snacking my way through a vacation

Far from being a champion of healthy-living and healthy-eating, I do indulge in snacks pretty often. On the whole, I think I am fairly well-balanced in terms of good and bad foods that I consume, although there could certainly be improved to skew it more towards the good than bad. But vacations are usually the times for people to let go, let loose, enjoy and indulge, in various senses of the word. And so, this of course includes gastronomic indulgences, and for me, someone who relishes in cheap food (someone I think my palate is just not geared for expensive food, unfortunately), would mainly be snacks. If I could and would, disregarding health concerns, I could just survive solely on snacks the entire day!

This was a stash I got on the very first day that I arrived in Seoul.20140807-093839-34719832.jpg

And what I stuffed the mini bar fridge with. It’s comforting to return from a day’s walking to the hotel room, open up the fridge and be greeted by such stuff waiting. Typically by the time I get back during the mid-afternoon breaks, my stomach will be craving for some snacks and as usual, I will be feeling peckish. These are great to pop a few in the mouth before stuffing them back again into the fridge.20140807-093856-34736713.jpg

Apparently, the banana milk is something quite well-known in Korea, or it’s supposed to be a famous Korean beverage yet I have never tried it before. I picked it up at the supermarket as I have seen it in the Korean marts in Singapore, but opted for the light version, which proved to be a good idea. My friend told me thereafter that the original, which carries a green packaging instead of blue, is much sweeter than this, and as I drank my first sip, I already found this to be too sweet for my liking. But to be fair, it has a strong banana flavour scent/taste to it. Not for the non-fans of bananas definitely. 20140807-093914-34754371.jpg

And everywhere I go, I always try to get my prebiotic fix in the form of yogurts. I love yogurts, not for any of their supposed health benefits if they are really as claimed, but just for its tinge of sourness and the creamy or fluid texture, depending on which type of yogurt, is something that I really enjoy. 20140807-093914-34754273.jpg

And biscuits! They are one of my loves alongside breads, cakes and pastries. I have morphed into a flour monster of sorts over these years, oddly, when in the past, I think I didn’t even enjoy eating bread and cakes that much. This little pack was picked up at a subway station and it provided a great snack for me on the move, when I’m experiencing hunger pangs on those long rides or just tired from walking. 🙂20140807-093914-34754318.jpg

Chocolates! Also something that I just can’t live without these days, whether they serve their purpose as a purported stress-buster, or just for the sugar rush when I need a boost of energy during the day. I am always fascinated by the variety of snacks and what-nots that convenience stores or supermarkets overseas carry, but then again I think it’s more a factor of me being too familiar with what we stock on our stores’ shelves in Singapore to truly see the variety. As the time passes, there is a greater array of products being brought into Singapore, so there really isn’t a lack for us so to speak, whether we are talking about snacks or other kinds of food, Western or Asian. It’s just that familiarity just makes me glaze over the assortment, I guess.20140807-093914-34754231.jpg

Another cup of juice and a pack of crispy, crunchy Korean spicy chicken-flavoured snack! It isn’t spicy at all, but more sweet, so I didn’t like it as much as if it had a spicy taste. Maybe I was imagining it to be something like Twisties, the curry-flavoured type that I really used to love until I resolved to cut down on snacks and Twisties fell from grace. Haha.20140807-093914-34754434.jpg

my happy food

Contrary to popular belief, I have a fairly unhealthy diet. Perhaps it’s sweeping to term it as unhealthy, rather I should say I actually do have a “good” or fair balance of food, whether healthy or not. I do enjoy salads these days, and I wonder why in the past I am so resistant to them. And fruits make up a big part of my diet, wherever possible. There were times when I was still in a travelling job where fruits were a scarce commodity and I try to make up for it with vegetables but they are just different, and then when fruits are scarce usually vegetables also aren’t in abundance in those countries.

So then, on the other end of the spectrum, I am guilty of indulgences. I let myself indulge sometimes, or now I see it happening more often, in food that nutritionists, or people in general, will easily categorise as unhealthy. I love french fries, these deep fried oily carbohydrate bombs that adds nothing to the body other than fats and muffin tops. I cannot resist them, for some strange reason, that I used to think if I have an addiction to them.

Then, there are the other unhealthy carbo-laded stuff that rank high on my barometer of happy food. Breads, cakes, pastries, you name it. Is flour an addiction, or did they lace these things with some drug that causes people to get addicted?

Few days back, I was at Coffee Bean, and ordered a blueberry muffin, my first love. Yes, blueberry-anything used to be the order of the day but they have somewhat fallen from grace. These days, I explore more flavours when it comes to muffins or whatever else, but I thought I’d order it, for old times’ sake. It was kind of disappointing, not the taste, but the texture. This muffin, if not for the fact that it was contained in a paper cup, would have just fallen apart on its own. It was so crumbly that each forkful resulted in it crumbling into tiny bits. They should have given me a dessert spoon to eat it with rather than a fork.20140517-000315.jpgSpinelli shrank their muffins, which according to them, was due to ‘complains’ from customers that they were too big. I figure those customers must not be Singaporeans, given that we tend to only complain when food portions are too small. This new size is just bite-sized at best, and it definitely is not enough! I guess maybe those complainers might be people who are trying to be health-conscious and want their muffins to be smaller so that they don’t feel that guilty indulging in a normal, regular-sized muffin, after their 10-course dinner somewhere else or a huge rib-eye steak, who knows. So these days, I have to resort to ordering something else if I want a muffin, and yes spend extra, because the amount I save from the downsized muffin isn’t enough to pay for another item to not let me get hungry within an hour of eating it.

20140517-000326.jpgSo I had a mini sea salt caramel cheesecake. Where cakes are concerned, cheesecake in particular, I am not complaining though, about its size. The beautiful thing about these mini cakes at Spinelli’s is that they are available in a regular size if you want to just have a cake, or if you fancy it as just an additional to something else, you can get these tiny ones. They are offered individually or in 3s, so it makes for a great idea if you would like to try 3 different cakes in one sitting!

Some weeks ago, I read in the Sunday Times, under the Posh Nosh food recommendation section, about the Yuzu bread from Maison Kayser. For a long time now, I have only ever bought the walnut bread (Pain aux Noix) from them, because I have tried a couple others and not really enjoyed them as much as the walnut without raisins bread. After I read about the Campagne Yuzu, I thought I’d give it a try. At S$4.50 per loaf, it’s more costly than the Pain aux Noix, but it is also bigger.

20140517-000334.jpgIn terms of its texture, it is rougher and also harder. It takes more effort to tear and chew it, as I found out from the staff, this is due to it being made without butter or milk like in the Pain aux Noix. This made a light bulb go off in me when I thought that it would be an excellent alternative for my usual bread indulgence without the butter or milk that makes bread-eating not such a great idea, i.e. bread face anyone? Of course, bread is still bread but cut out some ingredients and hey it may just be ok to indulge in them a little more! And this also contains pistachios that would be an alternative to walnuts for me.

And then finally… something I bought from one of those stalls at Tanjong Pagar market that sell a wide variety of biscuits and snacks, packed in convenient S$2 (or thereabouts) bags. These fish-shaped biscuits are definitely not healthy, considering the strong aromatic buttery scent whenever I remove the lid of the container I use to hold them in. And again, they are so addictive. If I hadn’t done portion-control using these small containers I think I might be able to finish everything in one go, which is an extremely huge packet.

20140517-000340.jpgThey just grow on me, as I chew on them, they just get nicer and nicer. A perfect afternoon tea-time snack. 🙂

HAPPY WEEKEND!

treats

I have a problem with snacking; the need to constantly munch on something. I wonder if it’s due to the fact that I am frequently and easily bored. So I brought some animal biscuits and mixed nuts to the office the other day. Well, the biscuits are not the healthiest snacks anyone can think of but they are really fragrant and the shape of the biscuits help to break the monotony of the day somewhat. A small treat for myself that day! 20130802-091452.jpgObviously, I didn’t have all these snacks pictured on the same day at the same time. I received some Smarties one evening in Jap class from a classmate. There wasn’t any special occasion, but sometimes the people are pretty generous with treats. I used to buy stuff for them too when I travel, but these days I have kind of stopped with the practice because it became a bit of a burden at some point to have to consider getting something for them on each trip that I went, and the class started to have some changes in terms of the student mix. It’s weird to buy something and just distribute it to selected people but some days I don’t know exactly how many are going to turn up. Maybe I can continue with it again, since I don’t travel that often now, otherwise it really does become a chore.

20130802-091504.jpgThen these! Well, we can find this in our supermarkets locally too, I saw it in Isetan supermarket the other day, but this box was from my colleague, air-flown halfway around the world! Note that the words below the brand are also different! I checked out the one in Isetan, and that row of words was in English. Haha.

20130802-091513.jpgI keep this box in the office, and I am consistently having a couple of these each day. OMG, think chocolate, hazelnut and caramel, every day. I can just about imagine all the calories that are being added to my waistline gradually. =/

Anyway, snacks are supposed to make people happier, momentarily or otherwise. I snacked a lot today, as I thought about what I had… pop chips, mixed nuts, haw slices, chocolates, … I can’t even remember all that I have had. And to add to the list, I had an apple, a slice of papaya and a plum. And then before that I actually ate sushi. This was just evening.

Seriously, what’s wrong with my body and strange obsession with constant eating?

“You are lucky today”

It has been a long time since I last had any Yam Yam, you know, the biscuit snack that comes in sticks and is contained in a red (usually) cylindrical cardboard container with chocolate dip. I think it comes in other flavours too but I only remember the chocolate one as it’s probably the only one I’ve had. I forgot to take a picture of the packaging, that’s why I’m going to great lengths to explain it. So the other day, I opened this box (or whatever) of Yam Yam that had been sitting around for the longest time… yes, I know, me and my expired/near-expiring foodstuffs, one of these days it won’t be surprising if you hear that I have got food poisoning, but touchwood.

So it has been so long, that I was pleasantly surprised to notice this, and how coincidental!  20130612-082253.jpg

Of course, that wasn’t my first stick but I just thought it was interesting and fun to be eating and seeing something like this; makes the snacking process more enjoyable doesn’t it?20130612-082306.jpg

Sure hope so! Have a great mid-week!