03/04/2024 08:14 PM

JELEBU, April 3 (Bernama) -- Extraordinary touches from the residents or clients at the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) here in producing pineapple tarts synonymous with Hari Raya Aidilfitri have captivated food enthusiasts.

Its delicious taste and fluffy texture, melting in the mouth, coupled with being homemade starting from the pineapple cultivation process until the core production by clients at the centre, make the Bakeri Titi Gold pineapple tarts comparable to other products in the market.

A customer living near Puspen Jelebu, Noraini Zamani, 38, said she fell in love with the pineapple tarts after trying them for the first time last year after receiving them as a gift from a friend.

"I'm not a big fan of pineapple tarts but after trying the ones made by the clients here, I found them so delicious that I couldn't stop eating. The filling is generous and thick and has a very strong pineapple taste. This year, I won't look for others; I'll order from here," she told Bernama.

As a pineapple tart enthusiast, private sector worker Siti Azura Azam, 45, acknowledged that the pineapple tarts produced by the residents at Puspen are truly different and in a class of their own because of their non-brittle and -fatty pastry besides being cheap.

"Given its premium taste, I feel the price doesn't reflect; for me, it's very worth it. We don't judge; even though I know it's made by clients here I will continue to support their products, indirectly giving them a second chance when they leave Puspen," she said.

Meanwhile, a client who wishes to be known as Fadil, 34, said it took him a week to truly master making the tarts, guided and supervised by Puspen supervisors to ensure the recipe remains unchanged and maintains its quality.

The young man from Terengganu, who was once trapped in a three-year methamphetamine addiction due to peer influence, said that although the work may seem easy, they need to be more meticulous, including ensuring the consistency of the filling.

"Alhamdulillah, if I hadn't been placed here, I might still not have recovered. The programmes here really help us recover. It might be difficult to try to recover on our own outside because we're alone, and we could fall back into recidivism anytime.

"I never thought I would make tarts; usually, it's women who do it. Here, we have several projects and I chose to make tarts. I want to learn something new and can use those skills later when I leave. The demand for tarts during the festive season is high, and we work six days a week," said Fadil, who has been in Puspen for a year now.

According to Puspen Jelebu director Norasiken Ahmad, orders received for this year's Aidilfitri increased by almost 80 per cent compared to last year, with sales exceeding RM32,000 indicating the community's trust and positive response. The money was deposited into the Puspen Jelebu Trust Account.

"On regular days, there are only eight clients in the bakery, but as Aidilfitri is around the corner, we increase it to 15 clients due to the high volume of orders. They work overtime from 7.30 am until 5 or 6 pm. The clients here are overwhelmed with fulfilling orders.

"Besides using premium ingredients, the specialty of these pineapple tarts is the filling made from MD2 pineapple, which is grown here. Moreover, the price is affordable, at only RM30 per box containing 50 pieces of tarts," she explained, adding that orders are also received online, through mail and corporate programmes.

She also said that aside from pineapple tarts which are the main products, Bakeri Titi Gold also produces blueberry, roselle, nyonya, dahlia and strawberry tarts, as well as red velvet and chocolate chip cookies, and pineapple juice and ice cream.

On its plans, Norasiken hopes to get more acknowledgement for its new farming projects, like growing cocoa and bananas. These projects are approved by the Department of Agriculture and follow the Malaysian Good Aquaculture Practice (MyGAP) standards. The goal is to make chocolate one of the main products at Puspen.




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