Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scarce Chinese Traditional Candy

I was waiting for my husband queuing for the famous AMK Laksa in the nearby food court this morning when I heard a rather unusual noise in the market background. I mean since this food court is co-located with the wet market in AMK, it is generally noisy as it should be. However, this morning I heard a pretty loud "THUNG. THUNG. THUNG. THUNG." over and over again. Somebody has been constantly banging some metal stuff and made a real noisy sound. I looked around and about 2 meters away from me, there was this old Chinese man standing behind a small metal box. I was not sure that he was the one who made the noisy sound because I didn't know what he was doing behind the box, but I guessed he was the one.

When we were eating, I pointed the old man with the metal box standing behind to my husband and asked him whether he knew what the man was doing and why he was making so much noise. He said, "Oh, he is selling a home-made rock candy. Maybe the 'thung' sound came from the noise when he crushes the hard candy into small pieces. Usually, it's peppermint candy." When I heard my husband's presumption on this, I got so interested to see the traditional Chinese candies in today's modern era.

After eating, I forced my husband to come by the old man and see the traditional sweets that he was making. Apparently he was not making any candy. The candy was already done.

The giant square candy inside the metal box.

The sliced candies in the plastic pack.

The candy was already square molded in the metal box and he was chiseling the candy, breaking it into slices bit by bit and put them in small packs. Apparently the 'thung' sound came from some two metal sticks that he banged to each other to attract people. We asked how much he sold the candy per pack. It cost only S$ 0.50 per one small pack and out of curiosity, we decided to bring one pack home. The candy came in two colors - yellowish white and brown. The type of candy that he sold was a very hard chewy candy and had no peppermint taste at all. It was a very sweet candy with mere sugary taste and slightly covered in flour but for someone who possesses a strong sweet tooth component like my kind self, they're still edible and enjoyable for me.

I truly appreciate the fact that in 2011, to welcome Chinese New Year, there's somebody who brings back good stuff from the past to the present days. The seller has taken us back to the olden days and introduced us the rich Chinese traditions they carried. It was very interesting to know typical sweets that people in the previous time used to consume especially since I believe sweets were categorized as luxury comfort food to some people then. My husband and I didn't know the exact name of this traditional candy and when I tried to search it in the internet, I could not find any either.

But, hey, today I discovered that somebody passed by my blog and dropped a comment saying that this candy is known as Deuk Deuk Tong! So happy to know the name. Whoever you are, you have my thanks for ending my curiosity about the candy's name.

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