Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Museum Piece?

Do your remember this? I never thought that I will see this conical container for kacang putih again, which was de rigeur when I was growing up, until I was at the National Museum early last month when I saw many people walking around snacking on their kacang putih tit bits from a cone. This piqued my interest and I looked around and found a lady peddler at her table offering various kinds of kacang putih, surrounded by people waiting to buy the popular kacang putih from her. And at her table I spied the familiar cones, just waiting to be filled up with the kacang putih of choice. What an appropriate venue for an old style kacang putih peddler to set up shop, preserving what may have been lost to time in a showcase of our national treasures. I am not sure if the young people who were buying the cones of kacang putih from her understood the significance or otherwise.

These series of photos shows how the kacang putih peddler expertly fills up the cones with the kacang putih requested. unfortunately the cones themselves seem to have been pre-rolled so I cannot show how it is done. The cones nowadays are made from old text book pages instead of old newspaper, so they are sturdier and maybe a little cleaner as you may not get any ink 'contamination'. However I am not sure whether you actually get more in terms of quantity, as although the cones are longer, they are slimmer than before as it used to be short fat cones that are used rather than what the lady is selling now. What I can confirm anyway is that the cones of kacang putih now cost a hundred percent more than what I used to pay in my youth, as they now cost a ringgit per cone instead of 10 cents that I paid a long time ago. Another complaint that I have is that the non nut kacang putih had actually expired past their sell by dates, so you get stale kacang putih in your cones. I hope the lady rectifies this weakness, otherwise I am afraid she too will soon actually become another museum piece on her own.

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