Will it?! WILL THE GARLIC GORGONZOLA POPCORN BE SWEET?! PLEASE GOD LET IT NOT BE SWEET!
I love snacks, you love snacks, my dogs love my human snacks, we all love snacks. Whether you’re a health nut snacking on some weird organic celery-quinoa chips or a big hog snacking on 3 family size bags of Doritos. You get the point.
When I moved to Korea I was foaming at the mouth to start snack snack snack attacking my way through this place. I mean I wanted to sit on a throne of gold Cheetos while Prachi the Peasant brought a new snack to me every half hour until I had tried every last one.
But then, as any expat in Korea knows, the snack situation here is…less than ideal. Koreans have this taste for sugary things. But not chocolate and candy type sugar. Sprinkling sugar on bread, potatoes, red bean soup, sidewalks, bathroom seats, their hair, literally anything.
Let me provide a breakdown of the types of snacks in the style of a bad Buzzfeed article titled 5 types of guys you will date in college.
1. Mr. Right…now
These are the guys you meet in your pottery class and you “just click”. He’s a little boring but that’s okay because there’s nothing remotely douchey about him. The perfect safety net if you’re not looking for a real adventure.
These snacks are honest with you. You won’t find these guys sneaking around behind your back or hiding evidence. Because there’s nothing to hide. “Lotte Chic Choc Cookies” with a photo of chocolate cookies on the package is going to be exactly that. The quality of these items is debatable, however you’re getting exactly what you expect. As long as your expectations are low of course. No fireworks on the first bite, no nervous butterflies, and definitely no Bollywood-style wind blowing through your hair.
2. The Two Timer
The title seems nothing short of perfect. But they end up all being something-that-seriously-shouldn’t-be-sweet-but-it-is-anyway sweet snack. Anything labeled “Butter Garlic” pretty much fits the bill here. But beware: this is NOT the rich melty, warm and sharp flavor you expect. I REPEAT! THIS IS NOT DELICIOUS BUTTER GARLIC. IT’S TOXIC LYING WASTE.
It’s got a hint of a corn butter flavor, tossed around in pure sugar with a generous sprinkling of a sugar-salt mixture that seems to be on almost anything bread related.
Of course, you keep trying these hoping one day you’ll receive that rich savory flavor you yearn for. And every time it’s not and you lift your hands to the heavens and scream “WHY?!” You done got two-timed, girl.
3. The Basement Dweller
These are the 30 year old guy wearing cargo shorts and living in his parents basement type of snack. Music probably “speaks through him” and he smokes weed out of a 6 ft bong and we’ve all grown out of him by now. Surprisingly, the award for this one goes to Pringles. But not delicious delicate sour cream and onion Pringles, no. I’m talking Korea-fied, mystery flavor Pringles.
Sweet Mayo Pringles.
Butter Caramel Pringles.
I mean really… no one wants these! Why are they even a thing!? Who even asks for these?! Some space maniac that wants to ruin some of the best chips in this universe that’s who. No human I know would willingly mix caramel and Pringles, a national cornerstone of savory chips. Caramel is strictly reserved for snickers, Girl Scout samoas, ice cream sauce and Werther’s Originals (which to be honest, I don’t even know if those are caramel flavored).
4. The One Night Stand (Exotic Edition)
The one you sneak a peek at from the corner of your eye. The one you drool over and are curious about. The one you always pass by in stores but decide to choose something you know and love in fear of being too daring.
Usually a strange flavor in your foreigner mind. Kimchi, tteokbbokki, sweet mayo, squid, corn, sweet potato. Flavors specific to the Korean palette.
But one day… you drink one too many Jaegarbomb buckets, you’re feeling frisky and you just gosh-darn go for it, girl! But, you hyped it up in your head so much and finally took the dive and it was at max a shoulder shrug. Not much to discuss. Next.
5. The Imposter
The ones you know and trust. These are the branded snacks you recognize and love but there’s just something not right. You just get that vibe from them y’know? And they really just… don’t fill that gaping hole in your heart that wants savory home snacks.
The Cheetos? Too sweet. The Oreos? Too crumbly. The Doritos? They taste like honey chilli or extreme BBQ (sweet duh).
These bad boys hype you up faster than free tequila shots at a bar. You see them across the store and snag ’em before anyone else can, hoping you taste that salty, fatty goodness. You open that glorious bag to discover normal looking chips and take a bite basking in its glory until you get that BURST of bizarre korean mixture of sweet savory. Curses! Fooled again!
You then vow to never ever try a Korean “savory” snack again, you get papers drawn up, sign them, get the government seal of approval and hide in under the Louvre for safe keeping.
Until of course, you see something that looks promising and do the dance of the snack gods all over again. So-long happiness.
There’s many other kinds of men I could compare snacks too but this ended up being more draining to write than I imagined. My brain has turned into a nice hot swamp and I’ve had about 6 of those tiny paper cups of not-so-good coffee.
Comment below your most bizarre snack experiences! Have you found moldy snacks? Snacks with horrible flavors like roadkill and maple? Snacks that you purposely tainted to give to people you hate? Let me know!