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Flight of the Street Snack – Hong Kongers Mourn the Death of Mr Airplane Olive

By Stasia Fong 12 December 2013
  Uncle Kei, the creator of ‘The Airplane Olive’ (甘草欖), passed away on December 9th, much to the distress of Hong Kong snack fans. Kei died at the ripe old age of 88, 75 years after he started first selling the street treats aged 13. The snack - which looks like an olive but is actually made from herbs marinated with salt and licorice - was given its unique nickname because the street vendors would throw the little indulgences to people on their balconies, who would in return throw their money down in payment. This was back in the days when Hong Kong’s buildings were still low-rise – could you imagine throwing something to the top of the IFC? Rest In Peace Uncle Kei, and we hope your delicious delicacy lives on!
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Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Stasia Fong is a freelance writer with dreams of breaking into the television industry and executive produce her own television show.