If there is one thing that we Filipinos agree about, it’s the love for good food and of course the variety in it. We always want to try something new or better yet, invent something new. That’s the reason why most of our snacks are a little bit different from other countries. Over the years, we have tried various snacks that most of us enjoy at the time, some of which are still available today. Here are the top ten snacks from the 90s that most of us have surely enjoyed and some are still being enjoyed today.
1. Captain Sid’s Butong Pakwan
This food requires patience. A lot of it. “Butong Pakwan” is actually watermelon seeds that were dried up and salted. The thrill of eating this food is the patience in cracking the seeds into two between your teeth and getting its tasty center. The saltiness of the shell itself is what made us get hooked on sucking and cracking it. Today, this snack is still available although it now has competitors such as the squash seeds but still this traditional watermelon seed is still a winner.
Binatog is one of the native delicacies of the Philippines, especially in Baguio City. You just can’t get enough of its sweet and tangy taste. Binatog is made up of white corn kernels that are soaked overnight until puffed. After soaking, the corns are cooked until their skin peels off. It is then mixed with a little bit of sugar and salt and then topped with a generous amount of grated coconut. There are, however, other versions of it now, some mix it with evaporated milk and sugar or simply coconut milk. This snack had been popular during the afternoons when you are simply having your siesta or before again, preparing for an afternoon snack.
3. Ice Scramble
If you haven’t tasted this one, you haven’t lived your childhood yet. We usually see Ice Scramble vendors outside our schools in our childhood days. Back in the old days, they only serve Ice Scramble with a little bit of skimmed milk, and the ice itself is mixed with sugar and a pink food coloring. Now, this snack has definitely evolved. The Ice Scramble of today is now topped with Skimmed milk and chocolate syrup or better yet, pick an additional topping of mini marshmallows, candy sprinkles or rice crispies, which if you would ask me a lot tastier. But it doesn’t end there, this treat also now has a variety of flavors on its ice, you can get it in chocolate, banana or even mango. How tasty is that?
4. Mik-Mik Sweetened Milk Powder
Every kid loves sweets and sometimes we even snack in the wee hours just to get a pop of either your chocolate or milk drink mixed with sugar. This sweetened milk provides exactly that. It’s milk or chocolate in a pouch. It also comes with a straw where you can get to sip the powder although be warned sometimes this powder could cause extra coughing from sipping too hard and with a lot of air in between. This would also provide an extra laugh in the group which is even if it happened a lot of times with the same people, it never failed to give us a laugh.
5. Haw-Haw Milk Powder Candy
This treat definitely brings back childhood memories, this type of candy is not made for cracking but for just letting its milky goodness melt in your mouth. As a child, we used to believe that having lots of this would amount to a glass of milk. This candy is so addictive that it usually leaves you wanting more.
6. Iced Gem Biscuits
How do you eat an ice gem biscuit? There are actually two ways. One: you take the icing on top and eat the biscuit, leaving all the icing on the pack. Two: eating all the icings and letting your seatmate have the biscuits. This snack is popular among kids since the different colors of icing made it visually attractive and of course, looks good to taste. This treat is also a pro to moms since it is branded as a biscuit and would leave their kids feeling full.
7. White Rabbit Creamy Candy
What appeals to us in eating this candy is actually the wrapper, it is made of a unique rice paper that is edible and of course adds to the taste of the candy. This is the Chinese version of our classic nougat. It is also a popular giveaway during fiestas back in the day after being full of a tasty meal they usually enjoy a little bit of sweetness in this candy. However, a few years after its famous production, in 2008, the candy was discovered to have melamine which is a toxic ingredient in milk from China, and was banned in Hong Kong and also in the Philippines, as a result, the production was stopped and later returned with a different brand name, as the golden rabbit, and as a change, they are now using Australian milk instead.
8. Pompoms Cheese Curls
Watching a kiddie show is not complete without a tasty snack on hand. These cheese curls made us remember those old times when we sit around in front of our television screens watching afternoon cartoons with pompoms on hand. You could have all you want with this snack since it was sold for 25 cents before and a single peso could already get you four packs of it. So, your afternoon show would certainly be ending by the time you’ve had enough of this snack.
9. Bazooka Bubble Gum
Bubblegums had been around for kids even before they were able to say the word clearly. Bazooka bubble gum had been popular 60 years after the world war and had been enjoyed by kids because of its comic strips that were being collected by youngsters. Sad to say, in 2012, we said goodbye to its comics since it was replaced by codes for games and advertisements that connect it to the online world.
10. Choc Nut
Choc Nut is our version of Hershey’s. This sweet chocolate is made up of crushed peanuts, cocoa powder, milk, and sugar cane. You’ll surely want more of this once you get a taste. There are now lots of versions of chocolate peanut treats on the market but still, this one never failed to be one of the tops even now. Some OFWs claimed that they bring some of this treat with them because they love the taste and because it’s a trip down memory lane.
It is true that Filipinos do have a lot of sentimentality in their hearts, we usually cry over movies that are decades old remembering the actors in it who are no longer living and so, snacks are no different from them. Seeing and tasting these treats makes us remember what we were and what we did before, taking us in the past with memories that makes us laugh and some make us cry.