Forgive the poor photo –this was taken with the little cheap camera I had for a short period of time at Catholic boarding school. It was an instant camera, I recall, but I could never afford a second roll of film. Such frivolities would have been unbelievable for me at the time. Now I print photos all the time… 😅 but I remember getting these printed as a kid was a big deal for me because of the cost.
Anyway, pictured is the boarding school’s kiosk. It was a little wooden shack. It also had a window on the side –some kid always tried to buy from there, because the front would be swamped. Sometimes the lady in this photo (it wasn’t always the same one) would let you buy from that window, but they usually just said no and sent you to the front.
This same lady once snatched a toy from my hand to punish me from bothering her too much after she said no to letting me buy from there. I was aghast! I sat under the window crying to myself until she gave it back. I was so fond of that little toy that it’s one of the few things I brought with me to the USA… it probably deserves its own Memory Monday post.
I had very little money to spend at this shop. Twenty five cents in the morning and twenty five in the afternoon. Remember, I would spend the whole week at this school. It definitely didn’t go very far, and since I was a very picky eater growing up (in my defense the school food was revolting) I was often hungry all day at school. Kiosk snacks didn’t offer much of a reprieve at 50 cents a day (that was basically the cost of one candy bar.)
But some things were cheaper. Full disclosure, new photos of this stuff are impossible for me to obtain, so I pulled these from Google image search, sometimes from auctions or defunct online stores.
I’d often get “Maní Con Chocolate” (chocolate covered peanuts):
I remember the feel of the cardboard box so well. Argentinean maní con chocolate always had a carboardy taste to me. I loved it, though.
Another thing that I could buy easily were chocolatines (usually 5 or 10 cents each). Extremely cheap tiny blocks of confectioner’s chocolate. Delicious. Cheap tasting but so good.
Turrones (can’t recall the exact price but extremely cheap) were my to-go if I was starving:
They tasted even more like cardboard, but were filling. I still buy these from Argentinean stores to this day for nostalgia’s sake and they taste exactly like they did when I was a kid. I often have one turrón for breakfast with my coffee.
I almost never got to buy Topolín. It was basically toys and a lollipop. But it was a real thrill to open one. Topolín saw many iterations of its packaging over the years. This is the one I remember best:
A much better “treat and toy” candy was Chocolate Con Leche Jack. It was a little (good quality) chocolate with a neat toy inside, basically a luxury version of a chocolatín. The toy was (in my era) just a weird shape with a colorful painted image on it, but they got fancier later. I prefer the ones I grew up with.
Paragüitas were an excellent treat. It was an umbrella-shaped chocolate. You could stab other kids with it:
There were two kinds of kids: those who sucked on their paraguita to make it last and those who bit into it like animals. I was the latter. Sometimes I still see these, in the USA –an American version which is carrot-shaped and appears around Easter. I believe it is made by Lindt.
I think that’s it –once again, sorry for the poor quality photos. It was the best I could find. 😊