Childhood snacks that will make you feel nostalgic
In case you haven’t heard, popular childhood snack Chicken In A Biskit is back on the shelves in Singapore. The addictive MSG-laden biscuits, which were discontinued in 2015, are now available exclusively at Giant supermarkets. With Chicken In A Biskit making a comeback here on the little red dot, we thought it would be a good time to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of Singapore’s favourite childhood snacks. If you remember more than half of these snacks, you’re most definitely an 80s kid!
Photos: Shopback, Instagram/@paigechua_tpc
1. Bubble Gum
Singapore is best known amongst foreigners for two things; our littering fine and our ban on chewing gum. The chewing gum ban only kicked in in January 1992, so 80s kids will fondly remember the days of this sticky chewy goodness. Pretty much everyone complained when these went away (apart from the relieved cleaners). Thankfully, they are still available across the Causeway.
2. Kaka Corn Snacks
The popularity of these crunchy baked caramel-corn snacks has greatly declined with today’s generation of youths. Now, the best alternative for the Kaka snacks are the popular Twisties.
3. Haw Flakes
These dark pink circle haw flake discs are actually made from the Chinese fruit, hawthorns. The height of Hawflakes’ popularity was in the 80s, but now they still can be found at smaller provision shops under HDB blocks. If your mum protests at the sugar content, just tell her it’s a fruit. And pacify her by sharing.
My boyfriend jokingly proposed to me with a RingPop before. Let’s just say it didn’t go too well. Now these RingPops are near extinct in Singapore, and only sold at select provision shops under the older flats.
5. Kacang Puteh
These nuts were commonly sold by friendly Indian uncles from wooden push carts. They would stuff the nuts into paper rolls and each roll would cost less than 20 cents. The popularity of Kacang Puteh has declined with the government’s health campaign to get street hawkers off the streets but you can still get them outside some movie theatres.
6. Pop Pop Corn Snack
KaKa, Pop Pop, Ding Ding, Dang Dang… People in the 80s kept the name of their snacks simple and sweet indeed. Just like these addictive hollow crunchy corn puffs.
7. Wheel Crackers or Potato Crackers
Light and airy, but awfully addictive, pinwheel crackers are a good low-calorie substitute for your soccer night snack. Let the nostalgia wash over you with a bag of pinwheel crackers and a can of beer in hand.
8. Gem Biscuit
Remember those days where you would constantly go after these in the mama stores? These icing sugar biscuits has got to be one of the most divisive snacks ever because my friends and I used to argue all the time over them. Was it was better to eat the icing first or the biscuit first? Did the different colour icing taste different?
9. Wang Wang Xiao Man Tou
Crush these Wang Wang Milk Man Tous against the roof of your mouth and let them melt on your tongue. These Man Tous were the cutest and most popular snacks in school.
10. Satay Stick
You wouldn’t mind the spice just to bite into these sweet pieces of chewy, meaty goodness.
11. Spicy Kerapek Ubi ( Chilli Tapioca Chips)
All kids know these days are Doritos and Lays, but these super-satisfying spicy tapioca chips are the true opium equivalent of chips.
12. Pola Snack
20 cents for a packet anybody? I loved peering into the hollow space as I took a bite into these Pola biscuits halfway through.
13. Bee-Bee Snack
Even with zero nutritional value, you couldn’t stop popping this suspiciously orange snack into your mouth.
14. Apollo Chocolate Stick Wafer
Before Kit Kat became cheap and accessible, Apollo was the best chocolate wafer snack in town.
15. Super Ring
Did you use to play the game where you would stack as many Super Rings on your fingers as possible? Getting your hands orange for this was no big deal, especially when the rings tasted that addictive!
16. Mitsuya Tasty Biscuit
These biscuits are the first generation of Pocky and Peperro. Nobody would know its name so we would all just point at the biscuit to the mama store auntie. Eat it plain or dip it into Nutella and peanut butter.
17. Hiro Choco Cake
Hiro Cake, while still available in mama shops around Singapore, has changed to suit the tastebuds of the younger generation. Back in the 80s, the cake used to be a lot firmer and less crumbly.
18. White Rabbit Candy
There would always be that one person who stared at you in disbelief when you told them the paper-like covering was edible.
19. Butterfly Cups (Or Pig Ears)
The first time I heard of this snack I thought my mother was genuinely referring to the ear of the pig. Real pig or not, these hard crunchy biscuits tasted wonderfully fragrant and were incredibly addictive!
20. Ling Mong Tablets
Sweet, tangy and perfect for those boring afternoons in class. These were the perfect sweet to eat when we were close to falling asleep in class.
The original Kinder Surprise, many bought these for the toy and not the chocolate. Are you guilty too?
22. Whistle Sweets
The bane of every teacher’s life, this sweet was the ultimate class disruptor. We all remember sneakily blowing into the candy when our teachers weren’t looking.
23. Ding Dang chocolate
You watched the Xiao Ding Dang cartoon when you were young while eating this.
24. Ding Ding Candy
Ding Ding candy got its name from the Ding Ding sound the metal tools would make when the stall auntie or uncle was hacking up your candy for you. Coated in white icing sugar, these Ding Ding malt candies would slowly melt in your mouth and leave you feeling happy and sweetened up.
25. Bika Chicken
Bika Chicken was the original savoury chicken snack that we munched on while watching our favourite cartoons.
I used to kid myself into thinking that this snack was actually healthy because, hey, it’s a vegetable right? These seawood packets were imported into Singapore in the 70s, and have been around ever since. I could polish off the whole sheet of seaweed packets in one go.
27. Eyeglass Chocolate Beans
You and your friends probably would have worn these individual Eyeglass Chocolate packets on your eyes at some point of time or another. These were our first candy-coated chocolates of choice before M&Ms and Smarties came along.
28. Pop Rocks
Popping candy was one of the most addictive inventions of our childhood. Today, popping candy is still a popular treat and kids of all ages love the pop and sizzle in their mouths. Tom’s Palette, an ice-cream shop in Bugis has a wonderful Chocolate Pop Rock ice-cream flavour in their repertoire, so be sure to check that out if you’re a pop rock fan.
29. Mr Softee
Mr Softee used to be the ultimate treat you could get at 7-11. For a short period of time 7-11 rolled out the Chendol flavoured Mr Softee too, but eventually they got rid of all the Mr Softee machines because the maintenance fees were higher than the revenue the ice-cream brought in.
30. Wu Hua Guo
These preserved figs didn’t look very appetising, but they were the perfect snack to hide in the pockets of our school uniforms to snack on when we needed a little pick-me-up. And not to mention a good bus snack when you felt nauseous as a kid.
31. Warheads Extreme Sour
Who remembers competing with their friends to see how many Warheads they could put into their mouths before squirming?
32. Ovaltine Sweets
These Ovaltine tablets are full of chocolatey and malty goodness. We had to be careful not to get them stuck between our teeth though.
33. Biscuit Piring Wafer
Take crispy biscuits, supersize them, add colouring and… this is the result. While the flavours of each colour biscuit remains to be identified, we had a cheap thrill snapping off and munching on this comically huge snack.
34. Apollo Chocolate Wafer
The other familiar alternative to Kit Kats. These chocolate wafers are now almost close to extinct.
35. Animal Biscuit
A pretty bland-tasting treat, we remember these biscuits as our first Encyclopaedia to the animal kingdom.
This is not the original packaging for the famous Chicken Flavoured Corn Snacks, but the flavour is still as good.
37. Candy Cigarette Bobdog
Smoking was always a huge no-no, so us kids would always get a cheap thrill putting these white Bobdog cigarette candies in between our lips and pretending to have a puff.
38. Cup Jellies
In my family, Red was everybody’s favourite flavour, while Yellow was always the last one to go. These tiny jellies were a quick treat in birthday party bags (though an incredibly deadly choking hazard as well).
39. Ice Pops
If you haven’t seen these around you’re definitely not an 80s or 90s kid. These were the perfect treat after a long hot day playing in the sun.
40. Paddle Pop
This colourful ice-cream can’t be very healthy considering the number of colours there are on one stick, but nobody cared back in those days. These Paddle Pop ice-creams can still be found in provision shops and supermarkets, but they might have to jostle for your attention amongst all the Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Daz tubs.
This story first appeared on Shopback.