I was born in the 80s and pretty much ate all these snacks as a kid in the 90s. Some of these snacks can still be found in Singapore, while others are well, extinct already.
If like me you have eaten any of these 18 childhood snacks before, chances are that kids today are calling you ‘uncle’ or ‘auntie’ already. I know that’s what they call me.
1. Iced gem/Ais gem biscuit
A hit for generations, a coloured meringue icing sits atop this simple iced gem biscuit. Most famously manufactured by Khong Guan biscuits locally, but is actually popular in many parts of the world. Who remembers those who would love to only eat the icing and leave the biscuits behind?
2. Tutu kueh
This old school tutu kueh packed with shredded coconut or peanut took forever to make as it’s steamed upon order, but it was always worth the wait.
3. Retro buttercream cake
They used to sell buttercream cake at every neighbourhood bakery before the likes of Breadtalk and atas bakeries took over.
4. White Rabbit candy 大白兔奶糖
Yes, that creamy milk candy with the edible wrapper (made from sticky rice). Marketed as “Seven white rabbit candies are equivalent to one glass of milk”, a whole generation hence grow up eating sweets for calcium.
5. Haw flakes
This Chinese snack is made from the Chinese Hawthorn and packed into cylinder paper wrappings. Haw flake candy was given to children as it was traditionally thought to be able to deworm digestive parasites.
6. Tora/Ding dang chocolate
This pseudo-Doraemon ripoff of chocolate got us more excited because of the little toy inside rather than the actual chocolate balls.
7. Hiro Chocolate cake
Hiro moist sponge cake with a chocolate coating was a most coveted treat for many of us growing up. In fact, we loved it so much in primary school, we insisted we buy it almost every day as an after-school snack.
8. Chewing gum tattoo
Us current ‘uncles’ loved pretending to have cool tattoos by slapping on these fake water-activated temporary ones that always came with this brand of bubble gum. Some were harder to wash off than others.
9. Frozen ice lollies
These frozen sugary ice lollies used to go for just 10 cents a pop in school. Perfect for beating the tropical heat in sunny Singapore and also one of the epitome snacks for any Singaporean childhood.
10. Coloured jelly
Each coloured jelly supposedly had its own flavour, but now that I think about it as an adult, all the jellies probably tasted the same. But as a kid, a sugary snack satisfies us all the same.
11. Potato wheel/Spin cracker
Cute potato starch wheels (probably more starch than potato) that we loved to snack on as kids.
12. Biscuit piring wafer
Light, colourful, and oh-so-easy to crumble to pieces like my broken dreams. These thin wafers just melt in your mouth upon contact (and ‘lao hong‘ very easily).
In Singapore, we mostly saw the Regular and Honey Lemon flavour Hacks which we ate to soothe our sore throats.
14. Ring pops/Push pops
“Don’t push me, push a push pop!”
The commercial slogan still sticks in my head after all these years. Childhood trauma?
15. Egg ball snack (Tamago boro)
These small addictive egg balls melt into a puddle of heaven. You don’t just stop at one.
16. Apollo chocolate wafer
Before we even knew what gourmet chocolates were, there existed Apollo chocolate wafers from Malaysia in small red packets of joy.
17. Spectacle Chocolate
The poor Asian boy’s version of M&Ms which kinda tasted like the real thing anyway. Normally comes in a figure eight pack.
18. Choki chocolate stick
Choki is supposed to be a chocolate spread for bread, but I find the same pleasure in just squeezing this delicious chocolate straight into my mouth. Then perhaps some bread on the side.
What other childhood snacks do you recall that are hard to come by these days?
Related Guide: 28 Food Things Only Singaporeans Would Understand