I Tried A Bunch Of Weird Snacks From A Korean 7-Eleven

On a recent trip to Seoul for IEM Gyeonggi, I had the pleasure of sampling a bounty of South Korean 7-Eleven snacks -- from the delicious, to the strange, to the stuff Customs wouldn't let into the country.

Here are my thoughts!


Consomme Pringles

Genuinely delicious. Purely savoury with not pretence of sweetness, it had a depth of flavour and meatiness I wasn't expecting.

As someone who makes her own stock, this should have been less surprising than it was. It's in the name after all. Perhaps I have learnt to expect less from alleged meat flavours because "chicken chips" have been lying to me all my life.

I need to learn how to trust again.

I would absolutely buy these if they were available in Oz.


Ice Cream Oreos

I'm an Oreos fiend, so I was super excited for these.

I think I was expecting something in a subtle strawberry vein, but what I got was overly sweet raspberry.

It tasted like someone had sandwiched a Redskin between two chocolate biscuits. This may sound like heaven to you, in which case I hope you follow your bliss and find them.

They weren't bad, it was just a bit much for me.


Sweet Mayo Cheese Pringles

Image: I forgot to take a photo of this one, so it comes from rafiquaisraelexpress.com

Alex hard-passed on these after I force fed him one on Christmas day. But you know what, I dug them.

They were vaguely reminiscent of both cheese and onion flavour and, for those of us old enough to remember, the limited edition Full Monty chips Smiths released a million years ago.


Peanut Butter Squid

I saw this around Seoul a lot, and I was genuinely keen to try it with an open mind.

That was a mistake.

Strangely, I didn't have a problem with the flavour clash. Neither the peanut butter nor the fishy flavour were overly powerful.

It was the texture. Both rubbery and dry, I felt like I was eating boot straps that had been seasoned with flour. Chewing was awful. I threw the packet out after three pieces.

I'm pissed that border security let these into the country but threw out my Korean jerky.


Butter Caramel Pringles

There was a lot going on here.

What I expected was the delightful duality that one gets from the likes of salted caramel. Instead, I was served with an overly busy mixture of flavours that didn't know how to play nicely together.

Pass.


Nude Green Tea Lotte

Let's be real: I bought these because I'm incredibly immature and the name made me laugh.

These were fine -- Reverse pocky that delivered on the flavour they promised. Good job.

The boy-band types on the packaging definitely weren't nude though. I declare false advertising.


Coffee In A Can And Bag

Image: Susie In Seoul. I absolutely forgot to take a pic of these too.

This was my first coffee in a can experience, and sadly I was a little disappointed.

Maybe it was the brand I chose, or because it was cold (I really want to try the hot variety), but I found it to be too sweet. I rarely take sugar in my coffee, so it was too much for me.

I certainly won't judge future tastings by this experience, but I'm feeling pretty 'meh' so far.

As for iced coffee in a bag -- I'm a big fan.

When you purchase one of these in-store you're provided with a handy cup full of ice for your drinking pleasure.

There were a variety of choices, but I went for a straight up black coffee to match my cold dead heart.

The complete opposite to my can experience, this wasn't fucking around. It was strong, bitter and reminded me of my mortality.


Caramel and Cheese Popcorn

These bad boys nailed what the Butter Caramel Pringles couldn't. My world has been changed forever.

Alex barely got a look in as I shoved handful after handful into my face.

Not only this the sweet and savoury work together, the texture was perfection. It left me wanting more and I devoured the entire packet in a single sitting.

I fear that the only way I'll be able to replicate this simple culinary delight is by combining caramel popcorn with cheese and bacon balls.

Don't think I won't do it.

Vaguely Related Pro Tip -- While at the movies, try combining Maltesers (I prefer dark chocolate) with the cinema popcorn. It will rock your world.


Honourable Mentions

I didn't find these in 7-Eleven, but their existence is too great not to mention.

  • Bling Bling Garlic Chicken: We were taken to a restaurant that was basically South Korean Sizzler and all fell in love with the glory that is Bling Bling Garlic Chicken. Perfectly combining sweet, savoury and the best name in human history, this became my everything. I've had dreams about it.
  • Sweet Pumpkin Salad Cake: 'Salad' is a grossly incorrect word to use in this context. I can't tell you what this was, other than surprisingly delicious. If you're a fan of pumpkin pie that doesn't go overboard on the sugar, you would like it.
  • Soju: And not any Soju (I had plenty of that on the trip), just whatever brand this is. I picked it up the airport because the bottle was pretty. As it turns out, it tastes exactly like Vegemite that had been forged in the fires of hell. For a second after my first shot, I was convinced I could see through time.

The author travelled to Seoul for IEM Gyeonggi as a guest of Intel.

Comments

    Would love to go to korean sizzler next time om in seoul. Any idea what the restaurant was called?

      VIPS is a restaurant that i would classify as a Korean sizzler, but the food label doesn't match those of VIPS.
      VIPS is still good... just not the sizzler you are looking for.

      @stotch

      It was out near Gyeonggi and was an American style restaurant. Sadly I can't remember the name :(

    You have to try the Choco Pies. Sort of a Wagon Wheel with a cakey texture. So popular, they have been used as currency in North Korea. And Jin roh original soujou... Lovely! If I had the millions, I'd organise for it to be made here and marketed towards aussie barbeque culture. Great with friends and a good lamb chop.

      @unitzero

      Oh I had the Choco Pies :D

      You can get them here in Australia too, but the ones I had over there somehow tasted better!

        Theres an export version that gets made in China or Vietnam, depending on which manufacturer. You have to read the back carefully to avoid those when buying here. Lotte and Orion have been at war for decades over who thought of choco pies first. They seem to go at each other at regular intervals over it.

        I regret not trying Jolly Pong when I was last there. Was put off by the name, but I'd have probably liked it in a honey smacks kind of way.

    Some items there that i have never noticed... and some i am glad to have never tried... PnB Squid!!
    Yeah the canned iced coffee is a disappointment, especially as their iced coffees from cafe are great i.e. coffee + ice (no sugar)... much like your bag experience.

    Love the salad cake... its probably called salad as it has what Koreans call 'salad dressing' on it... to the rest of the world, this is called "ice cream topping".
    Chocolate flavoured salad dressing is was very common at korean bbq

      @imbatman

      You are a fount of amazing information, thank you! Ice cream topping and chocolate salad dressing - what a time to be alive!

      Coffee + ice is definitely king. I'll give coffee in a can another go in Japan later this year, but I'm skeptical now.

        You'll find the same issue with Japanese canned coffee. Good in a pinch but overall it's insipid and yet somehow thick with sweetness. Try Mount Rainier "cafe au lait" which is a sweetened iced latte. Not as sweet as you explianed, mind you. It's available at convenience stores all over the joint.

    +1 to adding Maltesers to cinema popcorn, I do this every single time I go. I've never tried it with the dark version though, so all the more reason to go back and give it a try! I tried apple and plum flavoured Soju for the first time on New Years Eve, definitely made me want to seek out other flavours.

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