Chinese New Year is one of the major events as well as a significant holiday season in Singapore.
As a polyglot nation, the people of Singapore celebrate it together. You’ll see streets and shopping malls dominated by ornamental lanterns and flowers, and festive songs played over and over again. There will be fanciful parades, live performances and fireworks show for everyone!
And just like Christmas in Western countries, Chinese New Year (commonly known as Spring Festival) which lasts for 15 days is a time to celebrate and thank your family, relatives and friends for their support and wish them good fortune and luck in the new year.
Oh – and not forgetting, a time for feasting and munching on Chinese New Year goodies all day.
Here are 8 tasty homemade goodies by homegrown brand – Pineapple Tarts Singapore that never go out of style and make perfect gifts for your family and friends.
1. Ji Xiang Ru Yi – Chicken Floss Love Letters
Ji Xiang Ru Yi stands for ‘May peace and prosperity be with you’. It is composed of four different Chinese characters. The first letter Ji represents Prosperity in Chinese, it also turns out to be a homophone in Chinese for Chicken, too. Instead of the traditional love letters which are crisp, sweet and wafer-thin, Ji Xiang Ru Yi is a sweet and savoury combination featuring crispy egg roll filled with chicken floss.
2. Nian Nian Yolk Yu – Salted Egg Cookies
Nian Nian You Yu is a popular Chinese New Year phrase that literally translates to ‘may there be fish every year’. Really? The Chinese word for fish is Yu and it turns out to be the same sounding like the Chinese word for abundance. In fact, it is a Chinese expression for having an abundance, whether it’s food, money, friendship, or anything else a person might need every year. Here, the name Nian Nian Yolk Yu is a play on the words to indicate the ingredient in the butter cookies, that is salted egg yolk. Trust us, one bite of this buttery salted egg cookies will have you grinning from ear to ear and you simply can’t stop at one!
3. Bian Di Huang Jin – Salted Egg Fish Skin
Salted Egg Fish Skin needs no introduction, it’s one of the most popular snacks in Singapore. The crispy fish skin is coated in rich, creamy salted egg chunks which gives it a golden texture. That being said, Bian Di Huang Jin literally means ‘May the whole floor be filled with gold’ which perfectly suits this snack!
4. Thousand Layer Goodness – Kueh Lapis
Kueh Lapis is commonly known as a thousand layer cake which originated from the Dutch colonial period in Indonesia. It is pretty time-consuming to make Kueh Lapis because each layer of cake is stacked on top of each other which means each scoop of cake batter has to be spread evenly and baked in intervals. The final product is a beautiful, fragrant, buttery layered cake which usually symbolises longevity and soaring greater heights in business.
5. Xie Xie – Crab Sticks
Chinese New Year is also a time to thank your family for their love and care. The Chinese word for thank you is Xie Xie. If you find it difficult to let your family know, perhaps sharing this bottle of crab sticks might help! The Chinese word Xie also sounds exactly the same as the Chinese word for crab.
6. Xing Fu – Almond Cookies
Xing Fu is a Chinese expression for ‘Happiness’ and ‘feeling blissful’. We think these Chinese-style almond cookies will make you feel the same way too. The Chinese word Xing is a homophone which sounds like the Chinese word for almond. The Chinese-style almond cookie is believed to have been derived from the ancient Chinese walnut cookie which is a butter cookie with a walnut in the centre, which is considered to bring good luck.
7. Da Ji Da Li – Spicy Chicken Floss Love Letters
Da Ji Da Li is a Chinese expression to wish for good luck and smooth dealings. The second letter Ji represents Prosperity in Chinese, and it sounds exactly the same for the Chinese word Chicken too. For those who are a fan of spicy chicken floss bun, this is the crispy, thin wafer biscuits you need to try!
8. Melt in Your Mouth – Pineapple Tart
The iconic snack of Chinese New Year – Pineapple tart symbolises wealth and prosperity and you can always find a box of this in every Chinese household during this festive season. These melt in your mouth savoury and delicious tarts are called “Ong Lai” in Hokkien which literally means prosperity comes.