10 After-School Snacks Around the World (Slideshow)
November 18, 2013
Here are 10 different after-school snacks eaten around the world, from chocolate-covered chips to fish balls
Hong Kong: Curry Fish Balls
By far the most popular after-school snack among students in Hong Kong is curry fish balls served on bamboo skewers. This street food staple consists of chewy little balls of minced fish boiled in a mild curry and spiced up with chile sauce squirted on top. Each stall has its own recipe for the sauces so locals have strong opinions about the ones they prefer, but as far as we are concerned, they’re all delicious.
Belgium: Speculoos Paste
An interesting alternative to peanut butter or Nutella, a schmear named speculoos spread is all the rage in Belgium. This delightful paste is made from crumpled up speculoos cookies and it has a caramelized, gingerbread-like flavor and a consistency that can range from creamy to grainy to crunchy. Speculoos spread is easy for moms to spread on pretty much anything, be it a sandwich, an apple wedge, or an actual speculoos cookie!
The leading after-school snack sold in Israel is a peanut-butter-flavored puffed corn nugget called Bamba. Similar in shape to cheese doodles in the U.S., these nuggets are produced by popping corn kernels under high pressure, drying them to achieve a wonderful crispiness, and then flavoring them with peanut butter to create a salty-sweet bite. Light enough to keep you moving but delicious enough to satisfy!
Hungary: Túró Rudi
Chocolate and cheese come together to form the most beloved after-school snack in Hungary, the Túró Rudi. These thin bars are composed of an outer coating of crunchy chocolate and a creamy filling of sweet cheese curds. Easily identified by the distinctive red polka-dotted wrapper, these snacks can be purchased from one of many vending machines that sell them exclusively.
In Japan there is never a shortage of wonderful street food snacks to hold one over until dinnertime. One of the most popular is takoyaki, little balls of wheat-flour batter filled with minced octopus, tempura scraps, and green onion cooked in a special pan. The fluffy little octopus pancake balls are brushed with takoyaki sauce, similar in flavor to Worcestershire, and dried bonito (tuna) flakes.
One of Venezuela’s most iconic and celebrated snacks is a tequeño, a gooey breadstick made by wrapping flaky dough in a spiral around salty white queso blanco cheese and frying until golden brown. The sticks are generally served with homemade guasacaca, a Venezuelan version of guacamole made with vinegar instead of lime juice.
A peculiar little snack produced and consumed all over Norway is Smash! These salted, crunchy corn chip cones are covered with milk chocolate to produce a sweet and salty effect. It's a bit like dunking crispy Bugles in a pot of chocolate fondue and letting the chocolate set. Warning: These are highly addictive!
Chile: Pan con Palta
Kids in Chile are perhaps the luckiest in the world. Why? Because they get to come home from school to a nice and hearty pan con palta any day of the week. In Chile, avocados cost only around $1 for 4 to 6 pounds, so the creamy ingredient is spread on pretty much everything. Pan con palta is an open-faced sandwich made with a soft Chilean bread called marraqueta, with mashed avocado smeared on top and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It's simple but very satisfying!
Fishy tastes reign supreme among popular Korean after-school snacks. One particularly popular snack is Saewookkang, a processed puffed cracker with a crunchy texture and a salty-sweet shrimp flavor. A bag of Saewookkang can be found in almost every Korean household.
South Africa: Biltong
A chewy classic in South Africa is biltong, South Africa's version of jerky. The cured meat can be made with anything from beef to ostrich, and is often flavored with black pepper, roasted coriander, brown sugar, and vinegar before being dried and sliced along the grain into thin easy-to-eat strips. Biltong resembles jerky in texture except it is a bit thicker and is actually cured in vinegar instead of just salt-dried. This snack is perfect for developing a strong set of choppers!