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!