I am mourning the death of a Singapore icon, or to be more precise a Singapore brand icon.
The pudgy, convoluted profile of an Old Chang Kee curry puff was a sight to behold. The Curry'O, to give it its correct title, was a hand crafted cholesterol-rich, masterpiece.
Each offering took on a distinctly unique look but all could be guaranteed to be copiously filled with a curry potato mash and a quarter of egg.
They were the benchmark for commercial curry puff production in this country and had a long history. While maybe not the crème de la crème of curry puffs but they weren't far off it. Even the illegal puff sellers at the MRT couldn't better Old Chang Kee.
You will note that I have been using the past tense as yesterday our purchase of Curry'Os was a major let-down!
Gone was the distinctive bulges of a well filled morsel and the hand crimped edges with their irregularities.
In its place there is now a machine produced object with a thin hard crust and about half the filling of the original. Try as I might, I could not find any reference to egg in the mixture.
No doubt the company has won a Singapore innovation award and multiplied its profits but they have (in my humble opinion) committed the cardinal marketing sin; tinkering with their anchor product.
Even the larger Cola companies have learnt to their cost that this does not pay. Mind you, I doubt that we will ever see a Curry'O Lite.