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Saturday, January 16, 2016

FOOD | A Taste of Nostalgia: 6 All-Time Favorite Pinoy Junk Foods

Do you remember when you were still little and the world seemed like a limitless universe of possibilities? Back when making friends didn’t give you waves of crippling anxiety and you actually looked forward to school? You can probably remember some bits and pieces, like how you’d stay outdoors until your mom yelled for you to come home, or maybe when you and your friends would play childhood classics like ice, ice, water, langit lupa, bahay-bahayan, flying saucer or patintero with a seemingly infinite supply of energy that would put the energizer bunny to shame.

Often, childhood is the part of our lives we look back to with frivolity and enthusiasm. Everything just seemed bigger, brighter, and maybe even better back then. While we all eventually have to grow up, there are some childhood habits that are too good to let go of—like snacking, for example. Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and revisit our childhood go-to playground snacks which we still much on even this day.


Image Source: Phil-Em.com

Ah, the one that started it all. While Chippy became your favorite inuman/tagay snack of choice as an adult, it will definitely go down in history as one of your introductory snack foods. First introduced by junkfood superbrand Jack ‘n Jill in the 60s, Chippy is pretty much the OG (Original Gangsta) or the Beast of Pinoy chichiryas. It’s staple salty taste and irregular rectangular, sometimes folded, shape is recognizable anywhere, and is probably the most well-known Pinoy chichirya to date. While it originally satisfied us with its Barbeque (red) and Chilli & Cheese (blue) flavors, Chippy has expanded its selection over the years and now includes Beef & Chilli (orange) as well as Garlic & Vinegar (green). 


Image Source: Phil-Em.com

With its ultra thin texture and variety of mouth-watering flavors, Piattos is probably the closest we will ever get to making junk food that's as good as Pringles. Definitely one of the best-tasting chichiryas out there, Piatos’ trademark hexagonal shape didn’t just set it apart from all the other chichiryas in the store. Its sharp edges probably poked your mouth more times than you’d like to admit (not that it stopped you from eating though). At present, Piattos comes in 5 flavors namely: Cheese, Sour Cream & Onion, Nacho Pizza, Roadhouse Barbeque, and Roast Beef. Just the mention of these flavors makes you crave for one!

Chiz Curls

Image Source: Amazon.com

Pretty much, if we were to compare the years Pinoy junk foods have existed, Chiz Curls ends up in the grand parents' club. It's simply lived a long time!.

Nobody else does cheese snacks quite like cheese curls. They melt in your mouth! The spongy, semicircle curls covered in layers and layers of cheese powder will always have a special place in our hearts—especially since it was the only popular chichirya which had free stuff inside the packaging. Chiz curls didn’t get much attention until they started including pokemon stickers in every bag at the height of Pokemania in the late 90s. Eventually, it succeeded and became a mainstream snack for middle schoolers everywhere. Does anybody else think the current Chiz Curls mascot looks like a budget Powerpuff girl?

Clover Chips

Image Source: LeslieTrade.com

The biggest irony in the realm of Philippine junk food is that Clover Chips snacks look absolutely nothing like clovers. Rather, it resembles a deformed, cheesy red blood cell. But what Clover Chips lacks in aesthetics it definitely makes up for in taste. Clover Chips has a lightweight crunch that just sets it apart from everyone else. Of course, most of us wouldn't forget those days we just sucked on our thumb and index fingers covered with Clover Chips powder. Although it comes in two other flavors (Barbeque and Ham & Cheese), nothing beats the original Cheese Clover Chips.

Roller Coaster

Image Source: JunkFoodGuy.com

A childhood staple and harder to find nowadays, Roller Coaster was a sought-after among kids because it was food you could actually play with—they fit right over your fingers! Remember when you used them as a ring because it's fun to do it while eating? While Roller Coaster originally came in just one flavor, it didn’t stop people from buying them by the dozens. The thin rings had just the right amount of cheese powder and crunch that was addicting. Just add Coke or Royal in your afternoon siesta, and voila, your day is complete. Since then, Roller Coaster has released three new flavoors to add to the roster namely: Barbeque, Sweet and Spicy, and Samurai Curry.

Sweet Corn

Image Source: MrFunAnimous.blogspot.com

If your playground crush wasn’t totally impressed by your tsinelas-throwing and lata-hitting skills in tumbang preso, another corny alternative would be to give her a pack of Sweet Corn. Or just open one, and be surprised how your school bus mates would just troop towards you for that yummy snack. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do (get that 90s Backstreet Boys reference?), everybody loves the perfect taste Sweet Corn. Plus, there's no need to munch on it! You can just let it melt in your mouth. 

Sweet Corn is what you eat when you want to convince yourself what you’re eating isn’t unhealthy, cause technically it’s corn. But then you remember nothing that tastes this good could possibly be healthy, so you spiral into denial.

All these chichiryas still continue to complete seemingly gloomy days and help making bonding moments among friends, family members, and partners. While it's advised to stay away from junk food, sometimes these are just what you need --- the comfort food Pinoys will always love.

P..S. Do look forward to a post on at least four (4) more - Rinbee, Moby, Tomi, Peewee, Ri-chee, and Snacku!

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