2010.08.18

The Korean chocolate report

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Sometimes it seems like this blog should be subtitled “Eden eats it so you don’t have to,” doesn’t it? Well, a friend brought back a bounty of chocolates from Korea, and…! Well, here we go again.

What can I say? It’s a calling.

Roasted Laver (김, pictured) - which is salted & oiled seaweed, yummy with rice (and which you may know as nori). In chocolate, well — color me surprised? This actually managed to be both accurate and appealing, defying expectations. First taste was very much like chocolate with sea salt, followed by a hit of sea-flavored grassiness. This sounds totally revolting, but the effect is more like a rich green or oolong tea. Disclaimer: I love love love grassy teas, so your mileage may vary.

Kimchi - totally did not succeed in evoking the idea of kimchi. Which — you know what? — thank goodness. Because yuck. I still can’t imagine how that would work. This was more like your average chile-spiked chocolate, but significantly spicier than any I’ve had. There was also a very, very faint aftertaste of sourness, which I guess was the attempt at simulation. Not offensive, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to like it, probably because I couldn’t stop imagining how awful an accurately kimchi-flavored chocolate would be.

Makgeolli (막걸리) - a rustic, cloudy rice wine (also called nongju) that’s come into vogue in Korea lately. You can find the real thing in Korean markets in large white plastic bottles. I think it tastes like something halfway between sake and rice vinegar. This? Tasted exactly like the real thing, which puts it firmly in the “interesting” camp. Incidentally total aside: the best meal I had while in Seoul was at a vegetarian restaurant featuring bibimbap made with dozens varieties of mountain greens and nongju. SO GOOD. I didn’t even know there were Korean vegetarians.

Roasted Sweet Potato - another spot-on recreation. Of the yellow kind, not the orangey stuff sometimes referred to as yams. And? I liked this.

There were more flavors, but they were decidedly more familiar (and honestly, I was fairly sweeted out by this point). So four was it, this time. On the whole, a mostly yummy experience. Dodged another bullet!


  • PaulnuPhoto

    *shudders at kimchi chocolate*

  • pastilla

    Oh, thank you! Wanted to know what they were like, particularly the kimchee one.

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