Korean food is celebrated around the world, from classic kimchi to mouthwatering samgyeopsal. But what I would like to know is, where is the love and respect for the Korean strawberry?!
by Cari Kamja
There must be something magical in Korean soil because year after year, it produces strawberries (ddalgi in Korean) that are mini works of art. Noticeably sweeter than American strawberries, the Korean strawberry tastes like candy and is ridiculously juicy.
While the rest of the world is singing praises for spicy Korean food, winter in Korea is all about strawberries. We gave you a sneak peek of the strawberry obsession in our post about Christmas cakes in Korea, but here’s another scoop.
You’ll probably notice it first in Paris Baguette, the popular bakery that uses any holiday or festival as an excuse to roll out stunning themed pastries. Along with a mysterious tingle in the air that feels a lot like Christmas, there are strawberries. Mountains and mountains of strawberries.
The strawberry desserts usually hit the bakery shelves around December when the berries are just reaching their peak of sweetness. From strawberry cream puffs to delicate strawberry tarts, strawberry season is off to a glorious start.
The next sign that strawberry season is in full swing comes from the cafes. Every cafe from the big names like Ediya Cafe to the small neighborhood shops come up with some kind of delicious new strawberry drink once the new year rolls around.
The most popular drinks are strawberry lattes, which can range from a regular latte with a strawberry on top, to a latte made with real strawberry milk. The berries literally overflow from the cups and you can smell the sweetness in the air!
If you aren’t up for coffee, most cafes will also have strawberry cake on hand for you to nibble on.
For a sweet and refreshing option, try our Strawberry Pororo Drink!
Now for the real reason everyone in Korea gets excited for strawberry season: the bingsu.
I know what you’re thinking: “But SnackFever, you told us Bingsu is a Summer Dessert!” You are correct, it is traditionally a summer snack, but are you seriously telling me you don’t eat ice cream in the winter?!
Koreans aren’t just going to pass up the opportunity to eat bingsu with the sweetest strawberries on earth just because it is a little cold outside, and neither should you!
You could go for a ordinary strawberry bingsu with just ice, condensed milk and strawberries, but why be ordinary? If you’re going to eat ice in the middle of winter, you have to go big or go home.
Throw a slice of cheesecake on that strawberry mountain! Add red bean-filled tteok to the tower! Eat more strawberries than you would be able to carry in two hands!
Speaking of cheese, be sure to take a bite out of our best-selling Sando Biscuit Strawberry Cream Sandwich and Couque D’asse Strawberry Wafers!
If you can dream it, you can probably find it on a menu somewhere in Korea.
Now, if you’re more a purist, you can always just buy a large container from a local supermarket, which will probably have them on sale throughout winter. Run them under some cool water, toss them in a bowl, and eat them like popcorn. There is no better feeling on Earth!
Has anyone had a Korean strawberry? How do they compare to ones in your country?