#FoodForThought Ice Kachang
Image credit: A bowl of Ice Kachang (SG50)
Ice Kachang, which means “iced beans” in Malay, is not just a thirst-quencher but also a bounty of goodies such as corn, red bean and jelly — some hidden like treasures under a mountain of shaved ice and syrup.
This popular desert did not always come in this form. In the ’50s and ’60s, the Ice Kachang was served as an ice ball — moulded by hand, drizzled with evaporated milk and coloured syrups. Some sellers would add jellies or red beans in the middle as an added treat. And it would be handed over by hand to be eaten with bare hands 😲
From the ’60s onwards, hawkers had to be licensed and registered to ensure food hygiene standards, which led to the ice ball being replaced by the Ice Kachang, served in a shallow bowl. Then, as automation kicked in, hawkers invested in machine ice-shavers that worked a lot better and faster than the old hand-cranked crushers. Some innovative hawkers also observed the changing tastes of food-loving Singaporeans and went on to experiment with different toppings such as peanut, chocolate and even durian – elevating the diversity of this dessert!
The evolution of the Ice Kachang tells a story of how adapting to changing times makes it possible for this frozen treat to continue to be a cool choice in Singapore’s sweltering heat and humidity. #FoodForThought #ourhawkerculture