Picturebook: S’porean Snacks

I haven’t dedicated a blog post to local food yet; how strange. This covers dry snacks and junk food you probably wouldn’t find outside of Singapore, even though there’re also western snacks like Ritz crackers, Oreos, etc. available (see my previously posted list of international food brands available in Singapore, in addition to noting the following, which you can also find in Asian supermarkets in the US: prawn crackers, seaweed strips, dry ramen snacks, and this Asian trail mix I’ve had plenty of times but never quite found out the name of).

I didn’t include Cheezels, commonly found in vending machines, since it’s technically Australian, and I probably missed a few other snacks anyway. There are also vending machines for tiny bottles of Yakult, a popular yogurt drink that I think might also be available in the US. Asia has the strangest vending machines, though I’ll cover more about that when I blog about meals in Singapore.

Figure 1.1 – Seaweed Popcorn    Figure 1.2 – Swiss Cheese Lay’s

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So seaweed is a popular flavor for anything salty here. McDonald’s promotion? Seaweed shaker fries (also a tamago–aka egg–burger, and lime or green-apple swirls on their ice cream cones). Potato chips? Make ’em seaweed. Popcorn? Yesss.
Though it boggles me that for a country so opposed to cheese (when you order prata, a flat Indian pancake, at a stall and ask for cheese on top, you get like spray-cheese stuff that’s below the tier of even Kraft American), there’s a Swiss Cheese Lay’s flavor.

Figure 1.3 – Jagabee Chips          Figure 1.4 – Almond Fish
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The weird part about these purple potato chips isn’t that they’re made of purple potato, but rather, that I can’t stand it when chips masquerade as crunchy fries. That’s the most trivial thing ever to be annoyed by, but you–you just don’t understand my agony.

No comment on the almond fish other than that dry anchovies is a common addition to noodle-soup dishes here.

Figure 1.5 – Couque D’asses                          Figure 1.6 – Choco-Banana Hello Panda

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I put in the Couque D’asses chocolate biscuits just to make a horribly immature joke, but I’ll coward out and just leave the picture here.

I believe we don’t have a chocolate-banana flavor for Hello Panda biscuits in the US (just chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla), but I could be wrong.

Figure 2.1 – Ice Kachang                                  Figure 2.2 – Bean Curd and Honeydew

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I’m sorry I couldn’t show off more fresh Asian desserts like red bean soup, but the Ice Kachang (tricolor shaved ice with condensed milk various toppings) at the Yushof Ishak house’s canteen on campus is cheap (SGD$1.50, ~USD$1.20) and tasty. If you’ve never had grass jelly or red bean before, it might taste strange for you. It did for me anyway, because corn. I don’t get it, but I don’t need to get it to find it delicious, do I?

And the sweet bean curd (basically sweetened silken tofu) reminds me of the dou fu fa found in dim sum, but chilled and lacking the ginger syrup. As for the honeydew, that reminds me: papaya, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple are the most common fruits here. Guava’s also more common than in the States, and cantaloupe is called rockmelon here.

Bonus section: Thailand

Figure 3.1 – More Lay’s                Figure 3.2 – Packaging

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I should’ve put this in my previous post about Thailand, but apparently Singapore and Thailand are a lot more comfortable using young women with makeup to market completely irrelevant products like chips and fruit juice. And the other picture was just to illustrate, again, how cool Thai looks even in product packaging.

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