|Alternative names||Fengli Su, pineapple shortcake, pineapple pastry|
|Place of origin||Taiwan|
|Region or state||East Asia|
|Main ingredients||Pastry (butter, egg yolk, sugar), pineapple jam|
Pineapple cake (Chinese: 鳳梨酥; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄈㄥˋ ㄌㄧˊ ㄙㄨ, Taigi: ông-lâi-so͘), (Katakana: パイナップルケーキ), (Hangul: 펑리수) is a sweet traditional Taiwanese pastry containing butter, flour, egg, sugar, and pineapple jam or slices.
Pineapples became a critical component of Taiwan's economy during the Japanese era, during which Japanese industrialists imported a wide variety of pineapple cultivars and established numerous processing plants. By the late 1930s, Taiwan had become the third-largest exporter of pineapples in the world. However, when pineapple production in Taiwan shifted toward domestic sales and use of fresh pineapple, local bakeries sought to use this surplus in pastries. While pineapple cakes had historically been produced as a ceremonial food, a combination of governmental promotion and globalization popularized the pineapple cake. Pineapple cakes have become one of the top-selling souvenirs in Taiwan.
Since 2005, the Taipei City Government has run an annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Cultural Festival to foster the growth the local tourism industry and promote sales of the pineapple cake. In 2013, the revenue from Taiwan's pineapple cake bakeries totaled NT$40 billion (US$1.2 billion), and sales of pineapple cakes have also bolstered agricultural economies in rural parts of the country.
In Taiwanese Hokkien, "pineapple" (王梨; ông-lâi) sounds similar to a phrase meaning "to come forth, prosperous and thriving" (旺來; ōng-lâi). This phrase conveys the hope that many children will be born to the family. As a result, pineapple cakes are often given as engagement gifts, or simply as well-wishing presents in an everyday context. Today pineapple cake is considered a symbol of Taiwan itself.
Contemporary pineapple cake bakeries have created variations on the traditional pineapple cake. The filling may also incorporate preserved egg yolks or other dried fruits such as cranberries or strawberries.
Bakeries may also add winter melon to the pineapple jam. This practice was initially an effort to make the tart pineapple filling more palatable. However, in contemporary bakeries, adding winter melon to the filling may be seen as an indicator of lower quality.
The annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Cultural Festival often features a contest in which bakeries compete to create pineapple cakes that incorporate unconventional ingredients, such as rice or Taiwanese tea.
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- Media related to Pineapple sandwich cookies at Wikimedia Commons