Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chewing Gum of the Orientals

One day not long ago, my daughter came back from the supermarket with a bunch of snacks. There were her usual potato chips and then I saw this.

Ken-Ken, prepared cuttlefish. I used to love this snack when I was a kid. I ate a lot of it, as much as I could afford. It has this stinky smell and taste and is extremely addictive. It's also a little spicy. When was the last time I ate it? Probably decades ago.

It's chewy and gives your jaw a really good workout. "Fortunately" each packet only has a miserly amount of cuttlefish so you won't hurt your jaws. I immediately asked my daughter to let me have it and she actually said yes. I gobbled it down and since then have gone and bought a few more packets. I even ate the one I bought for my daughter! Twice. What did I tell you? It's addictive. Maybe it's the msg?

Oh, one thing I forgot about this snack. Your mouth smells afterwards.

When I was a kid, one of my cousins told me she worked at Ken-Ken and her job was to put the cuttlefish into the packaging. Back then I thought it was such a cool job. (because I thought you could eat all the cuttlefish you wanted) I wonder what happened to that cousin?

I've never noticed this on the packaging until now. It actually says "chewing gum of the Orientals". You may or may not know this but chewing gum is banned in Singapore. The ban came into force in 1992. The reason for the ban? It was a freaking nuisance. Other than littering, gum had been used by vandals to stick on the train door sensors. I remember when the ban was introduced there was a big hooha. But honestly, I was happy. I've stepped on gum so many times I was glad to see it banned. Plus I'm not a fan of chewing gum because it always tastes sickly sweet. Currently chewing gum for therapeutic purposes can be bought in Singapore but I have no idea how it can be obtained. Do I need a prescription? 

Both my kids have tried gum before but they don't care for it. Yes, you can live without gum. Anyway, we'll always have chewing gum of the Orientals.


Ely said...

I picked up a dried fish snack at the Japanese store, and was excited to have it like a salty beer snack, but like many Japanese products it was slightly sweet which was a total downer. My mother in law recently sent us stuffed squid. Again, sweet. Bleh!! I also can't eat sweet potatoes/yams... I think I have a weird issue where if I think something should be savory and it's not, I can't eat it.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Ely, you won't like chewing gum of the Orientals because I believe there is a little sweetness. I guess I'm used to sweetness in "Oriental" food. Oriental is such a quaint word! I personally dislike eating anything with cream or custard. I would eat around the cream/custard and some poor bugger (hubs) would have to eat the cream/custard.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane, we(Ken Ken) would like to thank you for your long lasting support and would like to send you a surprise! Send us an email or direct message of your address and we will mail it to you.

Marketing executive,
Lucas Tay

pennydog said...

Except gum comes in minty fresh flavours, and leave your mouth smelling fresher! I'm not against the ban though. Such a weird tag line!

P.S> Awesome that Ken Ken are sending you freebies!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! Love this article (and some nice and chewy squid) I'm a writer at Atlas Obscura, and I'd love to get permission to use two of these photos in an article we're publishing about squid chewing gum. Would that be okay? We would use the photo on our website and to promote the article on social media. We'd of course give you credit and link back to your page. Please let me know!

Projects By Jane said...

Dear Unknown from Atlas Obscura, yes, you have my permission. Chew away!


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