Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast – the weekly English show where we speak about everything under the sun. The major goal of this show is to help you improve your English by listening and, of course, learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host and today with me…
Is Ken, from Manila, Philippines.
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But what’s your choice? I mean… So I feel like all the people can be divided into two groups – savory snacks lovers and sweet snacks lovers. So, what team are you on?
Yeah I think the savory actually. I.. A snack should be appealing to me, and what I mean appealing it should have some aroma, you know, some nice smell and not just a look, a look that’d scare me, looks cosmetic or, I don’t know, too shiny too chemicalized or something like that.
Well, sweet snacks can be different, you know – not all of them look chemical and shiny.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah, you’re right about it.
I mean they can be not shiny and very chemical.
You know, it’s interesting because before I used to be like balanced, like somewhere in between – I both like, you know, the savory snacks as well as, you know, the sweet ones. But growing older, I don’t know for some reason, I just prefer sweet snacks. And, well, preferably of course, chocolate, dark one.
Oh! Well, it’s been proven that, like, dark chocolate rises the level of en… What is it?
Endorphins, yeah yeah yeah definitely.
Well everything is always being proven by somebody, yeah, definitely.
Oh, British! British guys, you’re in trouble!
So, Ken, you’re more like on a sweet side, dark chocolate side.
Michael, you say savory. So, what’s your snack of choice?
Yeah, actually, yeah. Ken was just talking about his background. So I can talk a little bit about my background.
so when I was younger I was a sweet tooth. Because my dad was a distributor for.. What are these guys called? Racky, Bick, Dollphin, Leave a something, whatever.
So you must’ve been having….
I mean he was a distributor so I didn’t need to buy sweets. We always had them in caters.
I feel like it’s both, you know, heaven for kids and hell for the parents.
Well, I lost one of my, one of my tooth because of that, so yeah, it’s like I learned the hard way and that is why…
Unfortunately for you though.
Yeah yeah, definitely. I should’ve known. So that is why, you know, I can like... I am a different person right now. We kinda have diabetes in our family.
Oh, that’s kinda dangerous. What were your parents thinking?
We didn’t know! We never knew! Until we learned it the hard way – actually, one of my younger sisters passed away because of diabetes.
Yeah yeah yeah, so I mean it’s really really very serious when it comes to sweet talks in my family.
So, and how old were you like when you decided to like leave all the sweets behind?
I don’t know, I was somewhere… I was a teenager. My taste changed completely, I’m not a child any longer. That borderline when you’re not a child any longer. I could cook to myself and stuff like that, so that was that, that was the point.
You know what, this is funny because you’re saying you’re not a child anymore, so, am I going back to my childhood then? Cause now I like sweets.
Well well well, Ken, that’s for you, definitely. I mean, the word sweet still sounds more positive than negative, like, sweet sixteen, you look sweet. Yeah, you know, sweet-sweet.
But still, you haven’t answered the question – what’s your snack of choice? So let’s say you wanna have a little snack, what’s your option?
Yeah I think I’m gonna with some cookie or biscuits. Can we call that a snack?
Well we can call anything a snack, but in my world, that’s still sweets.
Yeah, I mean, it’s not that… like, you know, it’s not so sweet like.
But it’s still sweets! Still, like, sugary.
Yeah, but it’s not sugar-coated, stuff like that. Actually, I hadn’t eaten snacks, yeah.
I mean, when you say savory I would expect something like chips, crisps, call that whatever you want. What else is savory? Let’s say some..
Yeah like some dry bread, or roasted bread, stuff like that. We have that in Russia, you know.
So, I would imagine something like that. Maybe… Well, actually, maybe we should define the word snack. Cause for me, like, a sandwich is a snack. A piece of one of those little pies for example – those are a snack.
So when I say savory I expect something like that and then you say yeah, I prefer savory, and then you say cookies! Wait a second!
00:07:10 M: Yeah, because I don’t know, yeah, everybody eats like the crisps or whatever, like the dry bread I’m talking about. But my favorite to say. So you gave me two options – savory or sweet, so I chose savory, well, I don’t have a favorite there, so that is why I swung to…
Alright. Ken, what about you? Wait, I know that you don’t like cooking, so you must be snacking a lot.
Yeah, And, you know, back in the day, well, not even back in the day, but recently, before I stopped eating, especially at night, like midnight snack, I used to rally eat chips at night. Or it could be d dark chocolate. I could, you know, eat one bar of chocolate in one sitting.
And I was told by my doctor it’s not good. At least for my stomach, because I’m having some problems. But you know, for me, if we’re talking about a bar of chocolate, it’s a stress-reliever and that’s how it works in my mind, because every time I eat chocolate, especially dark chocolate, it makes me feel more relaxed.
And the thing is it makes me happier. That’s why I like it. That’s why I feel good at night. However, these days I’m prohibited from eating that because of my stomach issues. But as soon as, you know, I recover from this, definitely I’ll go back to that.
Oh. So, what about now then, is your snack of choice some kind of a healthy snack?
At the moment I don’t even try to eat, you know, anything between meals. Because…
Well, that’s good! Actually, the doctors and, you know, nutritionists – they advise you not to snack in between meals. You can have a dessert or something like that at the end of a meal. But not between meals.
Not between, yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean, generally, I’m really really very opposite to Ken talking about my choice of meal, actually, I just like.. I love veggies a lot.
I can eat… I was just talking personally about squash yesterday. So I can eat a whole bowl of anything green stuff. I eat raw onions like, you know.
Like a snack, yes. Onion is actually a snack for me.
Your wife must be hating this.
Well, yeah, if we need to, you know, kiss, then I don’t eat onions.
You’re like ‘Okay, two days’ notification, I’m gonna eat onions, you need to leave and go somewhere’. I’ve been thinking about, like, what would be my snack of choice and now, when I’m getting ready for a class, I usually have like, you know, some candies. You know there’s like mini chocolate bars, not full size, but mini size. Like a mini bar.
And I’m like – oooh, this is so convenient. But then I realize that you don’t count those mini mini chocolate bars, so you’re like – how many have I eaten? And I’m like oh god, I’d better not think about this. Like, better not.
But actually, I used to like, what do you call them, like toffee I think? And when I was in the US, there’s a shop, Trader Joe’s, and they sell English Toffee bars or something like this. And it has nuts, stuff like that.
Love that! But then I broke my tooth when I was eating that. Oh no, you betrayer! So could you? So after that I’m like – no.
But what about healthy snacks? Michael, you do love healthy snacks, veggies, fruit.
Yes, yes, yes. The last one I tried myself was pakora.
Pakora is Indian. Well, you kind like mix flour with veggies, then you fry them up.
Wait, wait, okay. Then again. Veggies – good, healthy, perfect. You fry them.
Yeah. After all, they’re desserts.
So yeah, technically it’s a veggie, so it’s healthy, but then you fry it – not healthy, but still a snack.
So, do we still count that as a healthy snack?
Yeah, most of the snacks in Nigeria are actually healthy snacks. Nigerians eat only healthy snacks from beans, form maize. Basically from beans, maize.
So I know that, let’s say, in Japan there’s this thing – bean paste or something. It looks like reddish, it’s not really sweet, but it’s considered a dessert. And they have mochi cakes with bean paste which is a dessert. Is it a case in Nigeria?
Yeah, it’s something similar, yeah. It’s not sweet at all. It has the natural taste of a bean, a fried bean. Then we have meat pie. Meat pie is really really very famous in Nigeria. So it’s a pie with meat inside and some vegetables. Egg rolls, you know.
So you’re into savory, more or less savory, or not really sweet but healthy snacks.
Oh my goodness, that’s amazing. Cause I see a lot of parents, you know, when their kid asks for a snack, they just give ‘em a bar of chocolate or like a cookie or like a chupa chups.
Well, because it’s easy. You can just, you know, buy it from a supermarket.
Bananas – my kids basically have a banana for dessert. Yeah, definitely.
So it’s easy to peel, again, you don’t need to find place to wash it, so, totally. Ken, what’s your situation with healthy snacks?
Well, when I was younger, so by the way, just to give you a little bit of a background – I spent my childhood in a village in the Philippines. And my grandmother she was very strict with our diet. Well, when I say diet of course the food that we eat.
And when it comes to snacks, we were not allowed to eat chips, not even candies. Like, she was very strict. And I remember I think the very first time I drank soda was…. I was already what, 10 years old? And then chips when I was, I don’t know, 11. She was really strict.
The snacks that we had back then were homemade. So we had what we call suman. Suman it’s… How will I explain this? It’s a Filipino rice cakes, and then it comes with, of course, rice. What else? Coconut milk and it’s wrapped in banana leaves, so. So, rice wrapped with banana leaves with come coconut milk.
We wrap things in banana leaves too. We do some kind of.. It looks jelly-like, it’s made of beans. It’s called moimoi.
So it’ll be wrapped in banana leaves, then we have agidi. Agidi is also… It’s whitish. It’s made from corn. I don’t really know the process, but it’s like jelly. It looks white. Then it’d be wrapped in banana leaves too, you know.
Michael, I’m just interested – do you also prepare it at home? Or is something that you buy from a shop or a store?
Well, I was a city boy, so there was no time for cooking all that at home. Yeah, definitely. But I remember during Christmas and stuff we do some desserts together and stuff like that. But basically in our daily lives – naaaah.
So are these… I’m gonna ask both of you.
Wait wait wait, let me ask one more thing. Apart from the suman we also made… WE call it ice candy. Actually, it’s a Filipino version of an ice pop, so we have. What do we have there? Again, coconut milk.
I like that, I like coconut. Actually probably I should try more of Filipino food.
Coconut milk. What else do we mix there? Okay, I forgot the other ingredients. But anyway, so it’s left frozen in the fridge and then once it’s ready, then we just get it out of the fridge and start eating it.
So basically it’s like a healthy ice cream, like a popsicle. So do you mix with like fruit or fruit juice? Something like that?
So that depends on what kind of flavor you would want to go with it. It’s possible.
You know now they have recipes of things like that in those popular books or, you know, like Instagram pages for healthy food and healthy living. And you’re like – hey, I knew that for ages, you know!
Okay, and one more thing. The best part is we got to, you know, participate in the making, So it’s not like, you know, we’re just watching our grandmother doing it. But she would ask help and this way it’s really memorable for me. Because it’s not just something that we ate, but we did together. Me and my cousins of course.
So, you mentioned suman and this ice cream – so are those really popular in the Philippines? So what is the most popular snack? Or maybe what is common, a common snack?
Well, they’re popular if we talk about suman and ice candy as we call it. They’re popular in the rural areas. However, if we talk about nation-wide, so that includes the cities as well, we have what we call banana cue, interesting, because it sounds like barbecue.
Well, almost similar idea there because we have it on stick, but the bananas are cooking bananas, green bananas, something that you cook.
The plantain, exactly, right. And the it’s… It comes with brown sugar, so we let it, you know, carale.. carame…
Camare… Oooh I can’t say it! Okay, whatever. So.
It’s being processed somehow by camera.
Caramelized. Well, there you go. And yeah, that’s really popular. And it’s also a kind of a street food, cause, you know, it’s cheap, what else? We have another variant, we call it turron, but still with plantain, with sugar, with brown sugar, but with slices of jackfruit in a… In a wrapper.
Like a dough or something like that. So yeah, those are the popular ones, turron, banana cue and kakanin. Kakanin is a Filipino rice cake so, again, you know, we love rice. Typical Asian.
We love rice too, Nigerians, believe me. Right now, Nigerians are kinda like into rice farming a lot. And we have local industry with the rice. In the past we used to import a lot, but now rice is processes in Nigeria. So, Nigerians are a challenge to Asians when we talk about rice.
So why don’t we talk about Nigerian snacks? What are common things? Like, moimoi, is it common?
Yeah, moimoi is very common. There are a lot of desserts that are really common. So he was talking about street food. So some street food that you can find in Nigeria are like boiled maize, corn. We have them everywhere. We do have them in Russia here, but over there it’s like everywhere.
So they can be roasted, they can be boiled, you just buy them on the way and one thing Nigerians have with eating this – they combine. So the combination of a roasted corn will be coconut. Yeah. So you bite a little bit of the corn, the roasted corn, then you bite a little bit of the coconut. You chew it together. So it gives a very nice flavor.
As a person who has several corn hobs or whatever in the fridge, I’m like – what if I mix that with coconut milk and roast them. Would that be good?
Yeah, I mean, but that’s not coconut milk, that’s coconut itself.
Yeah, yeah definitely. Then people do mxi a banana with nuts. We like nuts a lot, peanuts.
That sounds delicious though.
Yeah, banana with peanuts.
Can you imagine if you get a banana, dip it in chocolate and then like sprinkle some nuts on it. It’s like healthy/ not really healthy dessert. On a healthy side.
So, banana, nuts, then we have nuts jam, nuts jam, can we say that? Like nuts being ground and it looks like a jam.
Like a paste, yeah, nut paste, nut jam. So it’s been used, it’s been eaten together with garden eggs. How can I describe them? We call them garden eggs.
Oh guys, I wish you saw Ken’s eyes right now. Like whaaat?
They could be greenish, if they’re small, they’re greenish. If they’re big, they can be as big as, you know, a fist, you know. An adult fist. They’re whitish. They look like white tomato, big tomato. Yeah, sure. It has no taste at all, it’s tasteless.. Yeah, then we… with peanut paste, it gives a flavor.
So, quite a lot. Then we have zobo. The drink. So zobo is made from the zobo weed or plants, so it’s blackish reddish somehow. You dip it, you leave it, you boil it. Then you leave it to simmer, then we get the plant out of it. Then you mix whatever, sugar, then it’s like a mousse in Russia, right?
Right? So many.. Actually, before the podcast, I did a little, well, not a research, but I asked my friends on my Instagram page like heeey, guys, what’s your typical snack of choice? So, 90% of people said nuts or chips. So apparently those are like very popular snacks.
And then I’ve been thinking a lot about healthy snacks, cause when I tried to eat healthy – notice the past tense. So I was like no, I’m not gonna be snacking on unhealthy things. I’m going all healthy, you know, bananas, fruit, whatever.
Nuts are great, but you can’t eat a lot of them, cause then you get tired of them, so like, what, a handful of nuts max?
True. It’s true, it’s true.
So I was like – I’m gonna be eating fruit, but then I realized that you need a lot of preparation for that, so you need to wash an apple, cut it, and then take it with you in a container. Cause you can’t just go, let’s say…
and get it out like that.
That’s why chips are, you know, very popular, because you can just buy them.
We need to have street food just every corner where you can buy these things. Like in Nigeria.
I miss that! Not that I miss that, but we lack that. So it’s way easier to go and buy, let’s say, a bun, or something like that, like a pack of chips, cause you can just open it, eat it, throw the pack away.
The only healthy snack that I can think of when I’m hungry, when I’m getting peckish, is a banana. Cause it’s easy to peel. But if I want an apple, then I need, say, a bottle of water to wash it.
So it’s a problem. We need more healthy snacks!
Have you noticed how healthy snacks… Cause there are now these packs of chips that are made of vegetables and fruit, which is, for example, beet chips. And if you look at the ingredients, it’s just beet and salt. They’re tasty! Amazing! They’re not fried, but baked. But they are expensive.
Why are all the healthy snacks are so expensive!
Carry food along with you like me.
Well that’s what you have to do. Like, basically, I’m carrying my containers with food. Well, that’s why I love online teaching, cause I don’t have to do that. I want a snack, I go to my fridge. But I’ve also realized that sometimes I’m lazy to, say, take an apple, wash it, cut it.
Like, if I do that and I leave it on my plate in front of me, I’m gonna eat it all. But if not, I’m gonna like… Ahhhh, I’m lazy. And so, have you ever tried anything unusual or weird? So can you think of some weird, unusual snacks that you’ve seen, tried or maybe heard of but never tried?
Do you mean like snacks here in Russia?
Anywhere. So maybe you tried something unusual when you were travelling.
Interesting. Maybe some bugs in Thailand? Are they considered snacks?
In Nigeria too, you’re right about that.
Like scorpions, what else did I…?
Would you dare to try that?
I’m not sure. Yeah, probably if I’m challenged, I mean I always live up to my challenges.
I think I’d be reluctant to eat well, not a scorpion, but some kind of worms or bugs if they’re fried, but I wouldn’t eat a fried spider if you paid me. Like no, hell no.
Oh my god. You scared of spiders?
Actually, you know, speaking of like worms and whatnot. I recently went to a little shop in Novosibirsk and I saw a can with crispy worms somewhere from Korea. Are you kidding me? They were like it’s a kind of a snack, would you like it? I was like no thanks.
Yeah, it sounds, I don’t know, edible though. If it’s a snack, it must be tasty.
So, talking about some worms and whatever – in Nigeria, when we have the first rain, there’s this kind of butterflies, like butterflies they look like. They fill the whole place. So it’s been… There’s a research that was conducted that they’re really very healthy, so people started eating them as snacks. But you have them just one day or twice in the whole year.
It’s really very cool. When I was a child, when.. They fill up the whole place, there’s like a rain of them. So we go out there and we’re picking them up. We fill the bowl with water. Then immediately when the wing touches the water, they’re glued to the water. So that’s how we get them.
So they’re much easier to catch.
Wait, I think I saw that not long ago in Instagram.
And I was like oh my goodness, what are you gonna do with that? A girl I follow she has snails, like you know, those big…
Yeah, we eat snails in Nigeria too.
Are you gonna feed them to the snails? And then people like – oh when are you gonna eat the snails? And she’s like – no, that’s my pets. And I was like wow, you actually catch them and eat them, wow.
Yeah, we catch them up. Then you can… You get off the wings, they have two wings, you get off the wings, then you roast them, fry them or whatever. And I think I tried it once before.
Yeah, I don’t know. It was really very weird for me, something unusual, because there are a lot of other things to eat, yeah.
That sounds like a rare delicacy.
Well, once or twice a year, of course.
Yeah, so talking about something that is weird, yeah. Then my grandma actually used to eat some big worms. They’re big, they’re black, yeah, really big. She used to eat that. I’m not really very sure, but I must’ve tried it before, but I mean I can’t really say.
Wait a second. So these worms, are they found on the ground or where?
Really I don’t know where they’d been gotten from. Yeah, definitely. I wish my grandma was still alive, I would’ve asked her.
You know, speaking of, like, unusual snacks, I remember when I was in the US the first year, I was asking people a lot. And apart from like the usual things like, what is, like cheese balls and whatnot that don’t even have cheese as an ingredient, you know, those chemical things.
I was told about some snacks that are popular around the US. So, one of them… All of them are deep-fried. So one of them – you take an Oreo cookie, which are also popular. There’s some kind of cult of oreos. You dip it into some sweet batter and then you deep fry it.
I was like okay, I would probably try it, you know, that sounds interesting. But then I found out that two more things that they deep fry is those mini chocolate bars or not even mini chocolate bars, like Snickers or Mars – they also dip it into sweet batter and deep-fry it. And I was like, okay, that sounds….
Yeah, that sounds like a stomachache to be honest. But then the third one – they take a piece of butter, deep it into sweet batter and then deep-fry it. Like, butter! Whyyy?
Oh my god, no. I mean, I cannot imagine…
It’s like sweet + sweet + sweet + sweet.
But also – butter. It sounds like death to your arteries and whatnot. So, no. I tried the oreo, fried Oreo – that was nice, but kinda too sweet for me. Just like the.. Oh my god. Well, one of the popular snacks that people like making when they have…
Well, maybe not when they have parties, but when they go outside, go camping, and if you have some kind of a burner, that in a house… So you take Graham cracker, or some kind of a cracker, you put a piece of chocolate on it.
And then you take a marshmallow, you kinda like burn it so it becomes, you know, all fluffy, like a paste. And it has a name! Oh my god… If any of my American friends is listening to that, I’m sorry guys!
You’re neve gonna have one when you get back here.
It has a name, and if I remember, I’ll tell you. But how could I forget that?
Well, talking about snacks and the liquid one – another one that is really very common in Nigeria it’s called garri.
Sounds like a man’s name.
Yeah, like, you know, Gary or something like that. Yeah, like Gary. It’s garri. So it’s made from cassava. Cassava is a tuber like a yam, like potato.
Oh I know yam! I like it how you say cassava and Ken was like nodding, and I was like what the hell is he talking about?
I can relate, we also have that in Philippines.
Yeah it’s like yams. They grow on the earth. So they’re being processes and then they become like big particles of sand.
I mean, not like they’re awful like the sand, but I mean how they look like.
So, they’re dry. They’re like big particles of sand. Then you just simply pour into like a cup or a bowl, pour water into it, add sugar if you want, add some nuts. Sometimes some people add milk – and there you go!
It’s awesome. The president of Nigeria – it’s that!
I have never heard about any of those things.
It’s something relatable to some people, because, you know, it’s something that ordinary people eat.
Yeah, it’s being processes in different ways, but on the snacks way that’s how it’s being processed. Very simple. Right now we have, in the modern times, we have them ready in a sachet. So in a sachet you can buy a piece of garris in there, a piece of sugar, a piece of nut.
So all you need to do is just add some water.
So get the sachet – yeah, just put it and yeah, there you go. So we need to have something like that here, I mean, you were talking about it.
Yeah, cause it’s healthy.
Amazing. We don’t have anything like that.
So, and speaking of your Russian experience – have you found any cool snacks yet? I mean, Michael, you’ve been living here for like 12 years now?
Oh my god. Aren’t you a Russian citizen now?
I am, of course. Я русский.
So have you found any snack that has become your favorite?
Maybe you need to give us a list of some, yeah, cause the names. Yeah I must’ve tried a lot of things, but the names. I won’t be saying them in Russian. But yeah, probably give us some list of options. I just can’t remember.
I mean, bliny? This is what you call Russian pancakes. Are they considered snacks?
They are? I mean, cause for me they’re kinda like a food.
Like a food. A meal, for breakfast.
Especially if you stuff them, oh god.
What about vareniki? Is that…?
It’s also food. Like all the dumpling-looking things, it’s more of a meal. But if we’re talking about snacks, so… I mean, like chips, cause you know there are some Russian chips.
Like specifically Russian?
Is it like the crab ones?
Yeah. Well, those are technically from Korea.
Yeah. It’s a Korean brand. And I remember when I was at a University in the US, so we had like an international evening, so everyone brought some kind of snacks and whatnot. And I saw those chips and I was like oh my god, this is my childhood.
And the girl just looked at me and was like They’re Korean! Did you grow up in Korea? I’m like no, I grew up in Russia but we had a lot of them. So, no, there are chips that are called, I think, Русская картошка.
Русская, yeah! I’ve tried that. That’s pretty nice, actually, that’s an option for me. When I’m tired of, like, the Lays, yeah, then I go for that. It’s an option.
It’s not too salty, not too artificial. I mean, it’s still artificial, but, you know.
I’m not sure I’ve tried that. It would be nice to try it.
Yeah, you need to try it.
I think most of the snacks in Russia are sweet. Well, you know what? Why should I explain things to you when I can just show you and you can try things?
So, what we have here… This cute box, it’s called pastila, have you ever seen or heard anything?
Perfect, so a little bit of ASMR for you guys. I’m gonna open it. So it is considered to be a healthy snack, cause if we look at the ingredients, it says…
Apple puree, sugar, egg white, that’s it.
That’s nice. Talking about Russian snacks, I’ve seen one of my favorite actually, this one. What seeds are there right now? Sunflower seeds.
I adore it. I ate too much of it. I ate too much of it and now, you know, I kinda back out of it.
I wish we could show it to them though.
So, when you are trying it, make sure to explain everything to our listeners, like what it tastes like, does it remind of anything that you’ve tried? There we go. So the guys are eating pastila.
It is not too sweet, and…
It has a taste of apple in it.
And that’s what I like about it – it’s considered a healthy snack, cause it has just sugar, fruit, well, puree and egg white, so you can make it at home.
So it can be made at home, yeah?
It can be made at home, yeah. So all you need is some kind of puree, let’s say, berry puree, apple puree, so you add eggwhites, you add some sugar if you want, and then if I’m not mistaken you bake it for a very long, well, for some time on a low temperature. There are like a lot of variations of that.
No, that’s nice. I like it. It’s soft, it’s smooth, it’s not so sweet. It has a taste of apples, so I like apples, so.
I really love this one. But I’m wondering though, have you ever made some snacks on your own at home? Russian snacks of course.
Well… Russian… Oh, okay, maybe not.
I mean, I don’t… I mean cause Russian snacks are mostly sweet. So I can’t say that I’ve made them. I mean I make snakes… snakes, snacks at home that are savory. Mini pies, for example. Something that is easy to have a bite of and like, you know, just go, so, for example, mini onion pies or like, you know, puff pastry with something inside.
So now is the apple season which means that everyone has a question what can I do with apples? Or well, let’s say, zucchinis, for example. So the thing is that you can make a lot of different snacks with that. So now I’m thinking actually – I haven’t thought of that for some reason, but what if I make this pastila at home?
And if we look at the box, it says – applesauce baked in a special way in a Russian furnace. So all the beneficial properties of the product are maintained throughout the year. Try it once and you will stay with us forever.
Now, I mean, talking about desserts and all that, that made me think wow, I haven’t been eating much, I haven’t been eating enough. I need to, yeah.
Oh we have a lot for you. So the next one is called kozinak.
Michael knows what that is. So can you explain it to Ken?
I really like it. It’s sunflower seeds. Stick together with some sugar.
You need to break it off, yeah.
Okay, can we just… I’m trying to cut, well, not to cut, but to break…
It looks delicious, and it’s sticky.
It is sticky. Okay, so you need to make the sunflower seeds stick together. So it’s like caramel and if we look at the ingredients, it’s sunflower seeds, which is roasted, sugar, and water. So basically you, like, put it all together, you boil it so it becomes sticky and sugary and, yeah.
And you can make it out of different seeds. Pumpkin seeds I think. I’m not sur about peanuts. So, what do you think guys? How would you describe it?
Peanuts – you do that with peanuts too. They have this one – it has a bit of peanuts in this one, sunflower seeds in this one, together, and one last one – the whitish, I don’t know what seeds they are. They’re really very very small. They’re whitish, put together too.
Cedar nuts maybe? Like pine nuts?
Yeah, maybe. I don’t really know what nuts they are, they are packed together in a pack like this.
I had something similar, but not with sunflower seeds, but with peanuts.
Ken, I wanna ask, in the Philippines do you have sunflower like everywhere and stuff?
Well, we… It’s not a very common kind of flower in the Philippines, but there are certain regions where they are grown. But not very common.
Yeah, because in Nigeria they are very common, they are everywhere. And nobody knows that you can just use the seeds.
Oh my god, that’s so true! Like, I remember going to a Russian store with my students in the US. And I was like oh my god, I want that. Oh by the way, that’s one snack that somehow we’ve missed.
I was like oh my god, I need to get that, they were like what’s that? Sunflower seeds. Why, what?
Right? I want to eat that! With what? Like, with the peel, with the shell? No no no no, that’s the point, you’re gonna break it with your teeth, and you’re gonna throw away the shell and that’s so nice.
And there is pleasure in doing that.
Exactly! That’s all in the process!
Of course, of course, And talking about something you have to take out of the shell and all that, it’s the peanut, but the one with the shell. Yeah, it’s a very common snack in Nigeria too.
Oh! In the Philippines too! Can relate, can relate.
So you enjoy the process of like cleaning.
We actually make earring from that, so you make….
You open up a little bitthat part, kinda like push press it hard, it open up, so they you kind of hold it onto your…
So it’s like a clip on earring.
Oh my goodness! I need to google pics of that! Alright, are you ready for the next one?
This is also made of sunflower seeds and as far as I know, it’s common in Middle East. It’s called halva. So it’s like a paste, and I remember… Do you now this popular snack that’s form the US that’s called Reese’s Pieces?
So it’s basically… It’s peanut butter and it’s covered with chocolate and it can be in different forms and whatnot. And I remember I brought some Reese’s Pieces to Russia and a lot of people wo tried it were like – Ooh that’s a nice halva, where did you get that? And I was like umm, that’s peanut butter from the US. Excuse you!
So, but, yeah. Some of my American students when they tried it, they were like oh we know this thing.
Yeah well talking about international desserts. The Turkish delight seems to have a very big name.
I’ve tried it, it’s so delicious.
By the way, if you like Turkish sweets, we have new shop that opened in Novosibirsk which is called Bosphorus Delight. They have genuine baklava. God it is so good I’m ready to die for it. So, what do you think?
It is pretty nice, I like it. It is one of the snacks I could eat or did ate, I don’t eat snacks. I mean, we’re talking snacks and I’m like oh Michael, you’re missing out you need to eat maybe a little bit more.
Just like try maybe those.
You know what? I could eat this in one sitting. I love it. Halva, right?
How would you describe it? So if somebody asked you hey, what is a Russian snack that you like and you mentioned that, how would you describe it to people?
I think it’s like a frozen or a stuffed milk that dissolves into your mouth.
Yeah, exactly. Melts in your mouth.
That’s actually what I love about it, especially when you eat it with hot tea. It melts, it dissolves.
I wish we had hot tea now.
We need to hang on just a little bit more.
My mom could eat like a whole…
Yeah. She actually buys it by the kilo, well, she used to buy it by the kilo. She was buying a three kilo piece.
It’s pretty nice pretty nice.
Actually, it lasts long. Cause the thing is, even though you think you can eat the whole of it, the whole pack of it, you really can’t because it’s sunflower seeds. So you get full very fast, just like with any other nuts. Alright, are you ready for the next one?
Oh my god, this looks like a tamarind candy in the Philippines.
Well it looks like that, I don’t really know the process, you know. I don’t cook.
So the thing is that to make this you need fruit juice or... Well, usually it’s grape juice. So you have like nuts, maybe raisins, this one is with raisins and you dip it into grape juice a lot of times I think. And then it dries and you get this. It’s a very popular snack in the south.
Yeah, I came back from Sochi last month and I brought some with me. So I’m gonna compare the beautifully packed one with the locally made one in Sochi.
Oh damn it, I feel like this one is gonna lose.
Can I try a little? Cause you said there is raisin.
And I’m not a huge fan of raisin.
In чучхела the blend is gonna be all good.
It’s… No offence, it’s okay.
None taken, Ken. Ken just carefully put the rest of the piece clearly showing – I don’t want that.
So is this a good one to your professional taste?
Compared to the Sochi one that you had?
I mean the Sochi one is homemade, so it’s…
Like this one has the sugar taste lasts on your… in your mouth, it lasts in your mouth after eating. The Sochi one – no, It’s gone, like that.
So it’s the difference but it tastes very nice too.
For some reason I don’t really like the smell, maybe that’s the juice, I don’t know, maybe it’s the chemical….
It’s natural kinda like I think.
I don’t know, but it kinda tastes like herbal in a way.
Maybe that’s because of the nuts or raisins or the combination of that. Cause it’s raisins and walnut. And if we look at the ingredients, it’s white sugar, walnuts, raisins, breadstuff wheat flour, citric acid, cloves, cinnamon and vanillin. So maybe the herbal…
And because this one is from the shop, it’s sealed and all that, the locally made ones don’t have the smell at all, at all. Absolutely.
Alright. We still have four more things to go. So you all know like jelly beans and whatnot. Not a fan?
I do love gummy bears. Oh yeah, by the way, I love that as a snack, gummy bears. But the thing s that in Russia we do love jelly things too, but usually they are coated with sugar. And you can see, they are very bright, which…
I mean, usually when I look at it, you know when you look at gummy bears, it’s not too bright, even though you know there’s some…
You know, like coloring, the artificial coloring that has been added. This one is so bright, like how much of the coloring did you add? So, thanks but no.
Cause it’s gonna be sticky on my tooth and all that.
Yeah, I mean it’s really sticky. But, I don’t know, it’s nothing distinct, because we have something similar also in the Philippines. It’s like eating a Filipino…
And what’s it called in Russian?
Which is like one thing – you can see the way it looks. And I remember I was going to a cinema with some kids that I was teaching. And we were watching Paddington. And in Russian they translated, they said that Paddington loved мармелад and the kids looked at it and were like this is not it!
That looks like jam! And I was like well that is, because in English it’s marmalade and it has nothing to do with gummy things, this is like jam.
So, but they sound almost alike, but there’s a huge gap between them. So Ken, what do you think?
So not, not at the top. Not even at the top 3 judging by your face.
But you like sweet, Ken, come on, that’s sweet enough.
Well, okay, You know, sweets are different, IF we talk about, for example, Premium Belgian chocolate.
But you remember I like dark chocolate.
So the next one… It’s called… It’s like honey cake I would say, and it’s called пряник.
And it’s called тульский, because initially they were made in the town of Tula.
Tula. I took part in the online conference in Tula. This year! No, last year, last year it was Tula, this year it was in Ufa.
You’ve traveled more around Russian than I have.
Actually, yeah, it was online. But traveling too, I’ve been everywhere, almost everywhere. Yeah, it’s nice. This one I can go for.
It is, It’s like a cake and then it has some kind of, a little bit of an icing on top, just a tiny bit of an icing. And this one has a filling which is boiled condensed milk or that a lot of people will know by the name of dulce de leche.
It’s not really as sweet as the others.
Yeah, it has honey and usually has some kind of spices like cinnamon or cloves in it, so.
Yeah, things like that are for me, yeah, with all pleasure. I wouldn’t be scared, I’m gonna eat it. The next one is also scary for me.
Scary? This is more like a Russian version of a marshmallow, only made a tiny bit differently and in a different shape. And this is called зефир.
Зефир, like the West wind, zephyr.
There we go. You can just take a bite.
I’m gonna take just a little. Ken get it.
You can just take a bite.
I mean, I know it, I know it, definitely. But I don’t eat stuff like this.
I’m really curious, if you take a bite, does it resemble marshmallow to you or is it like totally different? What do you think?
I would say marshmallowish.
Ish. Well it also has eggwhites and sugar among the ingredients but I think that’s it.
What do you think of this one?
It tastes a little bit like cotton sweet.
Oh, okay. That’s an interesting comparison.
But it’s something that, when I eat it, it’s gonna make me hungrier.
I get.. There’s something different about it, that makes it different from marshmallow. And I don’t know, maybe it’s less sweet. But to be honest I don’t have the desire to keep eating that, I usually take a tiny bite and that’s it, I don’t want that.
Stuff like that are too sweet for me.
Alright, and the last one. The thing that kinda like confused all of my American students cause when I bought that they were like I’m sorry what’s that? Like, okay guys, so this is called сушки.
What is it? So basically that’s like dry bread that is round and little, sometimes with poppy seeds on top. Like, dry bread? Why do you Russians like dry bread so much? Like, it should be soft. I’m like no no no, try it. They don’t like it for some reason. I love it. So whenever I buy a pack…
You know we have different types. The sweet type right now. Sweet type and whatever type. I ate the onion taste type.
Yeah, now they actually turned it into a healthy snack, like with beet.
And that is the bomb, just because I love veggies.
You know what, I could name my dog, if I happen to have one in the future, I’d like to call it сушки.
Aww. But сушки is the plural one.
And we could have big ones.
Yeah, there are bigger ones, but the thing is that if they are too big, like the size of your palm…
It is. If it’s too big we would call them баранки, so.
The things is that you usually take… It’s like sunflower seeds, you eat one, you’re like okay, I’m just gonna take one, then you take another one, another one.
Then you end up eating the whole…
Well, it’s still bread, so you can’t eat like a lot of it, cause it’s very filling, but god, this is addictive.
I like it because you can keep them for a long time. Usually I keep it in the car, like, you know.
Yeah, they last for years, well, not for years but for a long time.
Yeah. I was lying about… When I’m in the traffic jam and I’m feeling sleepy, it keeps me awake.
Yeah. Well, if we look at these snacks, at these sweets, what would be your top 3 maybe?
Okay. How do you call that one again, with apple?
Pastila. Okay, wait, if I have to rank them…
So let’s say your top three, number one being the best, number three…
I would rank pastila as the first. Second would be. What is this again?
Пряник. Wait wait wait. What is this?
i’m so sorry for not remembering the names.
No no no. The second one.
It’s tough. Let’s say, how should I call this one again?
Halva. So that would be the third.
So number one would be a healthy snack and then two of them are made with sunflower seeds, oh you do like sunflower seeds.
Which is pretty nice, really.
Michael, what would be your top 3?
I think number one of all these is gonna be a home made чучхела.
Ah, okay, nice addition – home made.
The emphasis on home made.
Home made, yeah. Then the second one is gonna be… what is it called?
Kozinak. That is gonna be number two. Then number three – that’s a tricky one. Number three is always tricky. I think I’m gonna go for this one.
I like how nobody chose the Russian marshmallow or the jelly thingies.
Cause they are, I don’t know, quite common. It’s like similar to some snacks that we have in the Philippines, that’s why.
We don’t have any of those in Nigeria at all. Nobody will eat it.
Well. Guys, it was so much fun. Thank you, thank you so much. Well, that as the BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed snacks in general, what is popular in the Philippines, what is popular in Nigeria and our snacks of choice. So whether we like sweet snacks or savory snacks, what about healthy snacks – is there any appeal to them? And you guys tried Russian sweets.
Yes, yes, yes, thanks for that.
So thank you for listening and remember – if you struggle to understand our conversation, you’re always welcome to our website, which is BigAppleSchool.com/Podcast where you can find full scripts of each episode. And you can read the scripts while listening, right, isn’t that cool?
Also, if you want to get more content which will help you learn English, you can follow us on social media such as Instagram, VK, Youtube, Telegram – everywhere. Just go on and search our name, again, BigAppleSchool. So that was Katya and my guests for today were…
Woohoo! So stay tuned and we’ll see you around!