Background about NASTAR

The origin of Nastar cookies can be traced back to Indonesia. The word “nastar” itself is derived from two words: “nanas” meaning pineapple, and “tart” which refers to the pastry’s tart-like shape. Nastar cookies are believed to have been influenced by Dutch cuisine, particularly the Dutch butter cookies.

These cookies gained popularity in Indonesia, especially during festive occasions such as Eid al-Fitr (Lebaran). The traditional Nastar cookie consists of a pineapple jam filling enclosed in a buttery pastry crust. Over time, variations have emerged, with some recipes incorporating different fillings such as strawberry jam or chocolate. Despite these variations, Nastar cookies remain a beloved treat in Indonesian cuisine, enjoyed by people of all ages during various celebrations and gatherings.

While Nastar cookies are traditionally Indonesian, similar pineapple-filled pastries can be found in various cultures around the world. Here are a few examples:

  1. Pineapple Tarts (Singapore and Malaysia): Known as “tart nanas” in Malay, these are similar to Indonesian Nastar cookies but with variations in shape and texture. They are a popular treat during festive seasons like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.
  2. Pineapple Tarts (China): In China, pineapple tarts are often made during Chinese New Year and are known as “feng li su” (凤梨酥). They typically have a buttery crust and a pineapple jam filling.
  3. Pineapple Pastries (Taiwan): These are known as “feng li su” (鳳梨酥) in Taiwanese Mandarin. They are similar to Chinese pineapple tarts and are often gifted during special occasions.
  4. Pineapple Cakes (Taiwan): While not exactly a tart, pineapple cakes (鳳梨酥) are a popular Taiwanese pastry filled with pineapple jam. They are commonly enjoyed as a snack or gift.
  5. Pineapple Squares (Philippines): In the Philippines, pineapple squares or bars are made with a shortbread-like crust and a pineapple filling. They are often enjoyed as a dessert or snack.
  6. Pineapple Cookies (Hawaii): Hawaii is known for its pineapple production, and pineapple cookies are a popular treat there. These cookies often feature a buttery dough with chunks of dried pineapple mixed in.

While each of these variations has its own unique characteristics, they all share the common theme of featuring pineapple as a key ingredient, making them delightful treats enjoyed by many around the world.

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