Snack your heart out and take a break from adulting
Illustrations by Ariana Maralit
What once was known as a neurological disease is now a necessity in the COVID-era. In 1688, Swiss doctor Johannes Hoffer first coined this state as a “neurological disease of essentially demonic cause.” Physicians from the military surmised that its prevalence among Swiss soldiers overseas was caused by prior damage to ear drums and brain cells due to exposure from continuous clanging of cowbells in the Alps. From the 19th to the 20th century, it was classified as an immigrant psychosis, a mental disorder. Despite its historic reputation, it has since been proven that nostalgia is not an illness.
This bittersweet emotion is one of the best arsenals against loneliness, anxiety, boredom. It provides a sense of roots, continuity, and texture to our lives. Studies show that sentimental yearning makes us kinder and more generous to other people. On cold days, nostalgia keeps us snug and warm.
As we live in interesting times, our everyday hustle and bustle has become even more overwhelming. Nostalgia can help us slow down and regain momentum. What better way to reconnect with the best years of our childhood than with snacks and activities we adored while growing up!
Take a few moments to indulge in those warm, wonderful, carefree memories of youth. Unplug and unwind with these Pinoy classic snacks. Feel free to enjoy them as they are, or mix them up a little if you have more time in your hands.
Bogchi ng barkada
In the Philippines, two of the most popular snacks in the ’60s were Chiz Curls and Chippy. From the red packaging of the barbecue variant to the crunchy, salty, curled, rectangular nibble, Filipinos love Chippy. The Americans, meanwhile, liken it to Fritos.
Munching on the chips paired with Coke or Red Horse, depending on the occasion, brings a smile to anyone’s face. Images of school break, afternoon kulitan and bonding moments with the gang, even inuman or drinking sessions in high school and college come rushing in.
Take it up a notch by mixing all different Chippy flavors in a bowl. It currently comes in Garlic and Vinegar (green), Chili and Cheese (blue), and the Mild and Tasty (white) variants.
You can even encourage your friends to whip up their own homemade dips like melted cheese with ground beef for a Chippy nacho snack. Or you can make your signature onion dip using onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese. Or be a little extra with a spinach artichoke dip.
Cheesy goodness where every bite is a delightful surprise
Remember the days when you had to run to the sari-sari store to buy your favorite cheese snack from your leftover allowance? Or when you played under the sun chomping on a cheese snack, say Chiz Curls, and after emptying the bag you lick the excess cheese powder off your fingertips.
The puffed corn snack coated in cheese-flavored powder rose to fame in the Philippines almost immediately after the Gokongweis introduced it in 1966. Based on the American cheese puff, these yummy melt-in-your-mouth curls have a light cheese hit with a little sharpness, perked up with a hint of sweetness. They leave your lips and tongue orange.
These Chiz Curls are best enjoyed for baon, a treat after class or work, or shared with friends.
On cold days, nostalgia keeps us snug and warm. What better way to reconnect with the best years of our childhood than with snacks and activities we adored while growing up.
Never say no to cookies
Chocolate, for children, was reward for doing well in school or for finishing household chores. It’s still a treat now, regardless of one’s age. Reward yourself for powering through all the adulting and responsibilities by enjoying some mouthwatering Cream-O.
The crunchy chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a variety of delicious rich cream flavors is affordable and super flexible. Try making a refreshing Cream-O smoothie or some pudding pops with ice and vanilla ice cream. You could also whip up a frozen, no-bake Cream-O cake or create some cake pops. After all, we deserve all these and more.
A citrusy way of enjoying your day
Hard candy in fruity flavors, Maxx is a product for the teens—as older demographics appreciate menthol more. Widely popular since its conception in the ‘60s, the menthol-sweet flavored confection has always been sold streetside, by carinderias, sari-sari stores, and roaming vendors also known as “takatak boys.”
In the ‘90s, legendary actor Max Alvarado lent his name to the candy, when he starred in a television commercial to launch the brand.
The most familiar flavor would be the honey lemon. There are also cherry, eucalyptus, dalandan orange, honey mansi, and extra strength. When you think of Filipino hard candy this brand is top of mind.
Pops of choco rainbow
The everyday tasks of adulting can sometimes get pretty routinary. It makes us miss the good old days of childhood when every little thing could get us excited. Nips chocolate adds color and excitement to our days.
A bag of the childhood staple is like a coloring book to help de-stress every once in a while. Colorful sugary shells crack and melt in the mouth, releasing the rich chocolate they hide inside. Form meets function in this candy-coated confection.
Fun fact: coating small food in panning or sugary shells has been a European tradition applied in nuts and spices. Confectioners adapted the method to drops of chocolates for well-heeled ladies to enjoy chocolate without them having to remove their gloves.
Elevate “me time” by indulging in more spuds. Piattos could easily be considered among the best homegrown potato chips in the Philippines. Its light, distinctive cheesy flavor is complemented by a texture similar to nacho chips, only smoother. An aroma wafts out of the bag as soon as you open it.
Foreigners often compare it to Pringles. But Piattos, at least locally, is known as a market leader in the snack industry. Its flavors include cheese, sour cream and onion, roadside barbecue, nacho pizza, and roast beef.
The snack brand recently launched the new Piattos Supersized, a serving size meant for sharing to satisfy our cravings and give supersized good vibes. Only the classic and mouthwatering cheese, and the new sour cream and onion are the available flavors for this size, both of which now have bigger chips and bolder flavors.
Melted chocolate delight
The company that brought us Stik-O, Ecco Food Corp. is also the creator of another iconic Filipino snack, the chocolate stick known as Choko-Choko. You either bite or cut the end of the tube with scissors to get the chocolate paste in your mouth. Sari-sari stores used to sell it for one Philippine peso.
A different kind of lumpia
Considered as an “ulam cracker” or a snack that can be paired with rice, Lumpia Shanghai is a favorite of kids and grownups alike. This tsitsirya version does mimic the flavor of the ulam, but Lumpia Shanghai in no way tastes like the Chinese rolls. It’s a delicious and prominent snack nonetheless.
Many are familiar with the cheese flavor, but this corn puff created by IFP Manufacturing Corporation has two other variations, namely chocolate and sweet corn.
The crunchy and flavorful Lumpia Shanghai is available in 10g packs.