Malaysian Treats for the Holidays
Decorate the hallways and beat the holiday blues with these tasty, delicate and easy-to-use Malaysian halal food products presented at the latest Malaysian Fest.
As the Christmas season approaches, the Malaysian Embassy Trade Office is holding a Malaysia Fest at 46 Robinsons supermarkets and 11 GoRobinsons online grocery stores to cycle through varieties of Malaysian halal food in the local market.
The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the trade office of the Malaysian Embassy, ââhas brought together its local brands that have a global market and have won international awards and food safety.
âAs consumers return to physical shopping, we felt the time had come to reposition our products,â said Matrade Trade Commissioner Siti Azlina.
As people become aware of its ready-made food brands, Malaysia is launching its bid for international recognition in the food and beverage industry. Highlights of the Filipino market include Old Town Hazelnut Coffee and Julie’s Le-Monde puff sandwich.
Malaysian food is the by-product of the fusion of Malaysian, Chinese and Indian influences with a British tinge. Aside from the time saving factor, Malaysian ready meals are certified as Halal (foods that comply with Islamic dietary laws and food preparation), healthy and affordable. Below are some Malaysian food items available at the local Robinsons supermarket.
Surimi and surimi products, which are foods that use minced fish paste or other seafood as an alternative to fish and the like, reflect the Chinese influence on their specialties.
Fusipim, literally translated as rich food, is also the Chinese name for founder Eng Seng Poo. The fisherman started the food business, starting with the fish balls. Its brand, Rich Mama, offers several flavors of fishballs. Meanwhile, vegetarians will appreciate Everbest for its tofu-based seafood.
When it comes to coffees, try Chek Hup and Old Town Coffee coffees and milk teas. These two Malaysian instant drink giants are known for their take on white coffee and their 3-in-1 coffee varieties. The first is founded by Chinese emigrant and entrepreneur Chek Hup. He developed Malaysia’s instant coffees using his signature rock sugar. The latter brand, originally from Ipoh, discovered its white coffee by experimenting with different beans and roasting processes and mixing them with condensed milk.
White coffee, a distinct Malaysian drink, was introduced in the 19th century by Chinese migrants who worked in local tin mines. However, the original coffee itself is not white in nature as the term “white coffee” is a literal translation of the Chinese name for coffee suitable for the Asian palate.
For those who can’t resist breads, there’s the Indian-inspired section with frozen flatbreads such as plain roti and paratha, layered bread with onions and oil, and healthy chappatis and oil-free that are succulent any time of the day. They go well with curries. Uncle Saba’s Poppadoms are a ready-to-eat version of the classic poppadom, a paste made from refried bean flour.
Meanwhile, one can trace Malaysians’ fondness for puff pastry from the British Cornish pasty, a tasty pastry pocket filled with meat and vegetables introduced to the peninsula in the 19th century. The Kawan brand (“friend” in Malay) is expanding its shells and wraps. It offers ready-made delicacies with lots of flaky layers of butter and dough.
Malaysia’s booming urban population has driven the demand for hassle-free food and drink that complements the fast-paced lifestyle.
“We want to make Filipinos more aware of the wide range that we offer. Trade between Malaysia and the Philippines is healthy. Food and beverage is an important sector,” said the trade commissioner. As a result of the joint effort between Robinsons and Matrade, Azlina added that the trade agency hopes for more collaborations with the supermarket company in the future.