A Taste for Every Taste: The Essential Guide to Korean Treats
What some people know about Korean candy encompasses all of Pepero and maybe a 목켄디 (throat candy) here and there. Pepero is easily the most popular Korean snack outside of the mainland, especially to foreign audiences. But a closer look—and a deeper taste—reveals what can only be described as a snack lover’s dream.
It’s only fitting that a country with such a rich history and culture have an equally rich assortment of candies and snacks for people to choose from. Many who have tried Korean snacks have fallen in love with their rich and distinct flavors—ones that might be common to eastern Asian regions but are yet to make their mark on the rest of the world.
The good thing about Korean snacks is that they range in flavor from the bold and exciting to the sweet and tangy, which means there’s a taste for everybody.
For Something on the Sweet Side…
Who is surprised? The most famous snack still makes the most perfect treat for those with an extreme sweet tooth. Pepero is a cookie stick coated in chocolate and, more often than not, coated in an assortment of goodies, such as nuts or cookies. Fans of Pepero can pretty much enjoy a different Pepero for every mood, which is what makes it the ultimate snack.
Chocopie is exactly what it says it is: two round layers of cake, marshmallow filling in the center, and a rich chocolate coating. This snack is a chocolate lover’s dream. The contrast of the light cake and dense marshmallow gives it a wholesome feel. The chocolate also balances out the marshmallow filling, giving this dessert just the right amount of sweetness.
For a Salty Kick…
SHRIMP CRACKERS (새우깡)
Shrimp crackers are the perfect snack when craving something light but salty. These staples are popular worldwide for their crunchy texture and shrimpy goodness. These treats may be enough to satisfy a salt craving, but luckily they won’t leave unsuspecting snackers with a dry mouth. They’re the perfect balance, which is what makes them so irresistible.
SWEET POTATO SNACK (고구마깡)
For those snackers who aren’t fans of seafood but still want that salty kick, a sweet potato snack is the way to go. They have the same lightness and crunchiness as shrimp crackers, but without the fishy taste. Instead, snackers will be pleasantly surprised at the full-bodied sweet potato taste. It’s almost like biting into the vegetable itself.
For a Rich Taste…
HONEY BUTTER CHIPS (허니버터칩)
The honey butter craze is no joke. Die-hard snackers already know about the rich, buttery taste of honey butter chips and have most likely stored a few bags away for safekeeping. These chips are the real deal! Somehow Haitai and Calbee found a way to infuse the sweetness of honey and the richness of authentic butter in chip form and the result is sure to ignite tastebuds.
There are two types of Diget cookies: the first boasts a whopping 14% daily fiber intake, and the second has chocolate on one side. If dry, crunchy snacks are appealing, then the original Diget is perfect. If getting in a daily fiber quota while indulging in a bit of rich chocolate is enticing, then Choco Diget hits all the requirements and more.
For Those Plain Fans…
RICE CRUNCH BARS
Often toted as an “ahjumma/ahjusshi” snack, rice crunch bars come in different flavors—none too bold—and are good enough to satisfy any appetite. From honey to coffee flavor, these bars are as versatile as they are delicious. They can be perfect mid-day or pre-dinner snacks as well.
CORN CHIPS (꼬깔콘)
Many North American snackers might instantly recognize these as another popular corn snack, Bugles. Fans might be interested to learn that the taste doesn’t differ too far from its American counterpart: they’re still light, crunchy, and irresistible.