Walking around Taipei, you will be coerced by many a shopkeeper with little morsels of yellow goodness, pineapple pastries. These are one of the most popular desserts and souvenir items in Taiwan. During our 6 days there, we were treated to samples from lots of shops, I was hesitant to buy until I saw a writeup about Chia Te having won awards for its pineapple pastries.
So on our last full day in Taipei, Irene and I took a taxi to Chia Te, armed with directions from the friendly staff of our hotel, Ambience Hotel. When we arrived there at around 10am, there was already quite a number of people in the store. I also saw two people on a motorcycle leaving the store carrying lots of packages, and thought to myself it must be really good.
Entering the store, our senses are drawn by the smell of the myriad variety of freshly baked pastries. We were surprised to see that there were no pineapple pastries for trial, so to be sure that we don’t bring home a product our taste buds don’t agree with, we bought one piece and tried for ourselves. After that taste we went and got a few boxes of it to bring home for ourselves.
If only the pineapple pastries were not quite heavy, we would have brought home a lot more. Another factor is the pastries don’t use preservatives thus will not last very long, around 3 weeks according to the box.
This is how the small box looks like, with 12 individually wrapped pieces inside. There is also a bigger box with 20 pieces inside but we figured it would be easier to carry the smaller box. Each piece is labeled very well, clearly indicating which one it is among the five varieties.
Each piece of Chia Te‘s pineapple pastry is a piece of buttery heaven for me. The shortbread outside is a thin covering barely holding back the pineapple filling inside from bursting out. The pineapple inside is not too sweet and is full of chewy goodness. Having tasted many different kinds of pineapple pastries during our trip, once we bit into the ones from Chia Te, we knew it was different.
Aside from the pineapple pastry, we also tried a piece of wife cake (Laopo ping), another product Chia Te is famous for. I would describe this as a flat hopia-like pastry whose outside is very flaky while the inside is slightly sweet and chewy. It was quite good.
I now know what to ask my friends going to Taipei to buy, Chia Te pineapple pastries. So if you are ever in Taipei, don’t forget to grab a box or two or three of these wonderful treats.
No.88, Sec. 5, Nanjing E. Rd.,
Songshan District, Taipei City
Nearest MRT Station : Nanjing E. Rd. Station
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