#148 Tira-Tira

Modern version of tira-tira wrapped in colored plastic foil

Among the native candies tira-tira (pronounced as ‘tee-rah, tee-rah’) is what Filipino mothers warn their kids about, scaring them with nightmare visits to the dentist (sorry, but this blogger has no idea as to the origins of the name).

These days this old-fashioned Filipino-made candy is almost on the way out except for small stores, perhaps, located in the countryside which sell inferior versions of the original. Tira-tira is basically a stick of caramelised sugar and (according to older Filipinos) the original tira-tira verision of the 1950s and 1960s was thinner, stickier and wrapped in paper, not plastic. The original is also better, so they say, since it is devilishly chewy with a gummy consistency.

This blogger’s memory of the tira-tira is from the 1970s which is more brittle and less sticky or chewy. But it is the gummy consistency that makes eating tira-tira great fun since it’s like glueing your molars together with the stickiness of the candy. Kids apparently enjoy the panicky feeling of ‘glueing’ their teeth with a surplus of sugar, and also the fun of pulling the gummy tira-tira to several various lengths or as long as shoe laces!

Eating tira-tira would also guarantee a sticky mess on your fingers. Thus, definitely not the candy of choice when showing up for a romantic date.

Mabuhay ang tira-tira!


Filed under Food

12 responses to “#148 Tira-Tira

  1. luisa

    kilala ko iyan!

  2. archie

    I love tira tira too bad they dont have it any more and haw haw hmmm haw haw

  3. Alvin John

    I think it contains some coconuts. It taste something like coco jam (latik) but just more solid instead of being more liquid.

  4. jennifer dayrit

    I have been looking for tira tira for many years now. where can I get these?

  5. the best candy ng generation ko

  6. laurel

    my aunt used to have me sell the original kind at school. They were an all brown color and wrapped in wax paper. The fresher it was the taffier it tasted. I could always tell if their a couple days old because only the center would be taffy like… DEEELISH!

  7. The tira tira I knew in the 50’s and 60’s was wrapped in cellophane, about 8 inches long, and half an inch in diameter. This usually took about half an hour to consume, since it was really rubbery, and usually extends to more than double its length when you bite on one end and pull on the other. Hah, I can imagine the cavities among us kids. But, yes, it was really devilishly sweet and tasty with its slightly caramel flavor, AND it cost only a mere Five Centavos. I hope someone will reintroduce this treat ( if only a shortened and less sugary version) for the sake of todays kids. Together with the champoy and dikiam that only cost five centavos for three pieces ( and wrapped in cellophane or in small colorful boxes with Laurel and Hardy photos) Brand name, FAT AND THIN.

  8. Anne

    Great post ; brings back a lot of childhood memories. Do you happen to remember also this candy that is an inexpensive imitation of Vick’s menthol candies — called Family Menthol Candy? They’re green and shaped like a triangle, and comes in 3s inside a small plastic pack… Been looking for this for the longest time…

  9. A friend of mine from Bohol just brought me tira-tira. She said her mother made it. I’m trying to get the recipe from her. 🙂

  10. Caren Bandiola

    The biggest and the longest tira tira could be found in antique tama po bah?

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