Together with several members from Singapore Teochew Group (STG), we visited a traditional Teochew pastry factory at Defu Lane 10 this morning. Today is the 15th day of the Chinese calendar, so it is a busy day at the factory as there are many orders to fulfil and deliver.
The owner allowed us to take photos while her workers were busy baking. With the extra four of us in the factory, it was a little cramp and we did get in their way sometimes. :P
A team of workers were busy baking Pong Piah 碰饼 (a flaky pastry with a special savoury malt filling).
As this is their top seller in the factory, they have a machine to mix and knead the dough but they have to wrap the filling and shape the pastry by hand.
The aroma of freshly baked pong piah filled the air as a worker moved trays of the hot pastries from the oven onto trolleys to cool them down. The owner promised to give us one each to taste after they are sufficiently cooled.
Some of these traditional Chinese pastries are laboriously made by hand.
At the back of the factory, a lone worker was churning out the traditional Teochew peanut candy called tau bang 豆板, The fragrant candy was too much to resist, glad we could pop a piece in our mouth after the worker has cut up a batch and offered everyone a taste of his masterpiece. hehe....
Next we proceeded upstairs to see the making of another traditional Teochew cake call zi che gor 书册糕 (book candy in Teochew). The block of pastry is cut into smaller strips so that it resembles the pages of a book. My late grandmother told us that if kids eat these, they will become more intelligent at school.
Black sesame powder was added to a different batch of the dough to make black sesame hoon gor 黑芝麻云糕 (cloud cake in Teochew).
As the workers have orders to fulfil by the end of the day, we left them alone and had a look at their finished products at the entrance of the factory.
These different animal shapes of peanut and sesame candy are used as offerings during big occasions such as the birthday of deities, death anniversary or during Hungry Ghost Festival.
They will be disposed after prayers and will not be consumed.
A large number of manufactured pastries were delivered since morning, so there was not much stock left.
Before we took our leave, the owner gave us the promised pong piah..... and a goody bag filled with her pastries. awww.....
yummilicious Teochew pong piah .... hot off the oven ♥♥♥!!