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Trying to find a certain candy available in Taiwan in the late 1980s!!

a
asiancandymystery Apr 19, 2012 08:33 AM

Hello everyone,

My partner grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. Since I met him 10 years ago, he has spoken of a candy from his childhood that he desperately longs to find. We presently live in Canada and cannot pass by an Asian grocery store without going in to search for this candy. We've looked in stores in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal Chinatowns. We've searched online using his vague childhood memories as keywords. We've NEVER found it! And sadly, my partner has not been back to Taiwan since immigrating to Canada nearly 20 years ago. So, I thought it would be worthwhile putting the description out there to the Chowhound China/Southeast Asia board to see if it rings a bell to anyone. It would truly be a wonderful surprise for him if I could track down this candy!

So the details are vague, but I will post everything I know about this candy:

Context:
He used to buy this candy after school at a 7-11 in the mid/late 1980s in Taipei, Taiwan

Appearance:
The candies themselves are circular in shape, flat, and may have a spiral shape or design on the top. At the time they came in a box through which you could see the flat, round candies (whenever we look for this candy, he is not looking for a specific picture on a box, but the candy itself, because it was identifiable through the box). He does not remember what colour they are.

Texture:
The candy texture is basically a pressed dry candy tablet, with a crumbling/powdery texture.

Taste:
Sweet, tart, and fruity

Other identifying information:
He cannot remember what the wording/characters were on the box, so although he bought this candy in Taipei, he is not sure if it was made in Taiwan, China, Korea, or Japan (candies from all of these places were available in convenience stores where he grew up). He vaguely recalls that there were characters that *may* have formed the words "God Fruit" on the box. However, since he was just a child he is not sure if he was reading the characters right, or if there were other ways to read the characters (personally I think he may be mistaken about this since we've done many searches for "God Fruit Candy" and never found anything). He thinks the candies may have been made from plums, or a plum-like fruit, as plum candy is extremely popular in Taiwan. However, he is not 100% certain that this is what it was made from.

Does this candy sound familiar to anyone at all??? If not, does anyone know a good candy website that has a forum in which I could ask about this candy? Thanking folks in advance for any info at all!

  1. boogiebaby Apr 19, 2012 12:43 PM

    Could he be looking for Haw Flakes? They don't have a spiral design on them, but they fit the other criteria. I can always find them in any asian market in little cylinders, a few cylinders to a packet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boogiebaby
      a
      asiancandymystery Apr 19, 2012 08:20 PM

      I got very excited when I googled "Haw Flakes" because it definitely looked like what he described...but when I showed him the pictures, sadly that was not it :( Apparently his relatives would often mistake Haw Flakes for the candy he loves and would send them to him, but they are not the candy he is thinking of. Apparently the mystery candy is more powdery/chalky, and thicker. He says "it is similar to chinese plum powder, pressed into a disk". If you know this plum powder he's referring to, it's like a sweet/sour powder you can put on fruit as a snack. He says it tastes similar to this powder. Thank you so much for your reply though, I really appreciate it!!

    2. t
      Ting Ting Apr 20, 2012 03:59 AM

      Sounds like some kind of Meringue, Lemon?

      1. r
        RipCurl Apr 22, 2012 10:32 PM

        Your description reminded me of plum-flavored tablet candy (google pikin plum tablet for pictures) although the shape doesn't match.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RipCurl
          a
          asiancandymystery Apr 23, 2012 10:42 AM

          These are similar he says to the candy he is looking for, and he does like these ones (me too!!), but unfortunately they are not the same. The key differences are that his mystery candy is bigger in diameter, and rather than a firm powdery texture like these, it is more of a crumbling powdery texture. So the mouthfeel of the pikin tablets, when you bite them, is that they sort of melt away. In comparison, his mystery candy leaves a sort of chalky mouth feel.

          You are right on the money with having found a candy made of pressed plum powder though: this is definitely what he is thinking of in terms of the flavour! Thanks so much for your reply, even though this isn't the candy it helps me to narrow it down and have things to describe in comparison!! :) I appreciate it!

        2. Condimentality Apr 23, 2012 05:47 AM

          Is this what you're looking for? They are flavored with plum powder but are not flat. They're more like cylinders.

           
           
          6 Replies
          1. re: Condimentality
            Condimentality Apr 23, 2012 06:37 AM

            They're not bad. Interesting. Kind of like a Smarties or Sweet Tarts, but sweet and salty instead of sweet and sour, so they don't really fit your "sweet, tart, and fruity" description.

            1. re: Condimentality
              a
              asiancandymystery Apr 23, 2012 10:49 AM

              These are similar to the candy he is looking for (see also the pikin tablets posted above, and another pressed plum powder candy called Li Hing), and he does like these ones (me too!!), but...unfortunately they are not the same as his long-lost mystery candy. The key differences are that his mystery candy is bigger in diameter, and rather than a firm powdery texture like these, it is more of a crumbling powdery texture. So the mouthfeel of these tablets you've posted is different: when you bite these little ones, they sort of melt away - just like smarties or sweet tarts, yes! However, in comparison, his mystery candy leaves a sort of chalky mouth feel when you bite into it and chew it - and instead of melting right away, it becomes almost like a chalky paste in the mouth. I know it sounds so weird to describe it like this! But it's hard to think of a way to express this difference between pressed powder textures.

              You are right on the money with having found a candy made of pressed plum powder though: this is definitely similar to what he is thinking of in terms of the flavour and basic ingredients! Thanks so much for your reply, even though this isn't the candy it helps me to narrow it down and have things to describe in comparison!! :) I appreciate it!

              1. re: asiancandymystery
                k
                klyeoh Apr 24, 2012 09:16 AM

                For a moment there, I thought Condimentality's nailed it!

                1. re: klyeoh
                  p
                  p0lst3r Apr 28, 2012 11:32 PM

                  Makes me want to jump on a plane to Taiwan and solve this mystery once and for all.

                  Will keep my eyes peeled here in Hong Kong.

                  Also, when my half-Taiwanese friend returns from leave, I'll get her to reach out to her family on this.

                  1. re: p0lst3r
                    a
                    asiancandymystery Apr 29, 2012 07:23 PM

                    Haha we've joked many times over the years about making a vacation trip to Taiwan JUST for this purpose!! (I am determined to someday make it happen too!)
                    That would be wonderful if you happen to have any clues from folks who might have a clearer memory of this candy - much appreciated!

                    1. re: asiancandymystery
                      p
                      p0lst3r Jun 6, 2012 11:39 PM

                      Soooo excited ... if this isn't your candy, then I'll eat my shoes. It's everything you describe.

                      - Made in Taiwan
                      - Made of preserved plum
                      - Similar diameter to haw flake but much thicker (has powdery residue)
                      - Chewable and not chalky at first but then quickly melts away to leave chalky mouthfeel
                      - Sweet, tart and fruity

                      (lots of pics as this is a serious forensic investigation -- my ID card is same size/thickness as credit card)

                      Bought in Sogo Department Store in Hong Kong but here is there website from package: http://www.enluen.com/products/index....

                      If you think this is it then I'm happy to DHL a couple of packets to you to run past your husband.

                      Ian

                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
          2. l
            LordJimbo Jun 18, 2012 06:20 AM

            Something tells me this is what you may be looking for:
            http://singaporecandy.com/candynews/2...

            i.e. Pikin Plum candies

            They're very common in Singapore (and Malaysia I would think).

            EDIT: the candies originated in Taiwan, so it's quite likely it is this.
            The generic term seems to be 金梅片 (my rudimentary translation: golden plum slices
            )So, there are many brands that sell this type of candy.

             
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