Small-Kid Time Snacking

Like most of us MCLers – our parents didn’t have much money.  So the money allocated towards food went just for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And if there was a little bit left over – maybe we could get ice cream for dessert.  We hardly ever had snacks.  I mean real kine snacks – like Oreos, Granny Goose potato chips, iso peanuts, all da good kine stuffs.  I remember arare when it used to come in a tin can and required a screwdriver to open it.  We had one once.  It was kept on top of the ice-box.

Sometimes when I got desperate, usually around 4 o’clock in the middle of Checkers & Pogo, I’d start looking for some kind of snack.  We had apples and oranges but I didn’t want fruit – I wanted snacks (probably from watching all the commercials on tv).  So I start digging into the Tupperware in the bottom cabinets.  And settle for cereal.

My dad used to have a stash of the dried red cuttlefish – the hot kine.

You know the kine, where your fingers get all red after eating it.  And the cat follows you all around the house.  I used the eat the hard, chewy legs first – as all the tiny dried up suction cups fall off – then save the soft flattened out body part for last.  That was a special snack.

If we did have a bag of chips – it would have to last at least a week.  No such thing as whacking the whole bag in a day or two.  Had to stretch it out by rationing servings.

I remember once when I was at my Auntie Betty’s house.  She busted out this blue box called Chicken in a Biskit.  She offered me some but I didn’t even know what a biskit was!  But I tried it anyway.  OMG!  This stuff is delicious.  I begged my mom to buy a box – which she eventually did.  Been a favorite ever since.

A favorite snack – outside of the house – was the candy colored popcorn from downtown Kress.  I remember having a small bag of that and eating the whole thing – non-stop.

Of course the regular popcorn at Ala Moana Sears by the Auto department was winnahs too.  Something about the smell of freshly popped popcorn and rubber tires.  Great combo.

But getting back to snacks at home – did you grow up in a snack-filled home?  Or a snackless one like I did?

Was so bad – had to eat soda crackers with butter and salt on them.  Or a cold slice of bologna.  Sometimes I would sneak out a sheet of sushi nori and eat that.  Plain!  Oh, here’s one.  I used to take a teaspoon, dig it into the jar of peanut-butter and suck on it though a Popeye cartoon.  Pretended it was a lollipop.  Sad, yeah?

What kind of snacks did you grow up with?  What did you do in those desperate times?  Share your small-kid time snack stories with us.


76 Responses to “Small-Kid Time Snacking”

  1. Hbh says:

    Crackseed while watching shaw brothers and golden harvest kungfu movies at the Liberty and Empress movie houses.

  2. 4G says:

    I must have been in intermediate school when my neighbor turned me on to Fritos with shoyu and pepper.

    Put Fritos in like a Baggie (I guess those are ziplock bags these days, huh? LOL). Pour in some shoyu (not too much or your Fritos are going to get soggy). Sprinkle in a bunch of black pepper. Close the bag and shake. Eat. Pretty good stuff! 😉

  3. dihudfan says:

    saloon pilot crackers and condense milk poured on top… campbell soups… half ripe common mango and shoyu, vinegar and lots of pepper… pbj… butter and sugar on bread… tuna and mayo on crackers… potato chips and ketsup with lots of pepper… pork and beans… sardines with shoyu and surar, just open the can pour in the shoyu and sugar and cook over the stove… if we went swimming we would go to the neighborhood okazuya and order and 5 cent bag of chow fun, pour shoyu and pepper in the bags and whack the buggah…. aftah judo at Palama Settlement, would stop off at small mom and pop store and buy ice cakes, frozen syrup and water in a small cup, if we had extra money, shaved ice with ice cream and beans…

  4. Mark Shelby says:

    When I was a kid, we lived just 3 blocks from Black Point. Now I really wish I would have taken more time to learn how to fish, spear fish and pick Opihi off the black rocks. I could have come home from school and nabbed my snacks all on my own. This would have been so awesome. But after school I was always more interested in surfing until sunset. Maybe it was a good trade off. I enjoyed our Beautiful Hawaiian waters non the less! ; )

    Ho! Dat’s my Views! Enjoy!

  5. Walter says:

    Plain potato chips (any brand) and homemade clam dip. My friend Carol makes the best dip and it’s so simple–no secret ingredients but then nothing low fat or imitation so whole fat cream cheese, sour cream and real mayo but I’m not sure what else–but no onions or any vegies because she hates vegies and of course the clams–probably the ones on sale at Long’s like they had in the coupon book last week. Seawalker that bag of chips will be gone in no time.

    • Seawalker says:

      Hehe, glad to see another plain potato chip lover. It’s the same with coffee, give me something black, straight-up. No thanks to the mac-nut flavoring or French vanilla. To me, these add-ons smell weird. No cream, no sugar needed. Hit me with some Kona blend or even a cup of Hills Bros anytime.

      • Mark Shelby says:

        I have to confess! When Ruffles came out I was hooked. I also just loved my local Lion Coffee! Always bought it on sale at Longs. Remember their big ads every Sunday? Especially Chocolate Macadamia Nut! Or Vanilla. My God! How can you not just Love dat! Ho! And da smell in da house! Was better than incense during the Crater Festivals! ; )

  6. khs68 says:

    Half ripe common mango with shoyu and sugar. Winnahs! We used to “borrow” mangoes from the neighborhood trees. Now it’s hard to find common mangoes; mostly haden or pirie which are okay, but not good half ripe. Sigh…

  7. khs68 says:

    The best snack my baban used to make a few days after New Year’s was fried mochi with either shoyu and sugar or kinako. I used to rush home after Japanese school to get my share before my piggy cousins scarfed it all up.

  8. 4G says:

    Bread with butter and sugar

    Cheap man’s ensemada? LOL

  9. Seawalker says:

    My go-to snack way back then and even today has got to be potato chips. Man, starch fried in lard topped off with choke salt. It doesn’t get any better than that. Who(m)ever invented it should be shot. That’s not a snack, it’s more like a death sentence. Me? I go for the plain stuff. None of this fu-fu cheese, bbq, green onions-kine flavors. And it’s got to be potato chips. The Cheetos, Doritos, or Corn Chips texture is so artificial, if you ask me. Used to grind Ruffles. Bang for the buck. Now, it’s no ridges for me. You get full too fast. Chips are also a perfect combo along with them barley and hops from the beer. What ever happened to those twin packs of chips they used to sell before? Not that I’m complaining about the size of the bag at Costco’s. Heck, you open the bag, you finish the bag. Yes sir!

    Man’s best friend, eh? LOL

  10. jaydee11 says:

    Go to snack was nothing fancy, just mayonnaise on bread. Yeah, times were hard growing up. lol

  11. Mark Shelby says:

    For me. Li Hing mui wet or dry, Anything mochi crunch, lemon peal, cuddle fish ho da buggah stink! Octopus whateveah’s. And anything else out of da Kaimuki crack seed store! ; )

  12. tankobu says:

    Do kids still get snacks at recess? Our time was graham cracker and usually guava juice – in the Alcatraz kine mugs.

  13. tankobu says:

    One nuda sidekicks entry, with food – diamond bakery’s ruff and ready cookies. and diamond bakery soda crackers is still my go-to cracker.

  14. tankobu says:

    I remember Nestle’s Quik:

    get sidekicks in this video too.

    Had a problem with the sludge that ended up at the bottom of the glass. Neva could mix’em good enough.


  15. tankobu says:

    Howzit Rod!

    That kakimochi can brought back memories. You more smart than me, I use the weak end of a spoon and bend’em, get scoldings. “Wassa matta you, tankobu!”

    Liked the sakura shaped kakimochi best. but kakimochi breath was a curse.

  16. The Yasai man would come with his truck and for 5¢ we could buy a dill pickle wrapped in green wax. I wasn’t crazy about the pickle but I loved the green wax. Would make pointy green fingernails and stick them on my stubby fingernails and cackle like a witch.

    Or we would gather up those small dark purple plum like things that squished real easy in a jar, toss in salt and shake it up and drink it. Our stomachs would get all sore after but we didn’t really know why.

    Good fun. Mahalo for the memories. Now I want to go eat the red cuttlefish, starting with the legs.

    • Rodney says:

      Aloha Honolulu Aunty! Welcome to the MLC blog. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. 🙂

      • Mark Shelby says:

        Honolulu Auntie is over at Jalna’s blog all the time. One sweet Auntie! ; )

        I think your readers would really like Jalna’s blog too.

      • Mahalo for the welcome, Rodney and Mark! You make my mouth water remembering the old snacks. Back then, having 5¢ was being rich. 10¢ felt like being a millionaire. Spend the 5¢ on the school shortbread cookie and juice? Or save it for the neighborhood stores with their shelves of tempting goodies?

        I haven’t gone to Wholesale Unlimited for my red cuttlefish yet, but I soon will. Am I am waiting for mango season so I can get green common mange and put shoyu, vinegar and black pepper on it. SO sour and wonderful!

        Guam used to have picked green papaya – almost as good as pickled mango. You making me hungry.

        • Seawalker says:

          Aloha Aunty. Where I grew up, we had choke Filipinos for neighbors. So the green mango dipped into shoyu and vinegar was a common sight. I recall seeing them picking this other fruit off a tree and eating it the same way. The fruit was almost teardrop and the size of my thumb.

          In our yard, we had sugar cane, banana, mango, dragon-eye fruit, lime, lichee and jabong. We even grew squash and bittermelon for the adults. Yuck! My granny used to water her orchids with the water you used to wash the rice with. Nothing wasted. Her orchids were huge and beautiful.

          But getting back to snacks. Nothing beats grinding something from your own backyard. Kind of like living off the fat of the land minus the protein. But the Filipinos, man, they used to buy a live billy goat and slaughter it right in front of us. That gave me nightmares for the longest time.

          We also had a neighborhood store where we lived. Boy, we must have paid for a big portion of their monthly rent. Or better yet, we sent all of their kids to college from our spending on snacks. But back then, snacks tasted that much better if you bought it from a mom and pop store, in Hawaii or Guam.

  17. Mark'75 says:

    Chocolate Babies

  18. Mark'75 says:

    Wax shaped like rockets or tubes, filled with soda.

    • khs68 says:

      You reminded me of “sputnik”, round wax ball filled with orange, strawberry or grape juice that was sold after Russians launched their satellite. Sometimes the store lady would freeze the sputniks, but was hard to peel off the wax. We used to drink the juice and spit out the wax on the sidewalk. The wax would later melt in the sun which then made our roller skates fly on the concrete. Fun, but so abunai!

  19. Mark'75 says:

    That goodie-goodie type ice cream in a plastic cup with the hard bubble gum ball on the bottom.

  20. Mark'75 says:

    Junior Mints

  21. Mark'75 says:

    Pixie Stix

  22. Seawalker says:

    The red ika was my preference too. Somehow, it was a little more wet, gamy, and chewy. The plain Jane ika was good too, but don’t get me wrong, you bought them buggahs when you noticed the packs on the hanging rack no more red kine anymore. Nowadays, ika or even taco still tickles the pickle. But you eat ’em more like as pupus for the Miller Lite. When they add a little heat to them critters and make them saltier than usual, it just screams out yummy at you.

    Sad when you old. Can’t grind like mad anymore. Pupus are man’s best friend! 😆

  23. Mark'75 says:

    Astro Pop

  24. Mark'75 says:

    Hard fish candy, coated in sugar, and bought from the jar.

  25. Seawalker says:

    For us, Cup O Noodles was considered a snack in our house. Ate tons of ’em. All time best was 5 or 6 in one day. Impressive, no?

    Sometimes we had the dried packaged kine – Long Life Saimin. But we saved those for lunch. Mom even had a technique to cooking it. She would wait until the water came to a boil first before putting in the dried noodles. After a few minutes, the noodles would be ready and then in went the dashi. I can even recall her making the soup separate from the noodles. She would then bring out the laddle to scoop the soup.

  26. ankleBYTERS says:

    This was at Ft. Bragg in the 60’s….my dad on a weekend would wash his car at a closed gas station and would buy me a pack of cheese peanut butter crackers from the vending machine. To this day I still buy them once in awhile and have them with my coffee in the morning….

  27. khs68 says:

    I just remembered Slim Jims. Yikes! The first squirt of grease, then wash it down with a bottle of Pepsi. Heaven for a 6-year old. No such thing as cholesterol in those days.

  28. Hbh says:

    Yikes im getting lolo and forgeting things. Anyone grind on frozen chocolate bananas? Or remember the carmel flat sheets you could buy at longs, safeway or holiday mart to wrap around apples to make carmel apples?

    • khs68 says:

      Rainbow Rollerland frozen chocolate bananas. Yum!

      • Hbh says:

        Man does that sound ono now? Sistah did you ever drink alot of icees with li hing mui seed in them? I can still taste it. God can you still get on island?

        • khs68 says:

          Icees was after my time but used to take the grandkids to Uncle Clay’s in Aina Haina Shopping center for icees when they were growing up. My time was slush & slush floats.

  29. Hbh says:

    Oh how could I forget? I ate alot of fishcake too.

  30. Hbh says:

    Remember Yick lungs lemon peel and other seeds, two for .25? Or Nibb-its and Maebo’s One-Ton Chips? I also would grind on ritz crackers and eazycheese in the can. I remember at my auntie and uncles house we would snack on Diamond bakery saloon crackers with butter or jelly. How about meadow gold ice cream in da small cups? I remember eating alot of manapua and charsu from pattys. Hmmm still remember Sears popcorn and eating samplers in Sears. Wow alot of happymeals at mcdonald’s and teri burgers at Orange Julious. Yes sorry guys. My mom spoiled me sometimes. I guess it was her way for making up being a single mom and not being around alot.

  31. Walter says:

    The Full Moons–the pog like white discs made of potato starch with the seaweed and the shrimp that you can still buy at Long’s (via Wholesale Unlimited). Way back the shrimp was bigger not the krill they have today. But it still tastes ono. Also the ketchup flavored Pik Nik shoestring potatoes and the Original Yick Lung BBQ potato chips and the Nibbits with the same flavor. Miss those a lot.

  32. mows says:

    I’ve been liking the cherry seed lately. Cannot remember this from before time so it must be new. Don’t think it is actually cherry as the seed inside looks like plum. The whole kind is orange and they got a shredded one that is brown to black. Cannot find the orange one at Long’s anymore, only at Baldwin’s Waimalu. Long’s got the shredded one that is kind of sour but good.

    Screaming yellow zonkers that was gross.
    Jifffy pop – parents never would get it.
    Olive cake/seed – gross.
    That gross seed with all the grass on it. wwd?
    Hot red legs – cannot get in the small bag anymore.
    Salty seed – white with salt. Probably the cause of my high blood pressure.
    Hawaii’s Own Pass o guava, Mango Pineapple, Guava nectar frozen concentrate – probably the cause of my diabetes.

    • khs68 says:

      Costco used to carry the Enjoy Jumbo Cherry (orange one). My dad used to buy it all the time. I don’t see it anymore at Costco though. It was very good.

    • Mark'75 says:

      Didn’t know the real name for that gross seed…we just called it ‘horse sh*t!’ LOL

  33. Izsmom says:

    My neighbor was our babysitter and she always served us the arare in the can which I think tastes way better than the kakimochi you buy now. She also gave us oreos. She always served either snack with guava juice. Kakimochi and guava juice or Oreos with guava juice tasted so good! On occasion she would serve us tuna mixed with mayo on soda crackers. Yum!
    My mom would buy Ritz crackers, Chicken in a Biskit, Royal Creem Crackers, soda crackers (which we ate with butter on top).

  34. Ynaku says:

    Had to sneak some of the dried Ebi for snack. Grew up plantation camp where only Dad worked so had to ration what we ate. Soda cracker or the Hilo Macaroni brand Salook Pilot was the best with butter

  35. Gareth says:

    We kids also liked things that were pure sugar, or almost-pure sugar: rock candy, cotton candy, candy cigarettes. It’s a wonder we had any teeth left by the time we grew up…

  36. Gareth says:

    We had two different kinds of cuttlefish; the chewy red legs like the ones in the picture. And there was also a flat, sweet, brown one that came in a sheet; almost paper-thin, like it had been run over by a steamroller. I think the flat one was brought in from Japan. Don’t know if they still make it anymore; haven’t seen it for over fifty years…

    • khs68 says:

      You can get it at Wholesale Unlimited for around $5+ for 6oz. But it’s a little thicker so not the same as the steamroller one.

      • Hbh says:

        I know this will sound tourist like but I get my seed at the crackseed center. Yeah more expensive but I found it to be the one closest to yick lung that I remember. Though we didn’t grow up with this snack it is now a staple in my house. Hawaii hurricane popcorn. I swear they spike da buggah wit crack sistah. Cant grind enough.

  37. khs68 says:

    We used to cut the top off a whole lemon and shove as many li hing mui’s into the lemon until the juice overflowed. We’d sit there sucking the lemon until no juice came out, then we’d eat the ling hi mui’s. Then we’d complain that our front teeth hurt because the lemon juice took off the tooth enamel. But lolos that we were, we kept doing it whenever we could sneak whole lemons out of the fridge.

  38. 4G says:

    I don’t actually remember a whole bunch of snacks at home from small kid time. I’m not sure if that’s because there weren’t a lot of them or I just wasn’t that interested in them. Maybe a little of both?

    Most of the snacks I remember from that time were from the weekly Friday visit to the Mom and Pop stores on the way to Japanese School, or like movie theatre snacks.

    Okay – some “at home” snacks that I remember from small kid time:

    Soda crackers and condensed milk. Mmmm!

    Cream crackers

    Graham crackers

    Hmmm – only remember crackers?! LOL

    For the “mom and pop stores” and theaters:

    Red cuttlefish legs like @Rod already mentioned

    Ice cake

    Shaved Ice – zoo shaved ice was the pits!

    Rolled ika (the sweet one)

    Assorted Chinese preserves – you know, like cracked seed kind. At one point, Lemon Peel was one of my favorites

    Sugar Babies



    Horlicks Malted Milk tablets

    Big Hunk

    Colored, candied popcorn

    Puffed rice

    Cracker Jack

    Barbecue Potato Chips (crush them to little bits in the bag first – thought it made them last longer – LOL)

    Tomoe Ame – especially when they actually gave some pretty good prizes

    Of course, the Sears popcorn! Oh – and boiled peanuts! LOL

    Icee was a big deal when it first came out.

    Later in life, I have more recollections of “at home” snacks – that’s where stuff like Chicken in a Biskit came in. Arare, of course – used to hate those cheap ones – the ones that were more white than brown and had no taste. Yuck! LOL.

    Ajitsuke nori


    Screaming Yellow Zonkers (those were really good!)


    Pringles were quite the novelty when they first came out

    • khs68 says:

      I could eat a whole box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers in one sitting! I recently bought the sweet rolled ika from Wholesale Unlimited. It wasn’t as good as the small keed time one that was rectangle and sold for 5 cents. I remember what was really ono was mixing kakimochi into half melted Dairyman’s vanilla ice cream. Slurping it up with that little wooden spoon. Good ol’ days.

  39. khs68 says:

    Diamond Bakery soda cracker with butter & sugar & Bireley’s chocolate drink.

  40. hemajang says:

    I didn’t like it but aunty made preserved lemons that was aged in a glass jar on our totun roof. Salivating just thinking about it.

  41. Kage says:

    We had snacks. It was soda crackers, peanut butter, ice cream. Cookies like Oreos and Lemon Coolers were a treat.

    My favorite all time snack is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of chocolate milk.

  42. 4G says:

    Red Whips (NOT Twizzlers – yuck!)


  43. 4G says:

    Chicken in a Biskit was the bomb! 🙂

  44. hemajang says:

    I remember having Malolo syrup ice cake too. It was in the aluminum ice cube tray that had a lever to crack open the ice cubes. We also had the hand held ice shaver. Shave ice was so ono summer time.

  45. khs68 says:

    Exchange Orangeade ice cake my jichan used to make for me.

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