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!
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!
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...
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!