I dare say the Choco pie is one of the more accessible varieties of Korean snack – at least in the U.K. Though many flavours exist, and are subsequently exported all over the world, we only get a humble selection of this famed snack. That said, it’s still pretty decent.
Of the Choco Pie family, I’ve decided to start with the strawberry flavour.
So what’s Choco Pie in Korean? You might think it essentially sounds English – and you’d be perfectly correct in thinking so. Choco pie, said in the Korean tongue, just sounds like a slightly funnily-spoken version of the English. It’s also rendered as such:
쵸코 (lit. ‘chyo-ko’, or choco), and 파이 (lit. pa-i, or pie). The Choco pie is one of the many Korean snacks produced by Orion Confectionary Co, Ltd. (주식회사 오리온). This one however, a simulacrum shall we say, is produced by Lotte Food Co Ltd. (롯데). It is one of many creations, never mind snacks, to be blessed with that glorious, and at times, comic, concept known as ‘Konglish’ – a strange amalgam of Korean and English. There’s plenty more where that came from.
Choco pies come in several different sizes. There are likely more varieties and packaging in Korea, though in England I’ve seen two different kinds – the six pack, and the larger twelve pack. Both are quite inexpensive, and both contain pies that come individually wrapped for freshness. Because nobody likes a stale pie, unless they’re the devil.
Now, onto the pie.
Choco pies are soft. I mean really soft. Imagine those weird flying saucer ‘dissolving’ candies you get at theme parks, crossed over with your bog-standard, run-of-the-mill marshmallow, and you’ll arrive in the vicinity of what a Choco pie feels like when you’re eating it. It’s definitely a unique experience.
The strawberry flavour isn’t fantastic, I must admit. The flavour suffers from that sense of artificiality common to many packaged snacks of this kind. I mean, one must make concessions when they’re going away from fresh confections, but it can at times be a little vexing when you’re met with a sort of faux-flavour after expecting something much more exact. It’s still pretty clear however that it’s strawberry. I’d compare the after taste quite closely to that of the strawberry sauce you get from ice cream vans, albeit a little drier.
The outer ‘buns’ are as described above. The middle, or centre however is slightly softer. Not quite like fresh cream, so much so that it gets on your hands and can make things quite messy; but not as solid as, say, a harder filling from a pre-packaged cake. It’s in the middle somewhere. Needless to say, you can eat these when out and about without having to worry about slopping the filling all over yourself. For me at least, I can scoff the entire thing in two bites. But that’s just me…
Choco pies are very sweet, though not to the point where your teeth feel like they’re melting. I’d be lying however if I said that they were a little rich – the strawberry flavour at least. But that’s just my opinion. I certainly couldn’t eat a second pie in one sitting, much less make my steadily through the entire box. I’m sure some can, but not this guy.
More Choco pies will be featured soon. Which one? I cannot say!