Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Stretching" candy! (Kẹo kéo)

This special "stretching candy" or we say kẹo kéo in Vietnamese, the name describes exactly how does it looks - this candy! Stretch and stretch...the longer we stretch, the longer, the thinner candy we have!
Many Vietnamese love this candy, especially in our childhood, it should be one of very few candies that we find as a sweet on the street, along with cotton candy!

            Kẹo kéo vendor - an old image from the past seems attract today's youth! 

                  Kẹo kéo vendor is stretching skillfully a candy... from a huge mass of candy!

I remember that long in the past some vendors offered us even a game of lucky wheel, we bet money, how much we won, how many candy bars we got. Usually not much or even nothing! But the vendor gave us anyway at least one bar! He always tried to make us, loyal customers, happy!
Quite some time ago, suddenly as a new trend (I really have no idea from where the trend came!) stretching candy vendors were only young men or good looking gals, even with heavy make-up, in fancy pink-sky blue clothes, with noisy music. So whenever we heard the music from the street, we knew it - they arrived - joyful kẹo kéo vendors!

                                 He is kind to show a candy bar, it could be longer but easy to be broken!  

                   Here is our "stretching candy", filled with roasted peanut, vanilla flavored! 

But these candy vendors, young and joyful people, have gone! No more the colorful cart, with big umbrella, with a box of "stretching candy", no longer funny treats to attract the kid's attention, no more noisy music! All have been swept away together with many changes in our life!   

The old vendor that I met in Nguyen Van Cu street, in front of my old high school - Le Hong Phong, he sells not only "stretching candy" but also a candy that I've never seen before - the thread candy (kẹo chỉ)!

The way he prepares thread candy, exactly same as people do fresh noodles at some Chinese noodles shop, he stretched the candy with sugar powder...into small, thin, long strands that twisted together and he puts on a kind of rice paper, topped with coconut shreds, roasted peanut and a bit of condensed milk! 

               Kẹo chỉ, after stretching into small, thin strands, on small rice paper... 

             topped with coconut shreds, roasted peanut and finally a bit of condensed milk! 

              Here we go - a pack of a "thread" candy! 

The image of kẹo kéo vendors seems no longer visible in many places, this belong-to-the-past candy will be sooner or later replaced by many sweets that we easy get from any convenient stores around the city.
But in this image - I taste and smell not only the sweet, I also feel the connection with the past, a part of our life that faded away... and never comes back!


  1. well done, my favorite post so far. i wish there is some keo keo in the U.S.

    1. Thank you very much for your comment! Why don't you learn how to make it - keo keo, and do it in US? It would be a good idea for new biz? Cheers

  2. what a coincidence...I bought keo keo of this old man on Nguyen Van Cu street just 2 days before your post...

    1. Sure! These days we don't have much of those vendors in the street! Did you enjoy the candy? Cheers

  3. this brings back alot of memories from my childhood, thank you!

  4. First of all, I love your blog, it's so hard to find a blog about SaiGon's food
    Secondly, It's my unviersity(ღ˘⌣˘ღ) and he (the one in your entry) is still there, I just met him a few days ago, and I have to say, he really nice, everytime I bought kẹo chỉ he gave me a lot coconut shreds
    p.s: I think there are some kẹo kéo vendors, I met at least 2.

    1. Thanks for your comment. True, I also saw him again some days ago, and you are right this vendor is nice! By the way you are from DH Khoa Hoc or DH Su Pham? If DHKH you and me, we have something in common! Cheers

    2. Yes, I'm studying at DH KHTN. What a coincidence! ( ノ^ω^)ノ゚
      Nice to meet you, again :D
      Reading your article makes me want to eat kẹo chỉ again. (*´▽`*)

  5. I just ate keo chi at Dalat nite market. It is nice. :)


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