9th April 2007

Haw Flakes — Haw in Convenient Disc Form

Sometimes, your gamble in the candy aisle of a Chinese market pays off… sometimes it doesn’t. Not everybody loves haw flakes, but I’m a fan.

Mmmm... haw
Mmmm… haw
Contains haw, sugar, water and dye. But mostly haw.
Contains haw, sugar,
water and red dye.
But mostly haw.

What are haw flakes, you ask? Why, they’re flakes. Made out of haw. Just like it says on the package. They may look like firecrackers, but they’re a delightful candy treat. Each roll has a couple dozen super-thin wafers of hawiness. They look like monochrome Necco wafers, and taste and feel somewhat like a desiccated Fruit Roll-Up. I think they are delicious, but a few people have said they “taste like ass.” Most people seem to like them, though. Even if you don’t go for the taste, the packaging is so colorful and fun, they’re hard to resist. Unless you’re just really disappointed that they aren’t really firecrackers.

Haw flakes, in the buff
Haw flakes, in the buff

They are dirt cheap — possibly literally. I used to work for a dirt company, and dirt can get pretty pricey. As I said, each roll comes with a couple dozen wafers, and ten of those rolls come in a pack. I bought a bag of about a half-dozen packs for just a couple bucks. That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,400 flakes. I don’t understand how that is possible, what with all the elaborate packaging involved, and the shipping halfway across the globe. I would love to see pictures of a haw flake factory, they’re probably lots of fun to watch in action.

I brought some with me to Forbidden Island last week (that’s our favorite bar, we tend to be there on Wednesdays), and they were a big hit. I might try crumbling some up into some Schnapps of some sort, and call it Hawschläger.

There are currently 10 responses to “Haw Flakes — Haw in Convenient Disc Form”

  1. 1 On April 9th, 2007, VanTiki said:

    I can’t believe you just did a write up on Haw Flakes! I used to EXIST on these things. Back in “small kid time” (as we say in Hawaii) we didn’t have ice cream trucks, we had shave ice trucks. Without fail the cheapest food item on the truck was the Haw Flakes. I think they cost either a nickel or a dime each. With my handful of saved lunch money I could either get 1 shave ice, or 30 or so haw flakes. I think you know what I bought every time! :) I have always yearned to see the Haw in its natural (un-waferized) form.

  2. 2 On April 9th, 2007, Humuhumu said:

    There’s a drawing of haw on the larger pack, they look kind of like little crabapples. I haven’t seen a real one, though.

  3. 3 On April 9th, 2007, Jon said:

    Those things look like soylent brown.

  4. 4 On April 10th, 2007, Monica said:

    I never bought the haw flakes just other candies made from it, I love it!

  5. 5 On April 10th, 2007, gregg said:

    When I was in the 7th grade it was thought they the reason they were so cheap was they were made out of flavored saw dust, I think it was because “Haw” sounded like “Saw” and if you ate them you were off. I always thought they were made out of opium since they came in a bag of 10 rolls and you couldn’t stop eating the damn things.

  6. 6 On April 10th, 2007, Jen said:

    I love it! I’m going to have to get me some flakes of Haw. Love. It.

  7. 7 On April 10th, 2007, Humuhumu said:

    If you like the flavor of haw, you might also like Palapa Azul hibiscus sorbet — it’s yummy! I tore through a pint of the stuff a few days ago, after finding it at Whole Foods. I thought the flavor was really similar to haw flakes (only much more fresh & delicious, of course).

  8. 8 On October 23rd, 2007, Bill said:

    Haw Flakes are the best. 10 rolls cost about a $1.25. The taste is interesting, and they are addicting! I just finished up a few rolls, and I may eat some more. High five to the FLAKES!!!!

  9. 9 On February 16th, 2012, B-B said:

    I used to hate it, but now I can eat 2 packs in 5 minutes! I have known that haw flakes can help your digestion too! (I knew from chinese doctor)

  10. 10 On July 5th, 2013, Sue said:

    Thank you for posting such lovely pictures of Haw Flakes. Great memories as a kid in the 1960s/70s eating them. What brought me to you was Google search for “Hong Kong candy” as I couldn’t remember the name. Homemade quince paste (membrillo)seriously reminds me of Haw Flakes flavor.