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Throwback Treats from Around the World

Do you remember the snacks you used to love as a kid? Your palate may have matured since, but the taste of childhood treats can always bring back memories of those carefree times. Here, we take a trip down memory lane with some The Mag readers as they tell us all about their favourite nostalgic snacks from around the world, plus how you can try them (or an alternative) in Hong Kong.
Landal, Hong Kong, Wealth Manager
“I was born and raised in Hong Kong, so my pick is quite traditional: put chai ko (red bean pudding). I used to buy this after school not only because it was tasty, but also because it was fun to watch the hawker tactfully take the pudding out from the tiny bowl, and then I could enjoy it on a pair of bamboo skewers as I made my way home. These days it’s not as easy to find hawkers but it’s still available at bakeries such as Tai Cheong Bakery and Tong Kee Bao Dim.”
Florin, Romania, Lecturer
“Back in the 90s, the Eugenia biscuit was very popular in Romania because it was tasty and affordable. Imagine a crispy sandwich cookie with a buttery base and a rich cacao filling. There’s a hint of rum, too. I remember everyone in my class used to have this during breaks, and it was such a great filler for our lunchboxes. I moved to Hong Kong six years ago and unfortunately the Eugenia biscuit isn’t available here; the closest thing I’ve found is the Pocky chocolate biscuit sticks – surprising, I know, but they taste similar.”
Eva, Sweden, Pastoral Assistant/Project Manager
“My husband and I moved here in 2017. The childhood treat I miss the most is våfflor, aka Swedish waffles, which are thinner and crispier than the Belgian kind, topped with whipped cream and cloudberry jam. They remind me of the cosy winters back home, when we used to eat them after playing in the snow. The best waffles were served in a mountain cottage though, and they were the best reward after skiing uphill. The Hong Kong egg waffles are comparable but not the same. So we’ve brought a waffle iron to make our own, and also serve them in our church after service.”
Kathy, Taiwan, Editor
“I’m Taiwanese but I’ve been in Hong Kong for 19 years. My favourite nostalgic snack? It’s definitely the Wang Zi Mian crispy fried noodles! It’s similar to Mamee noodles but Wang Zi Mian has a unique peppery flavour. My cousins and I used to fight over the last bite when we were kids. I also ate it while doing homework because it seemed to make time pass much faster. In Hong Kong, you can have it in some Taiwanese hotpot restaurants as a side dish, but people put it in the hotpot rather than eating it straight out of the pack.”
Kerry, Korea, Account Manager
“My favourite childhood snack is a kind of choco-filled round biscuits called Homerun Ball, which was, and still is, a pretty common snack in Korea. I love the combination of biscuit and chocolate cream – I always couldn’t wait for my classes to finish to go straight home when I knew the snack was there! Having lived in Hong Kong since 2006, I’ve found that you can easily find this snack in Korean stores and sometimes in supermarkets like Wellcome and ParknShop.”
Feel hungry? Find more delicious recommendations from Hong Kong’s expats, here.
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