I eat hopia. Once in a while I would buy this inexpensive Chinese-originated treat in a store and take a bite just to fill my empty tummy.
Along with Chef Onille last october 29, 2007 on our way back to the office after an arduous week of training in TESDA in Sta. Cruz, I discovered the best hopia that can topple the most popular and tastiest hopia in the country.
Chef Onille Caballero (an Executive Sous Chef) led me to a very clammy store in Quiapo that only sell hopia of various flavors. The store’s name was Master Hopia. I was not excited upon entering the store. I just followed behind Chef Onille in looking among all the hopia in front of us without looking forward to anything. I did not expect anything at all since I haven’t seen a Master Hopia deli or branch in any of the leading malls or supermarkets in the metro.
I chose to buy the “hopiang monggo” (a flaky Chinese puff pastry filled with mung bean paste) that cost five pesos each. The store attendant expressed that it was the freshest among all flavors for it was just pulled out of their oven. True to its word, the hopia handed to me was still warm.
The hopia’s look seems ordinary, boring and not mouth-watering. It was wrapped in a mundane wax paper then placed inside a small plastic bag that does not even have a print or label of Master Hopia. I even thought that the owner needs to improve on its merchandising and packaging (walang ka sosyal-sosyal!). The hopia’s circumference was a bit smaller and the thinkness was thinner compared to the very popular and milky-tasting Eng Bee Tin variety.
But when I had my first bite, I had an out-of-body experience! It’s like I was gone to Heaven then back to Earth when I swallowed it. I swear, I never thought that a hopia could be that delicious.
Ano ba English ng hopia?