The Budget Kaya Taste Test

Photograph kaya taste test by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

One of the unexpected benefits of knowing the Creator of the world, i’ve come to discover, is an exceptional ability to enjoy the things of this world. One can exclaim confidently,”Ah, my Father made this”, before settling down to delight in his good provision.

Kaya is a marvellous concoction of eggs, coconut milk/cream, sugar, and sometimes, pandan leaves. There is a choice of:

    • “traditional” or “hainanese” kaya that tastes more caramelised and even like dulce de luche; and
    • “nonya” kaya that comes in shades of green from the fragrant pandan leaf goodness within.

Photograph traditional Singapore breakfast at Toast Box by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Kaya jam is usually slathered on some charcoal-grilled toast or steamed soft white bread and this happy duo topped with a slice of butter. For a complete meal, add soft-boiled eggs pepped-up with soya sauce and a dash of white pepper, and some good strong local coffee or tea.

In this taste test, we tried store-bought kaya that cost less than S$3, thereby ruling out the usual stalwarts like Ya Kun, and Killiney Kopitiam.

Sampled were the following brands:

  • Singsia Traditional Kaya Spread
  • Singsia Pandan Kaya Spread
  • Sunshine Homemade Hainanese Kaya
  • Sunshine Homemade Nonya Kaya
  • EveryHome Natural SRJ Egg Kaya
  • Glory Nonya Kaya
  • Uncle Cook’s Premium Quality Pandan Kaya

Photograph OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Surprisingly, it was the strangely green Mustafa-housebrand Uncle Cook’s that won by virtue of its complexity of taste (not too sweet, nor eggy, nor caramelly) and texture (not strangely gel-like or gunky).

I’d very much like to make some myself one day! Recipes for future reference:
Shu Han of mummyicancook
Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost
Bee of Rasa Malaysia
Yvonne Ruperti of Serious Eats

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