Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Great Snack Exchange

I'm a firm believer that local snacks can tell you a lot about a country, especially what flavors are popular with the masses. What country is a fan of spicy flavors? Sweet and sour? Dried fish??? Take a look at the snack aisle at the local market and you'll find out what tastes you can expect from the local cuisine.

You can discover that Turks love nuts in Istanbul markets

Several weeks ago, I got into a Twitter chat (a "twat" if you will, haha) with Tobias (or beforeiam35, as he's known on Twitter), a fellow travel lover from Sweden. We started talking about Swedish candy, which led to talk of snacks in general, before we decided to do a snack exchange.

Tobias eagerly awaits in Sweden for his Hong Kong treats

I happily went shopping for Hong Kong specific candy and snacks, no easy feat in an ever-increasing global world. Finally, I had a box full of goodies ready to send to Tobias!

Sending my Hong Kong goodies to Tobias in Sweden

Here's what Tobias had to say about Hong Kong snacks:

The package contained a variety of of stuff, each looking a little crazier than the next one. I was especially intrigued by a red package containing prawn crackers.  "Crackers, I like that. Prawns, I like that too. What kind of wonderful sorcery is this?!"

I started with the small candies called White Rabbit. I unwrapped one, started chewing and soon discovered it was like a type of Swedish candy. Unfortunately, not the good kind. The taste is hard to describe, but to me it just tastes like egg and cream. I wish I had started with something else...

I proceeded to a rather interesting blue box containing  "Dragon's Beard Candy". This stuff was very well packaged, and it took a while to get into the vacuum sealed packaging. It was well worth the struggle though. This sugary treat with nuts was great. It has a very nice spun sugar texture and the nuts compliment this so well. One of the best candies in the package!

Since opening the package, the inner me had feared the next snack quite a bit: dried fish. I opened the packaging and the strong smell of the sea hit me right away. I had promised myself not to chicken out, but I was pretty close on this one. Deep breathe, and back at it. The texture is what I really couldn't take. It's chewy and I felt like I was eating a fish flavored rubber band. I had to cut the snacking session short. 

The next day, refusing to get defeated by some rubbery dried fish, I had decided to have another go at it, hoping that somehow my tastes had changed over night. Nope, still not my thing. I declared defeat and moved on to the next snack.

Up next was a package of black cookies, with only Chinese writing on the label. I had no idea what this was. The funny thing is I still don't know what these cookies are made of. I'm guessing black sesame and peanuts, but I'm not sure. Either way, I really liked the taste and the way it crackled in my mouth.

So what about the prawn crackers? Well, they were really good. They didn't taste as much like prawn as I had hoped, but they were still among the best snacks of the package. The small bag was emptied in a very hasty manner, and I'm gonna have to look for it in the local Asian super markets.

With that said, I would like to thank Connie for putting together a well mixed package of stuff and I really enjoyed tasting it all, even if some of the snacks did not appeal to my taste buds.  


Wow! First off, I must say I'm really PROUD of Tobias for pushing through and eating all the weird and strange snacks I sent him from Hong Kong!  Even I have a hard time with the fishy ones! But that just goes to show you, Hong Kong likes dried fish in their food so much, they even put it in their snacks!

Read more from Tobias and his struggle to check off his his bucket list at

What's the STRANGEST foreign snack you've ever tasted?

© Connie Hum 2011


  1. Hi Connie - I love the idea of a snack swap. Though I'm less fond of the sound of those rubbery dried fish snacks! Nothing beats a caramello koala I've realised recently.

  2. What a cool idea! Though I don't know if I could have eaten the fish!

  3. I grew up eating those white rabbit. eating those totally bring me back to my childhood in the philippines! and i think the dried fish is def an aqcuired taste bc i love those things!

  4. @Liv and @Megan Definitely a fun idea! I think I might do another swap in the future! Fish, especially, dried fish, is a hard taste to swallow. =)

    @milania dela cruz, md. My grandmother used to give me and my cousins White Rabbit! Childhood memories for sure, though I did try some again recently and they don't taste very nice. Guess the nostalgia of it is better than the actual candy. =)

  5. yes i agree. i had some the other day and they don't taste very nice. just like the nostalgia part. btw, i had a dream about you last nite! don't know where we were at but we were eating. ha! :)

  6. @mi-an Haha! Are you sure you're talking about a dream and not just a memory? =) We did spend a lot of our time together eating!

  7. Thanks for putting the post up, Connie. It was a pleasure doing a snack exchange with you.

    If anoyone else feel like doing an exchange, just contact me :)

  8. Exchange of snacks is such an awesome idea : ) Loved it!! hehehe the dried fish snack is quite different from the real dried fish though!! And the weirdest snack i have ever had would be Liquorice. I couldn't stand it for even one second!!!

    p.s. see u soon at the boat party :D

    xx josie


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