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Monday, March 21, 2011

W/W - Ice Cream Potong


One of my favourite things I grew up on was the sound of a handbell ringing in the distance. It could only mean one thing - the "ice-cream potong uncle" was making his rounds in the neighbourhood on his trusty old bicycle.

A peek inside 'uncle's container

"Ice-cream potong" literally translates as 'cut ice cream'. Back in those days, when not every household enjoyed the luxury of a refrigerator, ice-cream potong was a popular treat among kids and even adults especially on hot days in Malaysia where the weather is summery all year round. The popsicles were frozen in long rolls and wrapped in thin paper. 'Uncle' would cut the rolls into the length you requested, then skewer the cut popsicle with a stick made from the spines of coconut leaves. The popsicles came in a variety of flavours, usually durian, chendol, corn and red-bean.

A rarity nowadays, I was delighted and surprised to find an ice-cream potong seller on a recent visit to my hometown. Curious, I asked 'uncle' how his business was in these times. He lamented that kids don't seem to enjoy the traditional popsicle these days and he could probably be the last ice-cream potong seller we see around.

Saddened by the thought, I wistfully savoured my last 'real' ice-cream potong. Sure, you could always get them at the frozen department in supermarkets where the popsicles are sold in pre-packed boxes but they aren't nearly quite the same.
Nothing quite compares to the pleasure of hearing that familiar 'ding a ling a ling' sound and uncle's shouts of 'ice-cream potong' as we kids raced against one another, coins jingling in our pockets, to be the first in line to get the icy cold treat on a sweltry day.

Rodney enjoying his first 'real' ice-cream potong

Ice-cream potong sold in the supermarkets

28 comments:

  1. Reading that makes me so sad for uncle. I'd buy some from him if I were with you, V! (slurp!!!) Why must our children pick Pac Man shaped ice creams over these homemade ones? Ahem, I'd pass on the durian flavor, if you don't mind. My husband can have them all! ;)

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  2. I grew up on pops like these!!!

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  3. That makes me sad too...

    When we were in Thailand, they had corn on the cob vendors like this that I LOVED....wish there had been ice cream!

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  4. I wish I had an ice cream uncle in my neighborhood!

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  5. I would much rather listen to the " hand bell ringing" instead of a boom box that our ice-cream man has in our neighborhood. Sad to see his business struggle.

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  6. I want an ice cream uncle! He looks like a sweet old man and i'd love to try the red bean! Glad to see you back from your brake :)

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  7. I love looking at this. It reminds me of living in SE Asia

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  8. Equivalent to our ice cream trucks in the US....great memory. We used to have a dairy my mom would get her milk from and they had banana popsicles that were delicious! You just brought back a memory.

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  9. Very interesting! Especially the flavors!!! I would love to try Ice-cream Potong, and will watch for it in our specialty markets!!!

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  10. I'd just love to try that! So interesting!

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  11. My kids are crazy for ice cream trucks/pops! I'm pretty sure they would be all over ice-cream Potong.

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  12. You always have the best stuff!
    Hope all is well with you :)

    Have a great Wednesday!
    http://harrietandfriends.com/2011/03/on-the-damn-wall/

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  13. Awwww! So sad that a tradition like that is fading away. So cool you got to share your awesome memory and experience with Rodney! :)

    WW: Creative Play

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  14. Those are so yummy!! Stopping by from Java's ww and following you now!

    http://simplyyousimplyme.com/

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  15. What a great description - I've never heard of them and now I want one...

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  16. I'm not sure if this went through, but happy Wednesday!

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  17. That's so cool! I would love to try one of those pops.

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  18. I remember the ice cream truck coming down our street when I was still taking naps-50+ years ago. Thanks for the memory and blessings to you and yours!

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  19. They look delicious. While we didn't have ice cream potong I do remember treats as a kid that are no longer around, like penny candy, candy cigarettes, and gummy fish.

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  20. I loved hearing about this type of treat. It is sad it is a favorite that is fading away.
    I hope I get the opportunity to try one of these some day.

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  21. When I was growing up, we always bought ice cream from the ice cream truck. I never see them anymore.....loved your pictures this week!

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  22. So true! We used to have Mr. Whippy here in Australia and the sound of "greensleeves" playing in the distance would bring children running! They're a rarity these days and even then its not "greensleeves" and its not even Mr. Whippy - just a copycat. *sigh*

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  23. We need it here in my florida neighborhood looks so yummy!, thanks for stopping by Our Blog.
    Angela & Angelica
    http://Groovybabyblog.blogspot.com

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  24. that made me sad.. but happy you got to enjoy one
    that is so funny, as where we live now has an ice cream truck... and i had not seen one in over 10 years!

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  25. hihi, i am currently interested in getting some supply of malaysia traditional and handmade ice potong. do u mind to provide me the contact or the location where the ice potong uncle was? hopefully can get your reply. thanks and appreciate..

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  26. @anonymous

    Please contact me - clickr62@gmail.com

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