During the last Global Workforce Symposium, we invited some colleagues to explore the delightful world of Asian snacks.
If you have ever seen a video by HiHo Kids where children taste different foods from around the world, you know what we were thinking. Why should kids have all the fun?
So, as we were setting up our meetings for the week, we included an invitation to take part in our video: Mobility Professionals Try Asian Snacks. To our delights, there were a few brave professionals who agreed.
The biggest hurdle was what snack foods to include. We wanted it to be a typical snack whose taste was accessible, yet definitively Asian. Something that had a medium to high chance of being enjoyed by our tasters. (Well, perhaps with the exception of the Durian Cakes – although they are very popular in many places).
With gratitude to all the participants, we present the finished product. Enjoy!
What is the difference between Eastern and Western snacks? There are a few differences, although generalities.
In the West, sweet snacks such as chocolate, cookies and candy are very popular as are chips and popcorn. There can be a wide variety of options such as pizza flavored pretzels, cheese popcorn or ketchup chips.
In Asia, snacks tend to have bolder, more complex flavors with many savory and spicy options vs. the milder, sweeter flavors of the West. Asian snacks such as fried or dried seafood, curry-flavored chips and spicy noodles are popular. There are many sweet treats as well such as mochi and sweet bean pastries, although they are not quite as sweet as those enjoyed in Western countries.
People tend to favor snacks that are familiar to ingredients they have grown up with. The ingredients used in many Asian snacks will include spices and seasonings like ginger and wasabi that until recently, were not widely used in the traditional cuisines of non-Eastern countries. We were happy that for the most part, our selection of Asian snacks was appreciated!