Friday, July 24, 2009

Some things never change (4)

Aiyah, enough talk about canes and corporal punishment. Let’s move on to something more pleasant. Yes, you’ve guess it - Food!

As a kampong boy, one of my favourite indulgences was to treat myself to traditional Chinese snacks in the afternoon. Just next to our house was a small stand-alone coffee shop with attap roof, owned by a Hock Chew man who we simply called, Fook Chow lou. (福州佬). He used to sell various types of snacks kept in cylindrical glass bottles. Besides the still popular items like Tao Sar Pia, most of them have become extinct – or so I thought. To my surprise, when I kept a lookout for them, many are still available in Singapore. So lately I have been buying them just for the purpose writing this post because I have forgotten some of the names. Anyway, I find that I don’t quite enjoy the taste anymore.

Here are just a few. If I find more, I will share with you later. By the way, all the names are pronounced in Cantonese

1) Luk Tou Pang (绿豆饼)



The way I ate this kueh was to first tear off and eat the circular edge before eating the main body.

2) Wan Pin Kou (云片糕)

They still pack it in pink colour paper; but the ones I used to eat were packed differently. Usually several pieces were wrapped in a single block about the size of a mobile phone. We would eat it layer by layer.

3) Hup Tou So (合桃酥)

I couldn’t find this biscuit in Singapore and was quite delighted to see it in a coffee shop in Yong Peng. I remember my kampong version was of a lighter, more yellowish colour compared to this one which came individually packed.



4) This fourth one was one of my favourites, but I cannot recall the name. I hope readers can enlighten me. It is still wrapped in translucent waxy paper.


One thing I discovered about all the about snacks. They are all very sweet.

18 comments:

sgporc said...

I never had a sweet tooth and the only cookie/biscuit that I really liked was one that used to be easily available at most indian muslim drinks stalls at the hawker centers. I never knew what they were called. They were off-white (yellowish) in colour, about 6-7cm diameter, probably some milk, malt, egg, sugar type cookies, home-made (ie. no brand, no packaging), that were normally kept in large glass jars. Crumbles in the mouth and best taken with a glass of milk tea... Seldom see them in recent times but I believe they are still available. Anyone know the name?

peter said...

chun see
U only like sweet things? What about sour stuff? I like sour stuff like sim buay, kana, kai yan chee, dried guava, san char kow, etc. I buy by 1/2kg each time I go shopping. Maybe I can equal those pregnant women when it comes to eating sour and bitter stuff?

yg said...

chun see, the 3rd one looks like a sugi biscuit. i used to eat the first 2 types, which my mother offered to the gods.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun See, the third photo down , with the crunghy looking biscut, I think it could be a Perkins, a Traditional Scottish biscut, Baked using mixed spice and ginger combined with oats, Baker Perkins , had plants all over south east Asia, Japan, Malaya, Borneo, Indonesia and in Singapore year 1973, the company was called Baker Perkins Far east Ltd.

Zen said...

Chun See did not mention another type of luk tou piang, shaped like a little 'mole hill' which I liked best from this roadside stall. The luk tou inside this puff-like biscuit tasted great. The price charged was ten cents, same as that of a coffee. When I felt hungry I would just self served myself to this 'piang' and placed a ten cent coin onto the table for hock chiew uncle who had very poor eyesight. Very often I could see uncle scanning a dollar note a few inches from his eyes to verify its authencity.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry Sgporc. I can't quite visualize your Inidan cookie. Anyway, I have never been a big fan of Indian cookies. But I do love roti prata and putu mayam though.

Likewise, I also cannot visualize Zen's 'mole hill' luk tau piang; and also don't know what is a sugi biscuit.

As for Tom's Perkin;s biscuit, I'll have to do a search on the internet to see what it is like.

Victor said...

Chun See, the Indian cookie Sgporc referred to iS the Sugi biscuit, a photo of which is available here.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun See I found this web address on the net , if you click on it you will find the biscut that looks like the one in the photo.
www.irvingsbakery.co.uk/output/biscuits.asp

timesofmylife said...

I've completely forgotten about the last one! Thanks for the reminder and I remember how I love to eat it especially the last item.

Zen said...

Ten cents seemed to be some kind of a standard charge by vendors those days and was deemed to be reasonable by both the sellers and the buyers. Though I was not particularly fond of coffee but I must say that the coffee served by hock chiew uncle could be considered first rate judging by its aroma and the 'solid' taste of the brew. When our family was in the mood of drinking soya, all I had to do was to hop over to our next door tou kua maker tenant. He would just scoop a container full of piping hot liquid soya from a huge concrete well, boiling over a wood-firing stove. Again the charge was ten cents and I noticed that the tenant was not too particular about the price but rather wished to maintain a good relation with us (so-called landlord).

Lam Chun See said...

Thank you all for the inputs. Tom is right. The Hup Tou So does look like Perkin's biscuit but I think it is just a coincidence becos the ingredients do not seem to be the same.

The internet is really amazing. I did a search of the hup toe so (using the Chinese words) and found several websites with photos. The one which has a photo resembling the ones I used to eat in the kampong days is found here.

But still no one has been able to come up with the name for cookie no. 4 :(

Tom said...

Tom said ...
Peter you made me laugh,what you had said about eating sour stuff, and can equal the pregnant women when it comes to eating sour and bitter stuff, I dont think so? I thought it was a good joke,I like it.

Luke said...

Hi Chun See,

It was interesting to read your blog. Maybe that is why your content do generate lots of interest among your readers.

I personally like Wan Pin Kou, however I rememeber when I was young I found hundreds on ants feasting on mine and since had not have one.

Anyway, I am currently conducting a user research on the use of Internet and computing devices, particularly among the bbaby boomers. I am wondering if you could help?

If you could, can you please contact me at lukester.goh@gmail.com.

Cheers

fighting fit said...

Chun See,
I think Cookie no. 4 could be found in a shop called Tan Hock Seng in Telok Ayer Street. I don't know the name too.
If I walk by and remember, I check for you.

jadelee said...

Hi Chun See,
I think cookie no. 4 is called 'lau ma kor', in Teochew. Simply translated, it is grandma's cake. I believe some Teochew families still offers this cake to the bride's family during the engagement celebration when the bride's grandma is still living.

Lam Chun See said...

Jade. Thanks for that interesting bit of tradition about the lau ma kor. But somehow that name doesn't ring a bell for me. Never mind. Next time I go shopping for such goodies, I will ask the shopkeeper.

Lam Chun See said...

Fighting fit. Since I decided to blog about this subject, my eyes have been more tuned to them. I discovered that actually, you can find these traditional Chinese cookies in many places in Spore. Usually they are small stalls or shops in the heartlands. It's just that we didn't pay attention and thus did not notice that's all.

Anonymous said...

You can still find most of these traditional candy at Thye Lee Confectionery!

Blk 108 Hougang Ave 1 #01-1283 S( 530108)

Recently just went to them for my traditional teochew wedding.