SIBU: Despite the many cakes available in the market these days kompia is still a big favourite among people of various races here.
According to one kompia seller who only wished to be known as Wong, kompia also known as a Chinese bagel was a delicacy of the Foochow community, who were the earliest (Chinese) migrants to Sibu.
“It is a local delicacy one must try while in Sibu. It is not only famous among the Chinese community, but also a big favourite among Bumiputera races and tourists,” he said when met yesterday, adding that kompia was in fact a Hockien word.
“Kompia was first created way back in the 16th century in Fujian Province, China.
“It was common then for the local men to go to a two to three-day war. So, 10 to 20 pieces of kompia were strung together which the men put around their neck. They helped to settle the hunger pangs of the warriors while they were away fighting the enemies to protect their villages.”
Wong added that kompia was prepared by flattening the dough with a rolling pin, then spraying it with a little water just before sesame seeds are sprinkled on top of each dough.
“The doughs are then stuck onto the walls of an oven to bake for 10 minutes,” he said.
There are two flavours – salty and sweet. A salty kompia is sprinkled with sasame seeds while the sweet one is just plain.
These days, there is also the cheese-flavoured version. They are sold at RM1 for three.
Kompias are available daily from 6.30am until they are sold out, usually before noon, at many shops in town.-BP