Snack Attack is a new column featuring nibbles that writers and editors on the LSA team truly enjoy. This week, writer Jocelyn shares all her favourite Korean snacks you can get right now.
When my editor told us we’d be introducing snacks to our readership, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around it. As unbelievable as it sounds, I don’t have a habit of snacking while I work or as I binge-watch my shows on Netflix.
I was on the verge of inserting recommendations for my favourite “snacks”, ie celery sticks, blueberries and tomatoes — that’s how uninspired I was.
As I got sidetracked thinking about the potential leisure travel corridors at the end of the year, I realised I did, in fact, have a number of snacks to recommend.
The last two years living in Singapore during the pandemic has stripped me of my frequent travels to South Korea, and I found myself reminiscing about all the places and people I’ve met.
These aren’t suggestions that’ll bring you back to the bustling streets of Hongdae or Myeongdong. After all, nothing really comes close to recreating that atmosphere. At best, they’re just a piece of one of Singapore’s favourite holiday destinations — which is honestly as close as you can get for now.
(Hero and featured image credit: Bundo Kim on Unsplash)
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the craze that was the Honey Butter Chips back in 2014/2015. In general, South Korea’s potato chip selection leaned towards the sweeter end, but these simultaneously sweet, salty, and buttery chips catapulted into a crazed obsession amongst the country. They were constantly sold out, so those who managed to get their hands on them — that included celebrities — were seen posting selfies with the yellow bag on social media. It’s been a couple of years since then, but I still find myself coming back to these when I’m craving a bag of sweet chips.
Choco Pie is one of the OG modern Korean snacks, so famous, tourists used to buy them back as souvenirs and gifts for their friends back home. For the uninitiated, the round discs come as two small layers of cake with sticky marshmallow filling in between, then coated in chocolate. Stack them up in a pyramid formation on a plate with candles on top and you’ve got yourself a makeshift birthday cake.
If you love the taste of honeydew, then Melona is the best summer ice cream you could ask for. It isn’t icy like most popsicles, but it also doesn’t leave that weird sensation on the roof of your mouth like other milkier ice creams. Each bite of the stick is fruity and creamy, and if you’re not careful, extremely addictive.
If you’ve grown up with American snacks, then you’ll find that KKoKKalCorn is Korea’s answer to your Granny Goose Kornets craving. Salty, crunchy and really fun to eat, KKoKKalCorn is one of the top tier corn snacks you’ll find yourself going back time and time again for.
While Yakgwa used to be served on more traditional holidays like weddings and Korean Thanksgiving, but they’ve now become a common mid-day snack that’s served with tea. These mini ones come with a slightly crunchy exterior and a chewy inside, flavoured with ginger-infused honey for sweetness.
While dark chocolate may win over the hearts of many a chocolate lover, there are days where you just need a sweeter version to cheer you up a little. Personally, I’d reach for a piece of the Orion Market O Real Brownie. It comes in the perfect size, and it’s quite magical they’ve managed to make prepackaged brownies so fudgy, dense and moist. While the original Real Brownie is the most popular flavour, the Real Brownie Matcha is pretty good too.
While roasted seaweed wasn’t created to be had on its own — it’s best had with a steaming hot bowl of rice — you have to admit these easy-to-eat packets make it so hard to resist. Light, crispy, salty all at the same time, the fact that it’s made from seaweed takes away a little bit of the guilt from snacking, in my head that is.
Soju and makgeolli are some of my personal favourite alcoholic drinks from Korea, but if I have to pick one beverage to have daily, the answer is obvious: banana milk. The cheaper version of banana milk exists in packets, but the taste of the refreshing tropical concoction hits differently from when it’s had in the original plastic double-cone container. In fact, it was nearly impossible to get the drink in its original packaging in Singapore up until a couple of years ago. Just remember to recycle it once you’re done.