History of tikoy

SWEET, glutinous rice cake or tikoy. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BUCAIO.BLOGSPOT.COM

Like many instances in Chinese history and culture, there are various versions on how nian gao — the Mandarin translation of tikoy — came from.

But these tales on the history of the sweet, glutinous rice cake have one thing in common: salvation — whether it’s from the monster Nian who eats villagers instead of animals for food, from starvation, or from angering the Kitchen God and the Jade Emperor. The Lunar New Year delight is said to have saved lives and families back in the day. These times it feeds the grumbling stomachs of those looking and craving for a bite of the chewy, sticky, sweet cake.

Tikoy comes from the Hokkien word “tee keuh,” meaning rice cake. It is believed to have been brought to the Philippines by Hokkien immigrants during the late 19th century and was popularized by Eng Bee Tin bakery, which opened as a small stall in 1912 selling traditional Chinese delicacies — including hopia, mooncakes and, of course, tikoy.

It is cooked by coating the rice cake with a beaten egg and then frying — but the luck it brings can stick for a whole year round.

Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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