Brother brought these treats home when he dropped by before he and his family left for Sydney. More Chinese New Year related goodies – locally produced hopia.
Polland Hopia is one of the better hopia I have ever tasted. So once the packages were left on the table, I pounced on one of them with the kitchen shears. The labels recommend keeping the pastries in the refrigerator when storing and popping them in the oven for 5 minutes before serving. I have no qualms eating them in whatever way. That time, right away. I just wanted a hot beverage on the side.
While I was liberating a tea bag from its paper envelope, my sister observed that it would have been better if things were matchy-matchy, like the Red Mongo’s in the red wrapper, the Wintermelon in the green wrapper and the Mongo Special in the blue. Just as the Ube or Purple Yam is in a purple foil wrapper. She may have a point but I think people are already used to the Red Mongo being in the green wrapper.
I am not a fan of the Wintermelon (Hopia Baboy – Pork Hopia) variant as I don’t like pork fat if it ain’t in chicharon or bacon form. I could taste pork fat in the pastry but couldn’t find it in the list of ingredients. No lard either. There’s corn oil instead. And onions too. And I could definitely identify the winter melon in it. Growing up, we had wintermelon or kondol plants in our backyard and of course , we’ve often had jars of winter melon preserves in our refrigerator. Of the four variants, this is the only one with crunchy bits. My dad and my sister are all for this variant.
Of the four, I like the Mongo Special the best. It has yellow mung bean paste which is both smooth and creamy. The Red Mongo variant of course has a red mung bean paste filling which is characteristically a bit maligasgas, a tiny bit course in texture. Ube is purple yam and is my second favorite. The filling of ube halaya is just as smooth as the Mongo Special’s filling but denser.
What I like about Polland hopia is how the filling and crust come together. The filling’s thick, not overly sweet, soft and generally smooth. Consistency is consistent. The crust, crumbly, flaky and bland provides a good counterpoint. It may be on the thin side in and yet, as a chew on a bite, I find it proportional to the fillings.
For more about Polland Hopia, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PollandHopia.