Snacking in Korea…will it 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.

lotte chic choc cookies에 대한 이미지 검색결과
No tom-foolery here

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.

Related image

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.

Cola Pringles.

Yogurt 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).

tryiinng…nope cant think of a reason to make caramel Pringles
100% no thank you


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.

Image result for korean farm to road
Pined over these boys forever…4/10

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!

Image result for korean cheetosRelated imageImage result for korean oreos

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!


36 thoughts on “Snacking in Korea…will it be sweet?

  1. So funny! I’m working on a snack post too, but… There are so many snacks!!! I can’t even possibly try to narrow it down! The snacks are literally everywhere. I might have to do what you sort of did and focus on particular snacks because sheesh! I’ll never finish! Good finds!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am laughing so hard right now because WE`VE ALL BEEN THERE. You totally got me at the post introduction because I ask myself that question every single time I bump into this must-be-delicious-salty-snack – and they usually end up being sweet (DAMM YOU garlic gorgonzola popcorn)! I never though disappointment would taste like SUGAR in Korea. Oh, but it also happens the other way around: when you go for that AMAZING cake you spot at the coffee shop and get so frustrated by the fact its not sweet at all, its anything but sweet. Why so difficult to get flavors right in Korea? 😦 Well, frustration apart, I love your snack-men comparison in the bad buzzfeed article format! It’s truly the best snack guide I’ve ever read! hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was pure terror on my nostrils when I opened the Cola Pringles… But I still tried it and I regretted it! The whole tube to the garbage gone! And Cheetos, no more. I seldom crave for it but when I do, I patiently wait for Costco (really patiently waiting because I didn’t renew my Costco membership so I just check on friends when they’re going). I’m not big on snacks here. Downside: I fill myself with bread. Too filling and too fattening so I’m now paying the price for it:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I feel you on the bread! But also… walnuts in bread here?! What’s WITH that? Lol Morgan and I splurge on bread, fine cheap Camembert, and premium Home Plus wine once a month. But definitely gotta cut back to get that summer bod back!!

      Ahhhh! I would always steal my parents Costco membership card to go eat all the samples and the Costco Polish dogs and ice cream!


  4. Your post is hilarious! But I can’t really relate as I don’t eat snacks, unless its some weird new flavor and I just have to put it in my mouth to promptly spit it out because its another red bean/seafood/honey concoction and I just can’t take it. I’ve recently tried a new (to me) drink, which had pine flavors, that were quickly going down the drain because – who wants to drink pine as a refresher? Not me!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I go for the Mr. Right now, the bland type that end up tasting of corn cause at least I know what i’m getting, haha. I think about experimenting and chicken out. I love that you captured western reactions so dramatically but also accurately! Very, very nice job.

    Liked by 2 people

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