth day of the twelfth lunar month comes from an age-old saying of ‘Official Three People Four’【官三民四】, referring to ‘only the government officials are to worship the Stove God on the twenty-third and the common people worshipping would be done on the twenty-fourth’. However, there is no longer this restriction in this day and age.
  • Welcoming the God of Wealth/ Welcoming Cai Shen 【接財神】:
    • Incense is burned and prayers are given on the fifth day of the first lunar month (Said to be his birthday) at the temple of the God of Wealth. Friends and relatives visiting would exchange New Year greetings, most commonly “May you become rich!” (恭喜发财/Gong Xi Fa Cai).
      • Brittanica gives a brief summary about this Chinese Deity, Goodyfeed explains a little further about the custom in the present-day and Wikipedia shares a little more about the variations of Cai Shen which is often referred to in Feng Shui, otherwise known as Chinese Geomancy.
  • Selling Laziness‘ 【賣懶】:
    • A popular custom in China’s Guangdong region, where every child is given a red chicken egg, lights one incense, and would walk down the streets carrying a lantern and singing, “Sell the laziness, sell until the last night of the year, people can be lazy but I won’t be!” In older times, the children would dress up in new clothes, socks, and shoes before the new year. When the bell of the new year chimes, the children would walk out the door to step on ‘lowly people’ (to mean people with vile characters) and hope that the new year would proceed safely and harmoniously.
      • Did You Know? Children ‘selling laziness’ actually comes from classic lore. Legend says that in the Queen Mother of the West’s Peach Garden, there was a great big lazy bug. It often curled itself up in the Peach Garden, sucking the juices of the peaches in Spring and eating the fruits in Autumn. On one Autumn’s day, the peaches had a great harvest and it wanted to secretly eat the fruits but was found out by the Queen Mother. In a fit of rage, the lazy bug was banished down to the mortal plane. Once this lazy bug had arrived, it burrowed its’ way into a child’s nose and turned into a slug. On the nights while the child slept, it would crawl onto the blankets and turn into a big lazy bug, thus the child would often laze about on the bed in the morning. This resulted in the custom of having the children head out to ‘sell laziness’ every end of the year, in order to pray for continuous improvement and motivations to work hard the following year.
  • Release the Fire Crackers 【燒炮仗/放爆竹】:
    • A tradition with more than two thousand years of history that involves setting off firecrackers in order to chase away the ‘Nian’ monster in Chinese folklore.
      • For more details about this tradition, check this out!
      • IMPORTANT: Do take note that for safety and environmental protection purposes, many places have imposed bans or restrictions on the use of fireworks and firecrackers thus it is important to check up on the laws of the areas before planning to purchase any firecrackers.

During New Year’s Eve, people would also gather together for a family reunion dinner (年夜飯) and visit the lunar new year markets (逛年宵) that would be decorated with that extra festive flair. On the first day of the lunar year, they would swarm to the temples to claim the first prayer (上頭炷香), attain blessings (祈福), watch the fireworks show (燒炮仗) and Lion Dance (舞獅), visit their relatives (拜年), give or receive red packets (派红包), and various many more traditions depending on the area and culture.

Besides all that, people often eat rice cake (年糕 ‘Nian Gao’) made from glutinous rice flour and sugar, as the word cake (糕 ‘Gāo’) and the word for high/tall (高 ‘Gāo’) had the same pronunciation, so the consumption of rice cake held the meaning of ‘attaining greater heights with every step’ (步步高升). Glutinous Rice Balls were also a definite favorite choice of dessert after the Family Reunion Dinner, as the tasty round treat carried the meaning of a harmonious family circle and joyous gatherings.

Many treats often carry such different meanings behind their names and origins and one excellent example is the Pineapple tarts. “Nastar” cookies or “Tat Nenas”, a local term for the snack, adopted its’ name from “ananas taart” in Dutch which means pineapple tart. Our post here dives into the magic behind these bite-sized delicious pastries.

The word for the pineapple fruit in Chinese dialects (E.g: Hokkien and Cantonese) is “Ong Lai” or “Wong Lai”, a homonym for “Wealth Arrives”, so the act of gifting pineapple tarts to friends and family is about bringing prosperity and fortune to them for the upcoming new year ahead.

Wishing you a prosperous every day and we hope you give our very own local pineapple tarts a try!

💖Contact us with the Contact Form or call/WhatsApp us at 8213 8199 today!💖