Monday, September 14, 2009

The quest for "Kuih Raya"

While Malaysians are very familiar with the term "kuih raya", I'll spare my occasional oversea readers the agony of guessing what it is. It is a term to broadly describe cookies and pastries served during Eid Mubarak (and possibly on other big festival day). Yes, with Eid Mubarak less than a week away, festive mood is in the air.

While some opt to make their own "kuih raya", most working class people who has little time left for anything else, opt to just buy "kuih raya". The "kuih raya" could be found in all major shopping complexes and shops. And the variety is endless. Just point, pick and pay. I did just that over the weekend. Instead of buying it at a normal shop, I got the chance to tag along to the source: the cookies factory!

The factory is located in a rural area about 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Nearest town would most probably Sungai Pelek, Selangor. It is sort of a cottage industry. Owned by one of the villager, the factory employs local housewives. They came in the morning, work for few hours, went back to prepare lunch for their family, and then return to factory in the evening (optional).

Good thing about buying cookies straight from the factory is that occasionally you'll get a freshly baked, warm from the oven batch of cookies. Why not 'hot'? Because they let all cookies to cool down before packing. And people who buy cookies here, buy them in bulk. By bulk I mean a van full of nothing else, but cookies. Since all cookies are sold in non-descript containers, you are free to put your own label and sell the cookies as your own. And they sell cookies all year round.

How to get there, I've no idea. I fell asleep throughout the drive. But I do have the coordinate. So for GPS buff out there: N02 40.973' E101 31.866'

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