Tikoy: A Chinese New Year dessert turned Filipino favorite

It is believed that Chua Chiu Hong, a migrant from mainland China, was responsible for making tikoy, the well-loved Chinese delicacy, popular. In 1912, he established a stall in the heart of Ongpin, in Manila’s Chinatown, and sold favorites like hopia, mooncake, and tikoy to cater to Chinese immigrants in the Philippines.

The stall grew to become Eng Bee Tin and is now considered the country’s most popular seller of Chinese delicacies.

Tikoy is regarded as one of China’s oldest delicacies. Its origin traces back to numerous different stories. One legend dates back over 2,000 years ago during the period of Confucius.

The story involves a “Kitchen God” who reports to the Jade Emperor on the behaviors of families, which will be the basis of whether their lives will be shortened or lengthened. Because of this, people would offer the sticky tikoy to the kitchen deity, making it difficult for him to open his mouth and speak ill of the family.

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