Let’s talk about nostalgia. Our childhoods would not have been complete without the snacks that had made it so deliciously reminiscent. No matter what you do, or where you are in life, you’ll find that these snacks will always be something to fall back on whenever you just want a taste of a simpler time—a time when fighting with your friends over who gets the last potong was the greatest conflict you’ll ever have to endure.
So let’s take a trip down memory lane with all the snacks that dominated your Malaysian childhood.
1. Murukawa Bubblegum
Image credits: chinnian | flickr.com
Combine fruit flavoured bubblegum and temporary tattoos — what do you get? A badass childhood, of course!
And maybe a great big sticky mess trying to create some bubbles from those few measly pieces of gum.
2. Eyeglass Chocolate Candy
These were the go-to glasses for all kids. Somehow, everything miraculously seemed a lot clearer whenever you looked through these non-existent lenses…. True, the chocolate probably isn’t the world’s finest, but it was a cheap thrill attaching rubber bands to the sides of the packaging and making it into your makeshift superhero mask.
Let’s face it, Choki-Choki wasn’t the most hygienic treat… But it was still pretty damn satisfying — and one of the cheapest snacks around too! Squeezing brown sticky goodness out of a minute hole has never been more gratifying.
4. White Rabbit Candy
Remember that thin layer melt-able rice sheet that was wrapped around this milky goodness? The internal struggle ensued; to eat or not to eat?
It probably ended with you failing miserably at peeling the sheet away, and ravenously sinking your teeth into the candy.
5. Potong Ice-cream
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One of the more luxurious treats in a young Malaysian’s life, Potong ice-cream is the go-to treat whenever it gets too hot playing with your friends. Scratch that, it still is a decent snack for anyone currently overheating in this tropical climate.
6. Yupi Gummy Burger/Bears/Pizza
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Who still remembers decapitating the gummy bears, chewing off their arms and legs, before devouring their bodies? Or splitting the worms in half before trying to discern if the two different coloured gummies have differing tastes?
No? Just me?
7. Alphabet Biscuits
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Part of the reason why we passed our classes was due to the educational value of these biscuits. Except for the times when we were extra hungry, who still remembers trying to spell words with these biscuits only to be foiled by the absence of a certain letter or, even worse, finding only part of the letter you need?
8. Ding Dang,Tora, and Jojo Chocolate Biscuits
Let’s face it: many of us bought these for the toys… and the chocolates were a good addition, too. Slightly pricier than the other snacks, Ding Dang and Tora were a great treat to end the week or as a great reward for having performing well in school.
But if you were feeling a bit more fancy, you would get the more premium version “Jojo”. Anyone who could afford this snack either saved up quite a bit, or was one of your “wealthier” friends who were the object of everyone’s envy.
9. Roti Krim
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Like its’ name suggests, this cream-filled bread was the Krispy Kreme of the 80/90s… sort of… well, in a roti form. It was a great way to sate your hunger with the different flavours available.
10. Super Ring
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Even though this snack had the potential to stain everything it came into contact with, it was a small price to pay for the addictive goodness that is Super Ring. Plus, who remembers wearing them on your fingers before picking them off one by one?
11. Yan Yan
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There should be personality tests done on the different ways people eat Yan Yan. There are three main ways; one, to finish the dip with as little biscuits as possible; next, to eat the biscuits first and use fingers to finish the dip and; third, to try rationing the exact amount of dip to biscuits and failing miserably.
In any case, all three ways are just as satisfying.
12. Roti Ice-cream
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Three scoops of ice-cream on a single piece of bread might seem like overkill for little kids, but three scoops of ice-cream and bread for that price (RM0.50)?? Totally worth it! Plus, you get to choose your ice cream flavours and “upgrades” for flavours at only RM0.10-RM0.20! Alas, all is not as cheap as they are now.
13. Kacang Puteh
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Whatever kind of snack you get, the novelty lies in how kacang puteh presented — in newspaper (or, recently in more hygienic white paper) somehow rolled into a conical vessel.
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Another snack with dips and repeated words that make no sense, NiNi is one of the lesser known snacks but with more “exotic” flavours like hazelnut.
15. Haw flakes
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You can never just eat one of these sweet and sour treats. One pack would be a more realistic word. Whether you shove an entire stack into your mouth (or two, if your mouth was big enough), haw flakes were an awesome companion snack for cartoon watching back in the day.
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Nearly everyone born in the 90s will know of Sugus. So famous that even the uncle who drove buses would keep them on hand to tame rowdy children. This chewy sweet was the sweet to keep all children in hand… at least before the sugar rushes hit.
17. Nano Nano
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This sweet was pure evil… and so much fun. It was evil if you were eating it, but such great fun when you are watching others go through that torture. Still, one of the main reasons why this candy is so nostalgic is mainly because of the jingle that had us all singing along~
18. Jelly Cups
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With the strong (*coughs*, artificial) fruity flavour that you could slurp right up, Jelly Cups will have your head tilted back in a bid to get all the sugary juice into your mouth. If you had time, you might even have added some other beverage into the tiny cup to enjoy sipping out of it.
19. Nyam Nyam Rice Crispy
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Skilled is the one who could scoop up an inordinate amount of rice crispies and chocolate with the miserable, transparent stick provided for this purpose. Woe to the ones who managed to scoop up a respectable amount before the crispies went in the way of the London Bridge — all fell down.
20. Ice pops/Aiskrim Malaysia/Ice lollies
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Whether home or commercially made, these ice lollies came in a plethora of different flavours for about only RM0.10. Sweet times, sweet times… that followed with rude brain-freezes.
21. Grilled seaweed
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The “healthiest” thing on this list, grilled seaweed is probably the most deceptively expensive item because it takes so much seaweed just to feed your satisfaction.
23. Ice Gems Biscuits
The main selling point of these were the icing on top of the biscuit… literally. Even though there are no differences in the flavour of the sugary icing, there would always be those kids fighting over a certain colour. Talk about childhood aesthetics.
24. Apollo Confectionary
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Before there was London Choco Roll, there were Apollo Layer cakes. For 90’s purists, nothing can replace the cheap, spongey Apollo Layer Cakes — not even swiss rolls with fancy jingles. Along with Apollo wafers and flavoured stick wafers, Apollo truly makes it into the list of reigning nostalgic brands for many Malaysians.
25. Mamee Monster Noodle Snack
Arguments have been started, and friendships have ended because of this snack and the question it posed — do you bite into the whole square, or crush it first? (Answer: You crush it first.)
25. Wang Wang Crackers
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The savoury seasoned coating of Wang Wang Rice Crackers is seriously the crowning glory for this snack. Without it, this snack, would just be bland and lack-lustre. So yes, there should be no judging if anyone licks the powder off the cracker before actually eating it.
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Then there were also the milky Xiao Man Tou (mini bun) biscuits that melt in your mouth, making you feel like a toothless baby again.
26. Fish Muruku
The image of a half-naked baby may not be as appealing as a mascot or logo, but this fish muruku is truly a hidden treasure. Seasoned with spices and flavouring, the fish muruku is a worthy addition to the list of snacks that brings back the most childhood feels.
27. Ovaltine Malties
First, this gave us cracked teeth for trying to chew it. Next—it gave us the “heatiest” throat of all throats. But man, was this malty goodness worth the pain.
28. Pig’s Ear Biscuit
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Pig’s Ear biscuits were the best to train those young jaw muscles. Also perfect for dislodging those stubborn milk teeth that refused to fall out. Ah… those “bo-gay” (no teeth) days…
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Everyone knows Push-Pops, and have, at some point, probably used it as a “lip balm” or “lipstick”… before licking it up ever so messily.
30. Dahfa Dried Cuttlefish Strips
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Made from legit cuttlefish, these strips were great for guilt-free snacking. Though it often stank up whatever enclosed area that you were eating it in, the feel of taking and stuffing bunches into your mouth truly encapsulated the Malaysian snacking experience.
31. Lemon Tablets
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Who didn’t crave the tangy, salty goodness that were lemon tablets? It was great for sneaking into lessons and sharing amongst friends.
Public Service Announcement: for those trying it out for the first time, don’t bite them. You have been warned.
32. Gold coin chocolates
A favourite for Chinese New Year, some schools would give their students these fake gold chocolate coins as part of their “red packet”. The waxy texture of this chocolate probably was an indicator that we should stop eating it for some health reasons, but package anything as “chocolate” and little kiddos would be sold.
Plus, the chocolate was wrapped in GOLD. Everyone felt like a pirate just hogging all these gold coins. (Note: Proper marketing works on children.)
33. Milo Truck
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No sports event would ever be complete without the Milo truck. Though Milo can be easily purchased throughout the entire country, there just was something different about the Milo truck that had everyone running back for more. Perhaps there was a special ingredient, we don’t know —but everyone, would attest to the glory of the Milo Truck.
34. Hiro Choco Cake
Soft, crumbly sponge cake coated in a layer of chocolate… Hiro Choco Cake is not the most sinful or chocolatey of cakes, but its saccharine flavour strikes deep into our hearts.
35. Satay Ikan
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Thin, dried fish on a stick; what could possibly get more exotic? Never mind the slight spice that so tortured you in your younger days—there is something that leaves you coming back for more.
Crunchy flavoured keropok! Best snuck into (tuition) class and shared with friends and classmates, these were the best snack to have when the munchies hit… hard.
37. Big Foot Sour Powder Lollipop
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Though the “putting our foot in our mouth” days were over since we learnt that it was unhygienic to do so, we have replaced our literal foot with a lollipop shaped as a foot, coated with our saliva and sour powder candy…
Maybe there just is something Freudian going on here.
38. Pepsi Blue
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Remember that time you (almost) got into trouble, or got chastised for turning your entire mouth blue while drinking Pepsi Blue? Yeah, those days were great despite all the lectures about how “pepsi is unhealthy” and “your mouth is red, why turn it blue?” which you just endured because…
Who cares? It’s cool.
39. Asam Tahi Idung/Asam Mo Far Kor
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This, again, is an Asam so awesome it makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Whether you are feeling slightly nauseous, or just want to suck on something sour, this asam is for you! (plus, the container is small enough to sneak into lessons…)
40. Ring Pop
At some point in our lives, we must have proposed to our childhood sweethearts with the Ring Pops. But just like this candy, our sweet innocent love was but fleeting and transient.
These snacks would not be half as fun or great without the experiences that come along them. Thank goodness that your friends and family were there to create these memories with you, right?
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