Back in grade school, I would buy champoy from the school canteen whenever I had money left over from my allowance of 50 centavos. In high school, my allowance was a peso, which allowed me to save a little and venture to the Chinese store in shopping center where there was a wider range of choices: black champoy, orange champoy, red orange with black tinges champoy and dikiam.
IN college, one of my best friends was Chinese and it was then I learned that the black thingy I had been eating was champoy, the orange one was kiamoy. I went with her to Ongpin once and saw a greater variety. There was seedless dikiam, dikiam with a seed, gray champoy without a seed, gray champoy without a seed, etc.
My favorite then was the black champoy which I was told was the dung of goats. Whether true or not, likely not, I told myself, i kept on eating it until recently when I bought a sealed pack in DECs Eastwood that was so utterly dry it must have been old.
My taste buds began to find the orange one too salty, luckily for me, some stores allow taste tests. So these days I now get the gray seedless ones, like this one my son got from Aji Ichiban the other night when I was feeling a bit out of it:
Yes, I usually want to have champoy on hand for anyone who’s feeling a bit out of it. Back in 1982, my nurse would allow me to have champoy/kiamoy when I felt dizzy trying to stand up post my surgery. And just a bite would work wonders.
While I don’t fancy those black ones with seeds wrapped in waxed paper and cellophane, I long for the red ones with hues of black that were more sweetish than salty. Hua Kong used to sell them, but the last time I had someone check, there was no more. Aji Ichiban doesn’t carry it. The last time I had a taste of it was when my sister brought a few from China or somewhere. And I don’t know what it’s called either, so I guess I’ll have to be content with those found in Aji Ichiban. Sometimes I also buy form the Chinese lady in Unimart who has bottles of preserved fruits on hand, aside from lumpiang ubod and vinegared(?) santol and green mango. Hmmm, it’s been a while since we’ve been to Greenhills. But the weather makes it difficult, unless we park in the parking building.
So why this post? To keep a remembrance of son’s champoy/kiamoy for me really. 🙂