No, this isn’t about Kiddie Snacks We Wouldn’t Forget. Some of these things we would want to forget we ever let them pass our lips. But, hey, I enjoy making you suffer!
When I was young, the rage was Wonder Boy. This is an acquired taste, people. It tasted of nothing but garlic, salt, and a hint of corn and wheat flour they made it out of. It was packed like the disposable toy, Magic Bomb, covered in thick, white plastic, sold as flat as a five-peso bill and smelled awful. It was horrible, yet it was always sold out. I haven’t had enough opportunities to develop a taste for it.
That was when I was in Grade Three. Then we discovered via TV the Humpy Dumpy. I liked this snack, although on retrospect we know it makes one’s breath bad and fart really conspicuously. But when the sari-sari store is out of Kornets, and we don’t have enough money for a V-Cut or Piattos, we settle for Humpy Dumpy while watching TV. We just don’t talk while facing each other. (It also has a pathetic name, like it is afraid of a copyright suit by the estate of L. Carroll.)
In high school, there was the Eraserheads singing Overdrive, which got them flak from angry parents who meant well and confused adults who didn’t know what they are really against. If one listened at the end of Overdrive, one will not hear a Satanic message, but the guys rattling off a list of food. Which includes shawarma. What is that, exactly? It turned out to be another acquired taste. Face it, what we like most about shawarma is the roast beef! Some people care about the raw onions; some people want the sour cream/yogurt; some people eve want the pita bread; but I definitely do not want to eat the paper which the servers wrap tightly about the whole thing. If you unwrap the paper, the sandwich (which it really is, except the inventor was probably too stingy to put another pita bread) falls apart.
There are some other eating fads I know of (litson manok/inasal is a food fad, but I won’t include it because the whole thing was/is more of a business choice, same goes for lugaw/goto/calamares). But let me speak for one other thing: Foods that are not supposed to be fried.
Fried siopao. Siopao is a steamed rice bun filled with either a meatball or stewed meat which may or may not be catmeat, depending on your gullibility. Siomai is spiced meat wrapped in a thin won ton wrapper and steamed. They are both savory snacks. Siomai is fried when it is leftover from a meal, otherwise it will readily crumble and spoil. But to fry siopao is to fry what would amount to a cake! And letting the bread soak up uncountable amounts of fat and cholesterol. If I want fried bread, I’ll go for a doughnut.
Fried ice cream! What is the world going to? Isn’t constipation and colon cancer enough warning? Why should we tamper with food this way? WHY?