As early as 1593, pineapples were brought into Malaya from South America by the renowned Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus. The years that followed saw widespread pineapple plantations in Singapore which resulted in the country becoming an important center of the global pineapple-canning industry. One of the big pineapple plantation in Singapore is at the northern part of Singapore, where the present Yishun Town is located.
The creation of pineapple tarts was largely attributed to the Peranakans who were strongly influenced by the Portuguese settlers in Malaya, who in turn were well-known for their pastries and tarts. With the abundance of pineapples in the area, it was being turned into pineapple jam/paste. Combining the pastries and pineapple paste gave birth to the popular pineapple tarts today.
In Hokkien and Cantonese families, pineapple translates to “Ong Lai” which means “Prosperity Come” and to add, pineapple is golden in its rawest form, therefore giving these tarts to your loved ones signify the Gift of Gold and wishes of prosperity.