|Possibly the most popular gift from Penghu is muscovado sugar cake. Every visitor to Penghu will usually go home with at least one box. Such delicacies are best when they're fresh. Because of this, pastry shop owners adjust their production volumes according to tourist seasons.
Nowadays most shops offer home and airport delivery services, but in the early days, muscovado sugar cake was not even available for sale in these shops. This is because the first muscovado sugar cake, which was then Fa-Gao (yeast rice cake), was originally home-made only as offerings to ancestors. However, the muscovado sugar flavored yeast rice cake was not a "Penghu" invention, but brought over from Okinawa.
Many immigrants from Okinawa started their own businesses when they settled down in Penghu. Amongst these small businesses, there were quite a few pastry shops, and the muscovado sugar cake as we know it, was first introduced by a pastry chef, Maruhachi, as a new flavor in his shop.
As it would be costly to buy a large quantity, old grannies that enjoyed the taste of sugar brown cake began to try making their own at home. Over the decades, many Penghu locals had to leave home to work on the main island, Taiwan. Whenever they went back to visit for the holidays, grannies would make a mass of muscovado sugar cake for them to take back to Taiwan after ancestor worshipping events. Thus was how muscovado sugar cake gradually became well-known by all.
Tourists from Taiwan, who had tasted the treat of muscovado sugar cake, would like to buy some home when they were leaving Penghu. But since these were initially only made as offerings, they were not able to find any shop around that sold it. As demands for muscovado sugar cake increased, local pastry shops finally began to offer muscovado sugar cake in their shops. Since then, technologies improved the production process, helping to produce healthier muscovado sugar cake with even a smoother texture which is still light and fluffy. Together with a beautiful packaging, muscovado sugar cake now makes a wonderful Penghu gift that brings the taste of happiness.