Fix Me A Snack

A blog created by a mom who got sick of feeding her kids crackers and ice cream

I’m keeping my kids guessing as usual. I’m starting to believe that a kid who is too comfortable and knows what to expect at snack time is trouble waiting to happen.

Pictured here is a what I believe to be a Vietnamese treat from my local Asian grocery. It’s a perfect example of shaking things up in the name of fun and experimentation. One of the main ingredients is basil seeds. But they look beautifully similar to frog eggs floating in swamp muck. I just had to bring it home.

After I tasted this gelled treat myself and explained that I thought it tasted sweet and floral, with a hint of lime, my girls went for it. They both took a few bites and then decided they had enough. But my eldest actually claims to like it. God bless her.

If anyone knows any Vietnamese (?) and can translate the name on the label, I’d be much obliged. Google was no help to me on this one.


  1. Katya
    2:02 pm on May 11th, 2011

    Google translate says “trend away from beads é” =) you probably got the same.

  2. Katya
    2:06 pm on May 11th, 2011

    this is what I got while googling for poontalai

  3. Katya
    2:07 pm on May 11th, 2011
  4. Katya
    2:08 pm on May 11th, 2011

    it appears links don’t work [http:][//][wiki/][Sterculia_lychnophora] just remove the brackets. sorry for spam.

  5. Cindy
    11:04 am on May 13th, 2011

    No worries. Sorry the link blocking is causing headaches. Interesting entry on wikipedia. Thanks for digging around!! Live and learn.

  6. devotchka
    7:19 am on May 12th, 2011

    You’re braver than I am! I’d have been scared to try a completely unfamiliar food whose label I couldn’t read. I’m impressed. :)

    Reading that wikipedia article on it was interesting though.

  7. sandi
    10:28 am on May 12th, 2011

    I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, but there are things that are too scary looking. I’m intrigued now, and vow to not be so afraid.

  8. CatherineHoang
    12:30 pm on May 13th, 2011

    Hi Cindy. what you have there is what vietnamese people call che`. It’s a sweet desert soup. The “frog eggs” floating on top are indeed basil seeds. On the cup, the words ” Hột é ” literally translate to “seed frog”. I’m not sure that the spelling on the cup is correct, because I’m pretty sure it should be “sương sáo” (grass jelly), not “xu xa”.

  9. Cindy
    9:39 am on May 18th, 2011

    Wow! Thanks Catherine for your help.

  10. Lani
    5:47 pm on May 24th, 2011

    Defn frogs eyes. And i thought we had nasty looking food in Samoa?! I just discovered your blog, I have 5 children and Im thrilled to find your snack ideas. Now lets see if I can be brave enough to offer them something totally NEW and ‘strange’ looking!

  11. Cindy
    10:46 am on May 25th, 2011

    Glad to hear from you Lani. Best of luck with introducing strangness.

  12. DebZ
    11:14 pm on June 1st, 2011

    i love that you keep them on their toes. good mama!

  13. I love sushi and trying new things, but i dont know if i could stomach that one. Maybe if i didn’t see it before it was prepared.
    Kudos on being adventurous though ;)

  14. Kelly
    9:57 pm on August 23rd, 2011

    They sell something looking the same in our local mediterranian grocer labelled fermented basil seeds.

  15. Basil seeds -yes. Fermented – yikes!

  16. Erica
    11:39 am on January 11th, 2013

    Basil seeds! I saw a drink in a seven eleven in Thailand that had those, but I didn’t know what it was! I even took a video of it’s flowy-unique look. The ingredient, poontalai, is sold in my boyfirend’s parents’ local Asian Grocery store & is a dried seed. All I know is that we use it when we make pho for seasoning.

  17. Thanks for the additional info Erica. These continue to be one of our most intriguing taste tests.