31 May2006

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Childhood Food Memories is the selected topic for this month’s Lasang Pinoy 10 hosted by Chef Sam de Leoz at Buhay Cocinero, who will have a round-up in a few days of all the entries by Pinoy food bloggers and food enthusiasts from around the world. The topic is destined to be a classic. And I feared I had already exhausted all of my potential “entries.” If there is anything that I have learned from this blog, it is that food and childhood memories are inextricably linked. Over the past 18 months, I have received hundreds of comments and e-mails related to various posts that featured a recipe or fruit or place that readers recalled from their own childhoods…whether munching on duhat picked from a neighbor’s tree, eating pospas when down with the flu, or perhaps it was a special way a mom or aunt prepared a holiday dish, and the clarity of their memories is totally amazing. For the most part, the food-memory link results in an apparent rush of good endorphins that flood readers’ psyches wherever in the world they may be. The smell of frying daing, the stickiness of suman, and the smoke from a barbecue are all triggers for the mind. It has certainly made me think harder about my own childhood and what I recall as the “food highlights.”

I don’t recall too much about school before say 12 years of age, except that I used to play marbles on dried packed mud behind our school buildings, or that I saved up my meager allowance to buy nice big green spiders that we used to “house” in wooden matchboxes before we challenged each other to spider fights. I do, however, distinctly remember buying contraband green mangoes and bagoong, sampaloc with salt or dirty ice cream through the wire fences just near the gates of school. I do recall that occasional treat of a bottle of coke (remember those shorter curvy ones?) with those opaque wide plastic straws that everyone said were washed and recycled (yech!). I do recall the early 1970’s when my dad used to come back mid-morning to Matabungkay beach after a night out fishing near Lubang Island laden with several huge coolers filled to the top with enormous fish and the resulting kinilaw that was served for lunch. I recall fainting in Farmer’s Market when my mom dragged me through the meat section. I can picture specific moments when consuming indian mango with salt on the verandah of our Nipa Hut beach house. I do recall the smell of tuyo that we frequently had for breakfast at home in the city. The lechons that used to be flown in from Cebu when one of us had a birthday…

I recall the kaings of mangoes and sineguelas that my grandmother used to buy during summer vacations we spent in Cebu. The huge langkas that used to hang from the ancient tree outside our bedroom in Cebu, redolent with a smell you can never forget. The huge Bangkok santols that were the size of baseballs that used to ripen by the hundreds in our front lawn in Quezon City before the santol trees all got that weird affliction that has deformed their leaves to this day. The consilva, broas, otap and rosquillos sent from the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. The hot chocolate made from tablea grown on land of relatives in Bohol that my mom used to patiently twirl until it had achieved the desired smoothness and consistency (that I now know to be watery). I distinctly recall I ate nothing green except for cucumbers (?!) before the age of 11. I freaked out when I saw dinuguan being made from scratch and have never eaten it since. Pospas or lugaw was only eaten when I was sick and if I was REALLY sick, I also got a small pack of Hershey’s chocolate kisses and unlimited 7-Up and Sky flakes to help make me feel better. Beefsteak Tagalog is perhaps my oldest long-standing Pinoy dish favorite, and soaking my rice with the sauce and the onions is perhaps a taste that must make up one of the last 10 things I would request to eat if I was ever on death row. And life would not be the same without Del Monte tomato ketchup. And yet, re-reading what I am writing, I must add that I was actually a scrawny, gangly kid who didn’t really pay that much attention to what I was eating…I think I just ate to fuel the body. I couldn’t cook a pot of rice at age 15 if I were starving.

So what is my strongest childhood food memory? Oddly, I would have to say it is a toss-up between candied sampaloc in all its different forms and red kiamoy. What?!? Yup, that’s it…it appears across the entire range of childhood from perhaps 5 to 12 years of age. If I had extra money I would buy those large sampaloc candies with lots of rock salt that were wrapped in yellow (salty) or clear (sweet) cellophane right outside my grade school. I also purchased it at Mercury Drug’s snack food section many years later. I took sampaloc on day trips, weekend trips to the beach, long holidays, on the plane, on the boat (remember those ferries to Cebu with dopey names like Sweet Hope, Sweet Faith, etc.???). I ate it sugared, salted, in large bags, drier, wetter, and even in those white boxes that included the “ribs” or “fibers” around the fruit so you had to eat it like you were removing the flesh from a herring. It is a taste that I have never tired off and to this day I probably do not go a month without some sort of candied sampaloc though my tastes have evolved to this slightly spicy seedless version photographed here that is actually made in Thailand. There is something about the balance of acidity, sweetness and saltiness that makes this one of my favorite munchies ever.

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Almost as impressive in my memory is red kiamoy (which I grew up incorrectly calling champoy) of which I have consumed literally thousands of pieces by the time I reached 40. Forget the warnings that they were made in the armpits of sweaty folk from the mainland, hence their saltiness or the fact that they might be dirty… I absolutely adored red “champoy.” Its black sticky cousin dikiam was okay for me but the red one was the best. Every time I got to Tropical Hut groceries they had a counter of preserved fruits and getting a 100 gram bag of red kiamoy was such a thrill. Otherwise, I bought it pre-packaged with such thick gauge plastic it was incredibly difficult to tear open. I never knew the uncolored version was an option at that time and I actually enjoyed the fact that my tongue and fingertips would turn red while eating it. I could eat this by nibbling or popping entire fruit into my mouth. While others would soak theirs in Coke, I liked to eat them by themselves. My parents thought I had an unhealthy fixation on sampaloc and champoy but I now realize I was probably just self-medicating an un-diagnosed case of anemia and low blood sugar that I was “regulating” with sweet sampaloc and salty champoy. These snacks were not encouraged by my parents, which probably made them taste even better. Not even a naïve 7 year old would believe that the Chinese would color their armpits red so that my champoy would look and taste so good…

I recall eating sampaloc and champoy just about anywhere. At school, home, on the street, in cars, in planes, boats, at the beach, in Baguio, while well, while sick and after being sick. When desperate, I used to crack open the kiamoy seeds and eat the kernel inside! I also recall that I had huge supplies these goodies once my older brother and sister started dating as their dates used to ply me with the stuff to keep me happy as a their unofficial chaperone. If we went to the movies I inevitably got a huge bag of either goody and it was stocked for the next week or so! Today, I have shied away from the colored stuff but still frequently eat the uncolored dried plums from Aji Ichiban, seedless if possible. Yes, these are the absolute favorite childhood food memories for Marketman…not a meat of some sort, a special paella or a rich dessert…just some nice sampaloc candy and red kiamoy!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. millet says:

    my mouth is watering just reading about kiamoy. we, too, called it “champoy na maalat” for the longest time, as against “champoy na matamis”. or just plain champoy for the sweet black one. and yes, i’d crack open the seed to get at the kernel inside that was tangy and nutty at the same time. oohhh, i was never this “nangangasim” when i was preggy..before they came in the thick plastic bags, there were the retail packs of “fat and thin”…

    the sampaloc naman, my lips and tongue would get “burned” from eating all that salty-sour-sweet stuff…i would peer through the clear cellophane so i could get those with the biggest pieces of rock salt. wait, i have a pack in the snack box right now…

    May 31, 2006 | 2:04 pm

     
  2. Olive says:

    What really stands out from my childhood food memories is eating dinuguan with scrambled eggs! We would put the cooked dinuguan over hot rice, mix it together(making sure that every grain of rice is covered with the black liquid)and then mix the scrambled eggs with it! My cousins were all horrified at the way we eat this dish. Up to now, we still do it that way. My 3 kids (2 are already in college), would not eat dinuguan unless there’s a big plate of hot, scrambled eggs served with it. And the eggs have to be half cooked. My husband, who is a genuine Ilokano, has become a convert. So whenever there is dinuguan at the table, 12 eggs have to be cooked by the helper. I really do not know why my parents taught us to eat dinuguan this way; but I’m sure my children will also pass this “tradition” to their children!

    May 31, 2006 | 2:41 pm

     
  3. lori says:

    It’s impossible to read about sampaloc wwithout my mouth watering. I heart sampaloc. It’s the one thing I must eat when PMS hits. :p hehehe.

    May 31, 2006 | 6:30 pm

     
  4. Apicio says:

    Here is Lin Yu T’ang á propos: What is patriotism but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?

    The Manila Sunday Times Magazine use to run his syndicated columns in the fifties and sixties. Made a fortune on the publication of his introduction to Chinese culture called My country and my people. A friend of mine who knew him told me that he was reviled for it by other Chinese scholars referring to his best seller as “I sold my country and my people.” He made accessible to a lot of people (including me) the excellent introduction to Chinese life under the later Ch’ing Dynasty of Shen Fu’s Fu-sheng liu-chi or Six Chapters From A Floating Life.

    May 31, 2006 | 7:13 pm

     
  5. sister says:

    Kiamoy was always the term used in Cebu, champuy in Manila.Who knew then they were preserved plums? The best preserved tamarind was made by the grandmother of Marita Austria, she made enough to sell, too, but she gave her grandchildren’s friends bags to take home. Ichiban in Chinatown has the best selection, I tried several versions last week. They also have great salted yellow raisens… The craving for salt must have something to do with hot weather and the need to replace salts lost by perspiration.

    May 31, 2006 | 8:10 pm

     
  6. Manila streetwalker says:

    Apicio,

    Isnt Lin Yu Tang a famous turn-of-the 20th century writer?

    MM,

    What can I say about champoy except part of the thrill as a kid was going to the Chinese grocer and seeing those preserved sweets (with some other stuff) all piled up and the store, packed to gills with goodies!

    One of my childhood favrorites are those el-cheapo snacks (junk!) that you’d get for 50 cents a pack. Theyre really low-end chips(as opposed to the mainstream Jack and Jill) that youd get wholesale (in small packs of 12 and 24s) at the Divisoria market, oh how i loved stuffing myself with those junks! Ever heard of Wonder Boys? or Pom Pom Chiz Curls?

    Oh, and dont even get me started with manggat bagoong sold on the streets!

    May 31, 2006 | 8:10 pm

     
  7. carol says:

    Have you tried this product sold in Thailand that is called (this is what the label says) Chewy Tamarind ‘Plum Flavored’? They’re small bite-sized pieces of jelly-like sampalok candy coated with powdered kiamoy! Everyone who has tasted this goody has fallen in love with its deliciously weird (or is it weirdly delicious) flavor combination–your two childhood faves rolled into one! Just imagine the explosion of the varied sensations of the sweet-sour sampalok and salty-sweet-sour kiamoy all in one mouthful!

    They come in small plastic canisters and tin cans (get the one with the green color). Available in most supermarkets.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 12:56 am

     
  8. sha says:

    hey MM just came back from Monaco for the grand prix…
    back in antibes.. have no LP post this time

    but…. i felt transported to my childhood reading this one
    am salivating

    my dribbling here thinking the sampaloc
    my grandmother used to cooked the sampaloc ones we kids collect…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 1:42 am

     
  9. ces says:

    hi!
    drooling with those sampaloc and champoy photos! how could i have forgotten about them during my recent trip to manila!!! those that come from thailand are nothing compared to ours!

    Jun 1, 2006 | 6:38 am

     
  10. frayed says:

    Childhood food had a lot to do with school food – cottage pie (ground beef topped with mashed potatoes), Assumption “meat” (some tough meat with sauce), siopao and siomai (closer to Ma Mon Luk’s), “New York pizza” (the farthest thing from NY pizzas but we liked them, esp with the pink ham, which when you removed them left a pink square on the pizza)…and our famous Assumption tarts – pie crust with guava jelly on top.

    Also, does anyone remember Jack & Jill’s bbq curls and shrimp curls? Leslie’s Wheat Crunch (in a can), Carol Ann’s greasy potato chips in the clear plastic bag, bbq fritters and cheese fritters.. These companies should bring them back.

    Our house’s 70’s food: beef stroganoff, tuna casserole, mechado, steaks (we ate a lot of meat those days), fried chicken.. For vegetables it was creamed brocolli, boring boiled pechay, potato salad with chicken and green beans.. but earlier, I do remember the rice shortage and for a seemingly long period of time, everyone had to eat this rice variety mixed with corn and it was horrible. Now that I think of it, it was probably healthier bec of the fiber.

    Was not a big fan of sampaloc and champoy (sorry, MM) but I ate them, not with as much relish as you did (do). I liked those Hau flakes better, esp if they came in the form of playing cards.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 7:08 am

     
  11. bernie says:

    One food that I really enjoyed during my childhood is a of hot, steaming bowl of BINATOG with a dash of iodized salt and slight smothering of butter. *yum*

    Jun 1, 2006 | 7:52 am

     
  12. Marinel says:

    Great piece! I think I just found the site to check every once in a while. Keep up the good work.

    As for my childhood food memory? I would have to say Palitaw and Nilupak! I can’t wait to go back!

    Jun 1, 2006 | 8:08 am

     
  13. MGR says:

    Our summer vacation ritual:
    Morning- dirty ice cream (queso, corn or ube flavor..sometimes ice buko with red beans)
    Afternoon- Taho from our local street vendor
    Evening- Penoy or balut still warm in the foam insulated basket wrapped in a newspaper with salt.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 12:30 pm

     
  14. MGR says:

    other childhood foods:
    Leslie’s clover chips
    quiquiam from Malabon
    goto from Plaridel, Bulacan
    Pan Bonete and quesong puti from Merced Bakeshop
    Chocolate truffles and coupe Denmark from Manila Pen
    Puto Bungbong/bibingka at Simbang gabi washed down with Nescafe instant coffee served in the “free” glass container.
    Lintzer cookies from Mandarin Hotel
    Fruits in our neighborhood (Caimito, duhat, aratilis, santol)
    My mom’s best manggo tart which I cannot replicate to date.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 12:38 pm

     
  15. lee says:

    to Manila streetwalker:

    oh yeah wonder boy with the horrible white packaging and inconsistent shapes.. love them! really do… i also recall other low end chips and curls of old like he-man and dakuykoy. snacks of yesteryears = loads of cheap chips plus two bottles of pepsi at 50 cents each

    Jun 1, 2006 | 1:18 pm

     
  16. Mandy says:

    i used to call the kiamoy, champoy too! my classmates look at me oddly when we’d buy kiamoy and would call it champoy. but i preferred the champoy talaga–sweetish and furry! :) and i also loved the kulangot ng in_s_k or rather, haw flakes! i saw some at gaisano when we were in capiz and there are bigger sized ones and they changed the look of the packaging.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 1:38 pm

     
  17. juls says:

    childhood favorites:***sigh

    *steaming batchoy with 3 buttered toasts and cold coke with a straw, eating on the lanai looking afar to the lawn as the august rains poured…

    *magnolia vanilla ice cream – i was forbidden to eat this brand of ice cream, but my grandma sneaks a pint into the fridge every now and then….

    *butong-butong, kalamay-hati, hard caramel candies – my grandma usually buys them at the manug-libod (vendor) when she visits the downtown market

    *inday-inday (palitaw with muscuvado dip), steaming pancit molo, pork bbq and rainbow-colored bread with cheese pimiento filling during childhood birthday parties…

    *weird childhood food: toasted bread dunked in Coke!!! yum yum! MM, you should try it just for kicks. Back then, i didn’t find it wierd. I do now.

    Jun 1, 2006 | 2:52 pm

     
  18. juls says:

    lee: is the WONDER BOY you’re referring to are those moon-shaped fish crackers that are very thin and highly seasoned with msg and TNT, that are being sold in the sari-sari store? the design pa nga parang straight from the 60’s? if so, that and Magnolia’s Mango juice is my perfect combination of an afternoon merienda from school in bacolod… hehehe

    Jun 1, 2006 | 3:09 pm

     
  19. juls says:

    lee: i forgot to add, remember:
    *He-Man (orange colored cheeze puffs)
    *She-Ra
    *Enteng the Dragon (yellow-colored chicken-flavored puffs)
    *Sunrise green peas snack (yung nakabalot sa foil)
    *yema (those hard candies w/ yema centers w/ a toothpick *sticking on top & covered with pink cellophane)
    *white rabbit candies
    *CHIKININI!!! – forerunner of the boy bawang…
    *camote-q being sold by vendors outside school…
    *Bobot (a weird candy: peanuts coated in an M&M-like shell)
    *Rin-bee? yung cheese stick snacks… meron pa ba nun?
    *fishballs that cost P0.15 each!
    *Ice Scramble (gee, what was I eating back then?!)

    **life was simple back then…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 3:19 pm

     
  20. juls says:

    the brands that I miss:

    RC cola
    Coney Island ice cream
    Sorbetero ice cream

    what else?…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 3:22 pm

     
  21. Marketman says:

    Millet, you are absolutely right, pre-select the ones nearest the biggest blobs of rock salt! Olive, dinuguan with scrambled eggs is a new one for me…NEVER ever before heard of this combination… Apicio, I have unfortunately not read Lin Yu T’ang…hmmm, something to add to my list of how to make Marketman more literate. Sister, salted yellow raisens? Cool. I have to try those. Streetwalker, you had access to more “bawal” stuff than I did in cloistered Quezon City… Carol, the chewy tamarind sounds like my kind of munchy…I have never tried it but will look for it the next time I am in Thailand. Sha, I was looking for a glimpse of you and the yacht on the televised version of the race…my daughter is a big Schumacher fan so she watches all of the races. We just missed the race in Barcelona a few weeks ago! Ces, I like local and Thai sampaloc but lately I have been buying the thai… Frayed, I like the hau flakes too but someone told me they were sweetened fish food and that dampened enthusiasm…what sneaky nasty grade schoolers will tell you sometimes! Bernie, I did a post on Binatog last year, if you are interested… Marinel, welcome on board! Thanks for visiting marketmanila.com! MGR…you had that all summer! wow, I would be 20 lbs heavier! Mandy, I called it champoy until corrected last year! Juls why was magnolia forbidden? Had to have Selecta or the one from the street vendors? Btw, does anyone remember those chewy fruit candy called JOJOs???

    Jun 1, 2006 | 3:25 pm

     
  22. juls says:

    MM, during those days we distributed Coney Island ice cream in the province, so bawal ang Magnolia sa house. One time, my mom caught me returning a pint of Magnolia into the fridge, well, suffice to say, i had to hear two homilies that week- one from the church, the other from another source.

    could I suggest an entry about Filipino junk food, vendor food, etc? (i know it’s unhealthy, but hey, we live only once.)

    Jun 1, 2006 | 3:47 pm

     
  23. Marketman says:

    juls, good idea on junk food but I am so ill-informed…I did do some binatog and commented on day old chicks after a trip to Baguio last year…Lasang Pinoy also did a special on street food early on…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 4:07 pm

     
  24. lee says:

    hey juls.. correct gid ang pag describe mo sang wonder boy… and thanks for the great list of junk stuff… have you tried the rc in complete rainbow colors and weird flavors?

    checked your link… taga bacolod man ko ah…

    hey marketman… childhood memories are really strong and profound and MSG laden

    Jun 1, 2006 | 5:18 pm

     
  25. shane says:

    hi, mm. since i came across your site months back i have included the checking of your post in my daily(before-i-go-to-work)regimen. I feel like I am waiting by the mailbox for the postman to bring a nice surprise!

    reading this post transported me back to my days in grade school at Bene. I could not wait to get my weekly allowance Sunday night anticipating by Monday afternoon I would have spent it all on sampaloc, kiamoy, pastillas de leche wrapped in white paper, mango shake served in dinghy yellow plastic cups, and most of all, I had to have it, a perfect ending to my day at school, sago’t gulaman.

    I never figured out why I always broke out in hives on my way home from school. The maids(bless them for not telling mom!)are on standby with crushed malunggay leaves they wipe onto my skin to help with the swelling-they say it is medicinal. I laugh about this now as many years have passed since those nostalgic days. About 9 yrs ago it dawned on me that I am in fact allergic to sago’t gulaman or whatever’s in it-this factoid i realized for the first time where? at the emergency room of course!

    Jun 1, 2006 | 7:23 pm

     
  26. Maricel says:

    Yes, Marketman, I remember Jojo candies. It was one of my favorites too!

    Jun 1, 2006 | 7:37 pm

     
  27. iska says:

    nangasim ako while reading! i love red kiamoy! yeah champoy din ang tawag ko dun when i was a kid…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 9:50 pm

     
  28. Manila streetwalker says:

    Lee,

    Oh yes, theyre the one. MSG loaded I know, but I loved them and still do.

    Also a list of my Divisoria goodies/junkies:

    1. Thos powedered milk candies that you used to swwooop with in your mouth, the effect of which was like eating polvoron and trying to sing(!) i think theyre called Haw haw or something…

    2. Those sugar-coated orange jellies that came in 4 pieces a pack.

    3. Mini-colored candies that came in a pencil-like form with a swinging acrobat at the end.

    4. Polar bear and Kisses (chocolate) candies

    Mandy,

    Kulangot ng Instik as another for Haw Flakes??? Hmm… first time Ive heard of it. Who ever thought of that name should be made to eat a BALE of Haw flakes in one siting! ;op

    MM,

    Signs of times. I was informed by a friend whos into the low-end sitsirya business that their price per pack (P1.00) for those tiny junk packs hasnt been raised for about 2 decades now. They just cant, otherwise nobody would buy. So everything just gets smaller…and smaller…

    Jun 1, 2006 | 10:10 pm

     
  29. edee says:

    i remember all those junk foods, cause we have a sari-sari store and siempre habang bantay eh panay din ang kain, i remember my mother telling us na wala daw syang tinutubo sa kakakuha namin ng mga paninda :)

    almost all the junk foods na nabanggit, paborito at nami-miss ko …….especially “Those sugar-coated orange jellies that came in 4 pieces a pack” :)

    Jun 1, 2006 | 10:34 pm

     
  30. JMom says:

    MM, my mouth is still watering, and can’t help but keep slurping :-) don’t I wish I had one of those kiamoy nuggets right now.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 12:59 am

     
  31. MGR says:

    MM, I guess we didn’t gain weight due to the constant playing and heat. I also remeber the soft Texas bubblegum and hard Tarzan bubblegum..Magnolia twin popsies that we bought and split among friends.
    I do remember the orange jellies and Haw flakes. What about the sweet/spicy pusit on a toothpick stick? And ice candy (melon’s my fave) from the neighbor’s freezer.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:29 am

     
  32. Marketman says:

    Amazing, what we forget! Geez, I LOVED those orange sections with sugar coating…I would need at least 3 packs to be satisfied! And Tarzan bubblegum! I found some in the grocery about 2 years ago while shopping for halloween candy. I was so amazed to see an old favorite that I bought EVERYTHING they had and was so thrilled to give it out…turns out the kids had NEVER heard of it before! Yikes, talk about feeling old. Magnolia twin popsies in orange and chocolate were the regulars…remember it in LANGKA flavor?

    Jun 2, 2006 | 6:21 am

     
  33. MGR says:

    I don’t remember the langka flavor..but I do remember going to the main Magnolia ice cream house in Quezon City and ordering from the yummy sundae selections with photos. The shakes were so liquidy you could drink it with the paper straws that flattened after 2 tries. I favorite sundae was “black and white”..with the chocolate and cream on top.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 7:37 am

     
  34. juls says:

    MGR, let me add to your repertoire the Bazooka bubble gum with the little comics inside, and the original Magnolia pinipig crunch…. before, lunches at the beach won’t be complete without the manong sorbetero plying the Magnolia Twin-popsies and Pinipig cruch…

    Jun 2, 2006 | 7:43 am

     
  35. rina says:

    hmmmm childhood drinks….
    — magnolia chocolait in glass bottles with a paper stopper and cover
    — Daisy milk in strawberry, vanilla and chocolate
    — Giselle milk in plastic packs that were sold in Mom and Pop stores (like what they still have at DTRI in UP Los Banos)
    — sunkist juice in the triangular predecessor of the tetra pak where you had to find the opening in all corners and take out the paper seal before you can put the straw in
    — and best of all…warm gatas ng kalabaw, brought in from the farm that same morning which i then poured over steaming rice and ate with salt.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 11:14 am

     
  36. Choy says:

    remember when the magnolia milk would be delivered by the milkman? sometimes he would come early and just leave it at our door in a sort of metal basket. the ff day he would pick up the empties.

    they would be in pints or quarts-magnolia milk and chocolait. if he ran out of chocolait, we would buy GRASSLAND choco milk and mix it with the magnolia. all this was in the early to mid-sixties. such a simpler life and time.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 12:03 pm

     
  37. mgr says:

    King of childhood snacks: ChocNut as it’s still in existence.
    Waxy Serg’s chocolate:gone
    Nips: gone
    Goya Curly tops: ?
    The post-mortem chocolates above tasted awful anyway. I also do remember the Magnolia pinipig crunch..and you CAN count the pinipigs stuck to it.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 2:30 pm

     
  38. Marketman says:

    Nips meron pa, just bought for Easter baskets I gave away. Curly Tops still around as well. Pinipig crunch still on offer but Magnolia was bought by Nestle so its under Nestle wrapper now.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:36 pm

     
  39. CecileJ says:

    FYI, those orange thingys are called “Orange Swits” and some supermarkets still carry them! RC Cola is also available in sari-sari stores. Sarap pa rin! Does anyone remember Apple Sidra (or is it Cidra) and Canada Dry Uva?

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:44 pm

     
  40. Dodi says:

    Hi MM!
    Nothing beats ChocNut of course. While in grade school, I used to eat kiamoy before going to class again in the afternoon as “dessert” and the prefect would not admit me if I did not brush my teeth! and when I was even younger, I would sing infront of a sarisari store for my daily dose of white rabbit or nougat candies or kung wala, a stick or two of “dalagang bukid” cookies na lang. Of course, on lazy summer afternoons, atop our tree house, we would munch on “bulanghoy” – supersarap!

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:46 pm

     
  41. CecileJ says:

    Oh, my favorite Magnolia products aside from twin popsies were the ube bar (ube ice cream coated in a white chocolate glaze) and nangka bar. Our kids are missing out on a lot of simple goodies!

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:49 pm

     
  42. Marketman says:

    CecileJ, omigosh, I remember those bizarre ube ice cream with white chocolate treats! Chocnut a universal pinoy favorite, but you need a drink wehn you eat them! White rabbit they still have in the groceries sometimes.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 4:15 pm

     
  43. Marco says:

    Cecile, how about sweet corn bar from Magnolia or the ice cream sandwich.

    Better yet, those (how do you spell it again?) ice-cramble being peddled near the school, complete with that mysterious white powder they put on top.

    How about those Choco Vim milk chocolate drink?

    Jun 3, 2006 | 7:53 am

     
  44. joy says:

    Marco that would be scramble and the mysterious white powder – buttermilk.

    Jun 3, 2006 | 11:43 am

     
  45. mgr says:

    Whatever happened to Vita soy chocolate drink? I used to just scoop the powder and eat it plain.

    Jun 3, 2006 | 1:11 pm

     
  46. izang says:

    nothing beats a bowl of hot champorado sprinkled with fried tuyo on cold, stormy mornings….yum…yum…yum……hope it rains…

    Jun 5, 2006 | 12:55 pm

     
  47. Liee says:

    oh my.. reading about all these food made me hungry. i’m a child of the 80s so i remember the Chocolait in the glass bottle bought from the manlalako there. yakult, too. and the puto-bumbong during simbang gabi… wow.
    what else? oh, tapsilog from Maty’s in Don Galo, Paranaque. the best ever! chocnut, everlasting favorite.
    and relatively recently, since this came out when i was in grade school, instant pancit canton!!! woohoo! hahahah
    white rabbit (the one where you can eat the wrapper, hahah), haw flakes… curly tops and flat tops…
    orange swits (the orange things)… judge candy…
    mighty mouse chocolate thingies…
    fruittella… i’m also a sustagen kid. i think i was addicted to it as a child. hahahah
    there are a lot.

    Jun 6, 2006 | 3:53 pm

     
  48. Cocinero says:

    Hey Marketman, somehow our childhood experiences are quite the same in some ways. Mischief was best suited to describe me in elementary school during the early sixties. After devouring all the candied sampaloc, I would toss the seeds into the rotating overhead ceiling fan during boring lectures and all hell breaks loose :}
    I still suck on those kiamoy specially when i have colds and my taste buds are dead. Sinigang works for me when I’m under the weather. Kiamoy does help whenever I try to cut down on my smoking. Thanks for participating.
    CIAO!

    Jun 21, 2006 | 4:40 pm

     
  49. shem says:

    I’m still in my childhood years cause I’m still 15 and when I read your childhood food likes. I thought of myself going old and still buying my favorite kiamoy and sambag.(or sampaloc)I calla sampaloc = sambag because I’m from Cebu and we call it this way. I love kiamoy too! When I’m extra good and we go to the supermarket I ask my mama to buy me kiamoy or sambag. Or I buy myself liamoy that costs 8.00 pesos only which is wha I’m able to buy with my small baon.(allowance)But which contains only small kiamoy.Last, last Christmas I bought kiamoy from Aji Ichiban and they didn’t last until New Year. What with my sisters also liking kiamoy and sambag. I first found about kiamoy when I asked my mama what is the red thing inside the pacifier candy or Dodo candy.(its like a pacifier made of sugar and inside is a kiamoy)And she bought me a pack and I liked it so much so until now I still long for it. My mouth is still watering until now, but I’ll just drink water to quench my craving for kiamoy and sambag.

    Aug 12, 2006 | 4:39 am

     
  50. Marketman says:

    shem, I used to spend all of my allowance buying kiamoy as well. Trust me, the flavors and preferences will stay until you are well beyond your middle age…thanks for that comment!

    Aug 12, 2006 | 4:56 am

     
  51. Shem says:

    I,ve just opened up this site again and I found out to my surprise and delight that someone actually answered or wrote a note for me and I;m very thankful for that.Today is Thursday and last Tuesday I had 50.00 pesos that was given to me by my aunt and I bought it with sampaloc(sambag) worth 30.00 and the cheap kiamoy that is 8.00 pesos only. I distributed some of the sambag and kiamoy to my family,(I’m also a generous person or child, I was even awarded as most generous on my elementary years once.)and the day after I still have some of both left. After school, I went home and read some of my books the Chronicles of Narnia.(it was a gift given by some good people last Christmas.) And I just felt the urge to eat and eat my sambag and kiamoy. I brought it with me on the bed. And then there was no more of the two. After sometime, my tummy hurt a lot, I guess that was the effect of eating both the kiamoy and sambag at a little space of time.I DO HOPE THAT SOME OF YOU WILL ALSO WRITE A LITTLE NOTE FOR ME, IT IS FUN TO RECEIVE SUCH NOTES FROM PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND AND ALSO HAVE CRAVINGS FOR BOTH KIAMOY AND SAMPALOC(SAMBAG.)Tomorrow I am going to represent my school (It is a small school actually) for a computer contest. I am assigned to do the Microsoft Powerpoint and I’m a bit nervous and afraid because I haven’t the slightest inkling on what the theme is all about or about hyperlink.(I am still a child and I don’t know that much.) Love you all Kiamoy and Sambag(Sampaloc) Lovers!!!

    Mabuhay Tayo!!!:P

    Sep 1, 2006 | 12:47 am

     
  52. Emmanuel says:

    Emmanuel here from Boston. I’m on a quest fro that ever ellusive sweet tsampoy, also known as dikiam or kiamoy.No luck so far. Been in california, georgia, tenessee, alabama. nort5h carolina and others state .No luck. Tried the internet still non. Do anybody sell them on the web?

    Send me some from Pinas, I’ll pay.

    Emmanuel
    Boston, MA U.S.A.

    Sep 6, 2006 | 2:30 am

     
  53. Marketman says:

    Emmanuel, Boston has a pretty decent Chinatown, have you ever tried going down there to look for a store that sells preserved fruit? New York is almost certainly a good second choice…

    Sep 6, 2006 | 6:08 am

     
  54. regina says:

    i am a kiamoy lover as well.. i can’t resist its taste-so powerful… once, i ate a bag full of kiamoy and after that, i was diagnosed with UTI. i stopped eating for a while-as in totally no kiamoy muna… huhuhu. pero di ko talaga mahindian yung lasa nya. i guess, i am addicted to it. i am from angeles city, here we’ve got limited stores that offer preserved products. famous for selling these is baliuag. kaso ung stock nila ng kiamoy, iba ang lasa. kaya everytime i buy, pinipili ko pa. i remember when i was in grade 6, i used to buy 8pcs. tpaos i would sell them to my bestfriend double the price hehehhe. di nya na nga ata naaalala yun.
    my mom used to call it kiamwi-i don’t know why.
    now, medyo tumanda nako naglearn na ako. after eating kiamoy inom ako ng madaming tubig.
    once, lumibot ako sa may tutuban, nakabili ako ng kiamoy by fat and thin, since then un na nag brand na binibili ko…
    also, i also like eating haw flakes. i remember when i was still a kid, we used to joke about it as the body of christ. (sorry po) i am fond of eating “mapa” ewan ko ba kung anu talaga tawag dun. parang tapa na maanghang. tapos bibilhin mo cia kilo-kilo. may kinakain pa kami, parang kahoy cia na lusaw-lusaw pero lasang karne. basta, andami kong kinakain pero diko alam mga tawag. hehehe. before i end pala, i am also addicted to sampaloc or tamarind.

    Sep 13, 2006 | 2:18 am

     
  55. Amora says:

    Oh my goodness….red Kiamoy rocks. Your memories made me realize how old I am. I have this funny memory when I was younger, I had American neighbors in Cainta. We introduced them to Kiamoy and to my delight, they loved it and bought tons of the stuff to take home to the US.

    Thanks MarketMan!

    Oct 18, 2006 | 4:35 am

     
  56. marie says:

    Hi Market Man, sorry but I’m not one of your dedicated readers at all — actually stumbled upon your blog siguro less than a year ago researching on ice cream for a project, and it was only last night that while surfing I came upon it again (come to think of it, now I don’t even remember what I was surfing for that made me go to your blog!). Your post on childhood food is 1 year old — that’s how far back I’ve been reading since last night, I love food and I love unpretentious nostalgic food reviews!

    Anyway, from my childhood I remember haw flakes, which for some reason my family and I called “titina”. I have no idea where that name originated from and whether other people call it as such. Back in early gradeschool in Poveda in the 90’s I would buy and steal (yes, steal! My allowance of P20 was not enough to buy all the goodies I wanted back then!) those tiny pink and yellow packages of titina in the canteen. I remember the cashier lady being mean, siguro that’s why I stole. They were such tiny disks that I would savor in my mouth, one by one, and sometimes, by small stacks. Sometimes my siblings and I would pretend it’s the host in Communion, and we’d pretend to be the priest giving each other Communion.

    Recently I’ve started to get addicted to it as my dad (who’s in his late 50’s) and little brother (who’s 12 — how titina has spanned generations! I wouldn’t be surprised if the titina industry / distribution in this country is over 120 years old.) love love love it. Our local supermarket has a stand that sells dried delicacies (kiamoy, which I loved as a kid, the red ones, and other goodies), candy, and of course, titina, in bulk — you know, the stuff that’s displayed in clear containers and the saleslady shovels whatever you want in clear plastic bags, and the prices are in per 50g? Now the titina is huge, host size, which I suppose is better as it more than satisfies any titina lover’s cravings. Up to now I would buy a 100g bag of giant titina, which costs about P45. I don’t know if that’s a good price or not, but it’s worth it. That bag usually lasts about 2-3 days.

    A few months ago I spotted the pink and yellow packaged tiny titinas in Divisoria, wherein a package of 10 stacks costs only P8! I only bought 3 packages and immediately regretted that I didn’t buy more.

    Sorry for the lengthy commentary on heavenly Haw Flakes. I read your response about how you stopped eating this when a classmate told you it was made from fish food — FYI, it’s made from haw berries and sugar. I have no idea what haw berries are, that was in the ingredients list on those pink and yellow stacks. Maybe it’s a concoted ingredient, one that’s code / a euphemism for fish food?? However it is made, it is still delicious! If it’s nutritious for fish, why not for humans, no?

    I will bookmark your blog and hopefully I will continue to religiously read your posts. From the posts I’ve read, I’m sure you relish writing about food. I’m a foodie too, I like to cook, and I love to describe food to people. I’m inspired to write my own blog about food, thanks to you! Perhaps in the future…

    Til my next comment,
    marie

    Jun 4, 2007 | 10:45 pm

     
  57. jessa javier says:

    am ok! madami naman akong natutuhan kaso wala dito ung hinahanap ko! pero nung nabasa ko ung laman ng website aba naging interisado ako so babalik ako to explore and learn t.y ulit.

    Aug 22, 2007 | 7:38 pm

     
  58. chunky says:

    childhood faves and not-s0-faves?
    manor house- local version of baby ruth
    white rabbit ( w edible paper)- i wonder if they were safe back then?
    taho- papa would not let me eat them, including dirty ice-cream (reason? the vendor might not have had the chance to wash their hands when they go…)i buy when papa’s not around…tsk…tsk…tsk…
    sarsi with raw egg- anyone else had this? eeewww!!!
    twin popsies and pinipig crunch, and oh, don’t forget sweet corn bar- we used to sell magnolia products in our garage, but we always end up eating them…
    jojo- di ba local tootsie roll yun?
    fish ball- sorry, never liked them, never will…squid ball pa…
    palutong- am not sure if this is how they call it, this is the shrimp chicharon, rectangular in shape, dipped in vinegar, sold in plastic na pahaba…may tali na straw…
    butter ball- hard candy
    last, but not the least…
    champoy- do you know some people don’t know and have not eaten champoy? what planet were they from, i wonder? it’s always shocking for me whenever i hear that…

    Sep 9, 2007 | 1:57 am

     
  59. shem says:

    HeLLo! It’s been a long time since I last opened this site. I’m already in 4th year high school and tomorrow I’m gonna be 17 and i was hoping i could have some kiamoy! hehehe! SOme things never change. Hope i’ll graduate with honors considering i have some difficulties in math equations and PROBLEMS! So i can ask for a bag of kiamoy from my family if I get a medal.

    Feb 18, 2008 | 12:49 am

     
  60. dondon says:

    good day folks! just wanted to know the procedures and ingredients of my favorite delicious kiamoy (homemade by myself). Salamat sa Dios kapatid!

    Feb 28, 2008 | 12:57 pm

     
  61. angelllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! says:

    guyzzzz i love kiamoy so much. the first time I tasted it, i vomit it….then after many days, i was looking for it.. so i bought 100g of kiamoy then enjoyed…..the end…

    Mar 18, 2008 | 3:12 pm

     
  62. shem says:

    YiPeeeee! I’ve finally graduated in high school. I was sooo nervous on my graduation day cause i had to up in front of everybody and deliver my speech. guess what that kind of speech that is. my valedictory address. YuP! i graduated 1st honor in my batch and now… i was thinking of having my medals weighed so i could get myself a bag of KiaMoY!!! hehehehe. It just dawned in me that i’m getting older n olfer everyday but some thing will never ever change. Kiamoy stiLL makes my mouth waTEr!!! MMMmmmmm…

    Apr 9, 2008 | 12:12 am

     
  63. dragon says:

    To Chunky: sarsi + raw egg = ponse. My grandma introduced this to me in the late 60’s/early 70’s as nightcap. Also what you call the shrimp chicharon/kropek. I could finish 1 whole bag, with seasoned vinegar. They still sell this. ChocoVim was “poor”man’s Magnolia Chocolait. I could only buy ‘Vim every 3 weeks or so to satiate my need for chocolate drink as my allowance wasn’t even enough for me to buy this everyweek moreso ‘Lait.

    May 5, 2008 | 9:27 am

     
  64. racadz says:

    well love the article! we both have something in common…sampaloc and kiamoy is something i cannot lived without especially when i see them in the groceries store…my father always have the perfect gift for my birthday 1pack of red kiamoy’s and the day isn’t end yet its all gone….thanks for putting this up at least i know i’m not the only one munching red kiamoys and sampaloc.;p

    May 9, 2008 | 12:15 am

     
  65. Frau says:

    I had recently gotten some kiamoy at the “Asian” market.
    I introduced them to some kids who are in love with all candies that are sour and make their mouths pucker and change colors. They could not handle the intensity. It was extremly entertaining.

    My other favorite was the tamarind candy. Specifically the ones wrapped in that yellow cellophane. Because every now and then the package would only unroll so far and you could not get the cellophane off, so I just would eat it rather than spend time picking the plastic off.

    And let’s not forget the corner vendor with the boiled peanuts. I always had to have them if we were going to Johnny’s supermarket.

    And those green mangoes with rock salt. Which I discovered are not really green mangoes but a different type of mango.

    I’ll stop, because I am making myself hungry.

    thanks again for another nostalgic posting. :)

    May 29, 2008 | 2:32 am

     
  66. aLfie says:

    I, too, was and remain a big fan of kiamoy, champoy, dikiam, and mahu–add to that preserved mangoes. I remember feasting on them as early as I was in kindergarten, circa 1976. My mom used to take me with her to Ongpin in Manila just to buy those Chinese delicacies.

    As an adult, I still adore them. When I was still in the Philippines, in the recent years, I was glad that these used-to-be-elusive Chinese candies have become accessible and available even in the malls via Aji Ichiban. Every time I was at Glorietta in Makati, I never forgot to drop by Park Square just to buy kiamoy et al.

    Actually, I’m here now in Manitoba, Canada, and I and my girlfriend are at the moment eating gray kiamoy. We call these now dried salted plums.

    Jun 23, 2008 | 7:30 am

     
  67. maricar says:

    Great memories!! Love the kiamoy or champuy as I called it. Do you know that the champuy powder which is that salty stuff around the plum is sold separately now?? Apparently it is very popular in Malaysia and sold in big plastic bags. I was lucky to find some in a small grocery in Green Hills Mall last March.. I am so hooked on this stuff. I eat it with mangoes, green apples, singkamas and even roasted a chicken with it and it was heaven.

    I grew up in Manila. My mom was from Zamboanga . We all spend summers there. Our property had every fruit tree imaginable. I remember the green mangoes would drop from the tree and I would just bite on it peel and all with some bagoong. I loved picking sampaloc and my mom would make the best dried sampaloc candies.
    Like you I love the round chewy once with lots of rock salt and sugar around. I still buy fresh once here in L.A at the oriental market and make the thick candied jam.
    Zamboanga was noted for it’s fresh sea food. My favorite was always the fries Hasa Hasa with the pickled small red onions and the adobong kangkong.

    While in Cebu this year we went to a restaurant whose name I cannot remember now but they had this adobong kangkong and it was so delicious.

    Writing, talking about food is amazing . It not only makes me hungry but it gives me the chance to reminice about all the wonderful times I had growing up in the P.I. and how lucky I was to have had the opportunity to experience all these great foods and thereby acquiring my love of cooking.

    Maricar

    Jun 28, 2008 | 1:16 pm

     
  68. Leo Mangubat says:

    Is Wonder Boy still available now? Where can I buy one? Thanks

    Apr 10, 2009 | 7:58 pm

     
  69. shem says:

    Hi guys!!!
    Its me again.
    but theres been some change.
    Im already in college.
    as a nursing student.
    Last January my family visited our
    bedridden lolo in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
    Before we went back to cebu, we spent some time
    strolling in Butuan city wherein one store
    sold kiamoy very cheaply. I bought packets and
    packets of them. It was white kiamoy, much too salty.
    than sour. It lasted for a while. After it was all gone.
    I kind of felt that i could stop eating kiamoy for some time.
    Since when i opened a packet, id consume all of it on my own since my siblings also bought some for themselves their was no need to share. but still, when i went pass an aji ichiban store, it was mama who said she’ll by me some.
    sadly, the red kiamoy didnt taste as good as it used to. It was kind of hupas i think because of being exposed to air.
    the kiamoy i tasted before during my childhood, i so eagerly want to meet again.

    May 5, 2009 | 5:17 am

     
  70. John says:

    Is it true that they dont sell anymore Wonder Boy? If they do, please tell me where to get them. Thank you!

    May 14, 2009 | 12:31 am

     
 

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