Would you Try These Weird Korean Ice Cream?

Would you Try These Weird Korean Ice Cream?

WEIRD KOREAN ICE CREAM

So, It’s National Ice Cream Month! Which means the overconsumption of this dairy delicacy is endorsed world-wide in the scorching hot summer months. Ice cream has been a centuries long loved treat that delicately cools us down and tickles our taste buds with delectable sweetness. It experiences various renditions, over various flavours and even arguments over what can and cannot be put in ice cream? 

 (Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

As something so treasured by us in our youths, and loved for aeons, it’s no surprise this simple concoction of cream, ice and sugar can heckle so much controversy. But its importance is no less dimmed by the polarizing opinions surrounding ice cream. In fact, this cold treat is so valued that US President, Ronald Reagan invented National Ice Cream Day to mark the cross-cultural importance of Ice Cream. 

The third Sunday of July is decreed as this day of celebration; meaning July 17th is when we will be celebrating it this 2022. It gives the month of July free excuses for everyone to consume Ice cream by the gallon should they desire it, and also means dairy consumption skyrockets with the capital endorsement from Ice cream companies rolling in the riches of our heat quenchers. 

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Since its permanent residence in our public holiday’s calendar, National Ice Cream Day and Month has been celebrated worldwide as a fun anniversary to bestow excitement in the cloying summer months for both our kids and children. And the phenomenon didn’t just start and end in the great US of A. Across all the waters to South Korea, the love for ice cream has transcended and been felt by the masses. 

But here’s where it gets interesting. Those feuds and battles that take place over to what an acceptable ice-cream flavour or topping is? This would be considered child’s play when it comes to the sheer amount of variety and oddness when it comes to Korean ice cream. 

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Wandering through a Korean convenience store’s frozen treats section might overwhelm you with the sheer number and diversity of options. With the humid and hot climate in South Korea, it’s no surprise that ice cream makers have come up with the most innovative flavours on the planet. A few Korean Ice creams that are both weird and wonderful include the following:

Yes! We know you might feel some of this flavors sound weird, but what if we tell you there is even one weirder than the rest mentioned on the list? We have to begin with it since it is the weirdest and cringiest flavor of them all! 

"Level 100 is Buldak Flavour" On this one we double dare you to try it!

Buldak Flavour Ice Cream

The most dorky and weird, Samanko, is a popular Korean ice cream brand.

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The Buldak one is a new variant of the Samanko ice cream which has Buldak (Spicy Chicken) Sauce in it. This Korean ice cream has just a hint of actual pepper flavor and was a little tingly on the tongue! the Korean says "the ice cream ate the spicy buldak sauce" and the fish is crying !

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Samanco

Starting off with an in-between treat of the weird or normal ice cream flavour spectrum. This fish-shaped ice cream closely resembles popular K-street food Bungeo-Bbang. But the major difference is, quite obviously, that Samanco is filled with luscious vanilla ice cream.

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The ubiquitous ice-cream sandwich is Korea’s take on the classic American ‘Ice Cream Sandwhich’, and is filled with sweetened red-bean paste syrup. Though considered a winter snack, this treat still holds up very well in the summer months, especially with the mild sweetness of the red bean. 

This also happens to be one of BTS’ Jungkook’s favourite ice-creams. If The Golden Maknae likes it, then I’m sure you will too.

Sure, red beans have been known to be more difficult for westerner’s food palates to stomach, but Samanco also comes in chocolate or strawberry or green tea flavours. So there is quite literally something for everyone. 

Melona

Next we have an old-fashioned concept, with a twist to tickle your taste-buds. Merona is a melon flavoured creamy popsicle. Never heard of Melon as an ice cream flavour? Well, surprisingly the refreshingly crisp taste of melon melds very well with creamy textures. Even better when it’s cool. 

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 The pale green colour might mislead you to thinking it’s green tea flavoured but considering green tea and matcha has become fully assimilated into western culture food palates, the green colour in general shouldn’t be off-putting.

But if Melon flavoured ice cream still put you on the fence, Melona also offer other fruit flavoured popsicles such as strawberry, mango and banana.

Corn Ice Cream

Now this is where it can get weird for some of you. Corn Ice cream. Before you immediately scroll, let me tell you that this is a surprisingly good mix in for a frozen treat. It’s also another Jungkook approved treat, as well as Lisa from Blackpink.

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If you like sweet popcorn, then this is for you. 

Like red bean, which creates a mild, neutral base for whatever flavour group you want to add in (sweet, salty, bitter, umami, sour) corn plays the same role. The popcorn-esque taste creates a nice background for the natural sweetness to come through.

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This treat is made up of frozen sweetcorn chunks encased in thin wafer and covered in a white chocolate shell. It's perfectly sweet, but not overwhelmingly so because of the mild taste of the corn. Coupled with the fact that it’s frozen and very refreshingly cooling, the texture is silky and rich. It’s a must-try if you want to expand your cultural appreciation for ice cream.

Turtle Egg Ice Cream

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Okay, so Korean’s didn’t just revolutionise how many flavours and add-ins you could put into Ice Cream, they also changed the way you eat it. The conventional methods are in a cup or on top of a wafer cone. But this option gives you neither. Instead, you eat a turtle egg cup ice cream by snipping the balloon and enjoying the rich creamy flow of chocolate ice cream that streams out.

If you’ve ever dreamed of eating ice-cream out of a balloon, then this one is certainly for you. Just don’t eat the rubber casing too!

Ice Cream Rolls

Another incredible alternative to the boring wafer cone, is Ice cream rolls. This phenomenon has reached into those types of YouTube videos that are oddly satisfying to watch and endlessly fascinating. It started as a trend on the internet back in 2017, and although we can’t be sure where the trend started or who invented it, rolled ice cream has become increasingly popular and sought after. Korea does it too. 

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Korean Ice cream rolls are hugely popular on social media for the preparation process and the Instagram worthy pictures. But it’s not all about looks. Like so many other things, Korean food actually does taste as good as it looks. It draws you in with the beautiful visuals and then sends you home with an explosion of flavour and tongue that itches for more.

The denser texture of rolled ice-cream leaves room for a creamier, melt-on-the-tongue experience. You can also add in toppings such as cereal, chocolate, biscuits or even dried fruits. So much variety, such little stomachs.

Pig Bar

Though some Korean iced treats may not necessarily be obscure in flavour or never before seen in it’s presentation, the names and branding could certainly provide that peculiarity that makes you think ‘what am I looking at?’. 

The ‘Dwaeji Bar’ or Pig Bar as it’s known in English, is the prime example of this. Pig Bar doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, but what is inside once you get to know this sweet treat is what matters.

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This classic Korean ice cream bar was released in 1983 for the year of the Pig, which is where the name comes from, and has remained popular ever since. The strawberry jam center is covered in milky vanilla ice cream and coated in chocolate with a crunchy cookie crust. See, perfectly acceptable as an ice cream flavour.

If I were to compare this to any iced treat that I had growing up it would be a Fab popsicle.

I think what this teaches us is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Bingsu

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Bingsu is a more traditional Korean Ice cream option, dating back all the way to the Joseon Period. It is simply a mountain of shaved ice, topped with condensed milk, red bean paste, various fresh fruits, ice cream, sauces, mochi pieces etc. You could go mad with the toppings as this is a really diverse treat malleable to your personal tastes. It's also extraordinarily light compared to regular ice cream too. 

It also appears in Monster Union’s ‘The Kings Affections’ as one of the many delectable looking food spreads that are featured on the show.

Twins Twins

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As a treat centred around the idea of sharing your ice cream with a partner or friend, this cute treat literally depends on you having someone close by. It feels a little like the spaghetti scene in lady and the tramp, wherein it splits down the middle with the two sticks that come in the frozen treat.

Typically, Twins Twins’ come in a light chocolate flavour that’s mild in taste and very muted compared to other chocolate treats in Korea. It’s perfectly light for those humid days and is a nice experience for you and a loved one. As said before, this is very cute, and gives you your own K-drama moments. 

Seolaeim

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If you’ve ever worried about the scorching sun melting your ice-cream too soon and your kids being covered in the sticky mess, then this option is very convenient for you. Seolaeim comes in easy-to-eat pouches and functionally prevents you from making a mess. 

The convenient pouch features a spout so you can squeeze it into your mouth and enjoy a variety of flavoured ice creams including coffee, cookies and cream, and milkshake. As an on-the-go treat, this is perfect for family outings and is sure to relieve your worries over your 4-year old ruining their shirt. 

Watermelon Ice Lolly

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If you are a watermelon lover, you will love this popsicle, it has the shape a slice of a watermelon, made with real watermelon juice and the seeds on the popsicle are represented with chocolate peanut flavor! We all love a good slice on this fruit to refresh ourselves in summer time, and with this watermelon popsicle we can accomplish the same .

Screw Bar

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If you want a twist of fun while eating a dessert, the Screw Bar may be the one for you, this one has an apple-flavored core wrapped in swirls of strawberry, perfect to enjoy on hot summers. You can even challenge your friend to find the best possible way to eat it, maybe you turn it around in your mouth or a bite is the way to go?

Tomato Popsicle

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Yes, the tomato is a delicious fruit, and it is usually not treated as one, at least in the west, Koreans do treat it as a fruit, even placing it among the rest of the fruits in the supermarket, but from making tomato sauce for a delicious pizza to transform it in a popsicle is a game changer, would you dare to try it?

Jipangi Ice Cream

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Jipangi, a traditional Korean snack made entirely of corn, is translated from Korean as "cane". The concept of stuffing the interior of it with ice cream was introduced in the streets of Insadong, Seoul, where traditional Korean goods are sold.  The popularity of Jipangi ice cream has spread both inside and outside of Korea, being acknowledged for its distinctiveness even by tourists.

Poop Ice Cream

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You can find different kinds of theme cafés in Korea, one that get the attention of locals and tourist is one called Ddong Cafe, in Seoul, in which everything is related to poo, poo shaped pillows, toilet bowl mugs, poo shaped ice cream and waffles served in a toilet shaped bowl.

At the beginning it can feel rare or even intimidating to see your food served like this, but it definitely brings a new experience to live once in your life, and hey, don´t let your brain fool you, the food will still taste amazing!

Green Tea Soft Serve

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As said before, we are a little more used to green tea and matcha over here in the west, so this option doesn’t feel like a stranger to us, but it’s still worth mentioning because it’s a really tasty and refreshing flavour and deserves its own paragraph. 

Korean green tea ice cream is another popular way to enjoy ice cream and with the slightly bitter-tasting flavour in a towering soft serve, it’s not sickeningly sweet and won’t leave you feeling full. Street vendors serve swirls of soft green tea ice cream stacked sky-high on cups of cones to be shared. 

 

It’s a coveted treat and definitely one to not miss if you’re out on the streets in Seoul shopping or exploring this summer!

Ice Cream Shops

You can not only find ice cream sold by street vendors but also by local ice cream shops that offer you a wide variety of normal and "weird" flavors. Here we have gathered some of this places for you to visit on your trip to Korea.

Gelateria Dangdo

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Even while Gelateria Dangdo's adorable presentation makes it difficult to refuse, it's nearly impossible to say no to ice cream, no matter the season, it is always welcome! Every cup around here is embellished with amusing expressions that make our day more cheerful or if you are the grinch type of person you can get normal boring ones.


Crazy combos like chocolate with apple tea sorbet with tastes of melon and strawberry suddenly appear unexpectedly regular at this lovely Ice Cream Shop.

Molly's Pops

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Ever wondered what a wasabi flavored ice cream would taste like? Well this and many flavors to choose from will make you feel overwhelmed.
You can always choose regular flavors like chocolate o vanilla, but hey, why not dare to try something different?

Fell+Cole

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They began as a modest ice cream business in Hongdae and has since grown into a chain with numerous locations throughout Seoul and possibly other regions of Korea.
Not only did it provide an oddball range of ice cream flavors, but they also regularly changed what was on offer, setting them apart from other places.

Scooper Gelato

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The facade of Scooper Gelato is unremarkable, and it is a tiny, adorable shop with a row of vibrant chairs just outside. Even though it's a tiny ice cream shop, it's a favorite among the locals for a delicious scoop of gelato.

Due to the restricted area, it would be preferable if you ate someplace else after picking up your gelato. One size is offered, and it can be received in a cup or a cone.

Penguin Macaron

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This small chain specialized on ice cream macarons, and you may locate them at least in Hyehwa and Insadong. They are tasty, colorful, and inexpensive, and the best part is the you are free to combine any of the various ice cream and macaron flavors that you like.

Cold Recipe

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Even on days when you're not in the mood for ice cream, you'll be pulled to the business by its enormous, striking pink ice cream cone atop the window.
Those who love ice cream can take home pre-packaged pints of their handcrafted, ice cream, which is offered at reasonable prices and various flavors worth trying, even if they seem weird to you.

Idol's Favorite Ice Cream

RM - He loves Neapolitan, Chocolate and Fruits ice creams.

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Jin - Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry are among his favorites

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Suga - Samanco, Banana and lemon among others.

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J-Hope - Green Tea, Cookie Dough and fudge.

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Jimin - Mango and Peach, fruit is a must on his ice cream.

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V - Kim loves Strawberry, Apple, Banana, and Chocolate.

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Jungkook - As we mentioned above, he loves Samanco and Corn ice cream.

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

All of these options, whether you’re a bit fussy or ready to explore new flavours, are perfect to celebrate this year's National Ice Cream Day. Korean Ice Cream comes in many wonderful packages and if you can get your hands on at least one of these options, I promise you, you will not want to go back to boring old vanilla with a flake on a cone.

To succinctly reiterate, National Ice Cream day is a treasured and perfectly wholesome day in July, it is enjoyed by everyone across the world and it is indiscriminate of flavour, place and race. Enjoy as you will, but make sure to explore the extent of joy to which ice cream can give you from its many wonderful faces. 

Here are some taste reaction from our Seoulteam, trying Korean Ice Cream for the first time:

Ice Cream Lovers

Tteokboki, we love you but...

We want more ice cream!

The key to our heart!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

You can also try some amazing and unique flavours with our specially curated boxes here: Seoulbox!

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Author: Anya

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