Lotte Chik Chok Original

So here we have another top product from Lotte, their ‘Chik Chok Original’ chocolate chip cookies (칙촉).

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Honestly, these were, although delicious, a great deal similar to Orion’s cookies I posted a while back, albeit not quite as intense in terms of taste. That doesn’t however mean they were inferior (on the contrary, I enjoyed these I dare say a little more); but that the flavour wasn’t as rich, and consequently, not as sickly-sweet.

Call me childish, though I was impressed with the little folding hatch on the box, a la a box of Maltesers. It calls to mind those absurd pictures of 1960s Spiderman… and that has to count for something, right?

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The packaging is also highly similar to those by Orion, which prompts me to think that one is the counterfeit, or rip-off of the other. Given the above-mentioned hatch, I’m siding with Lotte on this. Sorry folks. The similarities continue: you get precisely the same amount of cookies. The cookies are the same size, thickness, and packaged very similarly. Even the design on the little foil wrappers is very similar. I assure you, I didn’t just buy a different flavour box!

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As for my personal preference, I prefer these. Then again, I’ve never been a fan of incredibly rich snacks and dessert foods – at least not in anything other than small quantities. For those of you with an intense sweet tooth, you might just as well opt for the Orion product.

Regretfully, this one may have to be cut short. There simply isn’t enough I can say about these without repeating myself by way of the Orion review. I did however enjoy two of these this morning with a glass of soy milk (a method of eating I’d highly recommend), something I didn’t try out on the other cookies.

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Lotte Waffle Mate

The first thing that struck me about Lotte’s Waffle Mate (와플 메이트, literally ‘waffle mate’) was that they bore a striking resemblance to the Dutch stroopwafel, or ‘syrup waffle’. That is, at least in appearance. My original assessment was only half right, and there was much to discover about this delightful little snack than I had originally envisioned.

First of all, these aren’t really waffles – at least how most people know waffles. Most people in the U.K would define waffles as the grid-like shapes made out of potato that are traditionally served hot; the Americans however would define them as those big things they have at breakfast, heaped in sickly-sweet syrup and god knows what else. But these are neither here nor there. They’re not bad, of course; but very different.

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Each box comes with two foil-sealed packets, each containing three waffles. It’s most definitely a lunchbox food, and similar in portion size to many savoury breakfast bars easily bought here. I speak from personal experience when I say that each packet is very short-lived. One is certainly enough; though if you’re especially hungry, you may find yourself destroying the entire box…

So what are they like, you might ask? It may sound strange, though I’d like the texture to biscuits that have gone just ever so slightly stale. I personally love stale biscuits, so that’s all good news to me. They’re soft, though retain just a smidgen of crunch to them. The taste is definitely waffle-like. I can’t say much more on that front, as describing the taste of waffles without using waffles as a means of comparison is surprisingly difficult. To put it this way: if you like waffles, and are very much in the waffle crowd, then you will love these things.

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I still have one packet left to go in my batch, so will test these out with a pot full of tea and coffee. Something tells me there’s a great deal of extra flavour to be gotten when combined with that good old English addiction…

For those of you that have tried these any other way, either by experimentation or otherwise, please let me know! I’m always looking for novel ways to stuff my face!

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Lotte Peanut and Chocolate Pepero

It’s been a few days since my last update. Hopefully there won’t be any more periods of such prolonged absence in the future – but you never know. To get back into the swing of things, I thought I’d jump right in with what I can confidently say is one of the more popular Korean snacks out there, Pepero (빼빼로, or ‘bbae-bbae-ro’).

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Pepero is very similar to the perhaps much more well-known Japanese snack Pocky (ポッキ), a snack that even most of the big name supermarkets sell in their Asian foods aisle. Pepero however is just as easily purchased in your nearest China town, or online Asian foods market.

Pepero, as my girlfriend tells me, effectively means ‘very skinny’ in Korean. To refer to someone as 빼빼한 is to say they’re built like one of Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures. As the pictures illustrate, each stick is long and slim, and so the name fits. High-fives all around to Lotte’s marketing department!

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This snack comes in several different flavours, and all of them are very, very good. I thought I’d start my first Pepero review with one I hadn’t tried before – peanut and chocolate. I personally think the white chocolate flavour is unbeatable, but this one is also amazing. Let’s not get bogged down in the details now.

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On average, you tend to get maybe eight or nine sticks per pack. Not a great amount (and certainly less than your average box of Pocky), though Pepero is much more ‘meaty’ in terms of size, and you don’t need to pack half a dozen of them into your mouth to really get the flavours to come out.

So what is Pepero? Pepero consists of slim, maybe six inch-long breadsticks covered most of the way with some kind of chocolatey topping. One end is the exposed stick, so you can grab them and eat without the worry of getting yourself messy; the other is thick with flavour, and ready to eat.

Unlike most snacks which feature breadsticks, Pepero doesn’t use those harsh, crunchy kinds that can really dry your mouth out. The chocolate dips and whatnot we have here in the U.K are guilty of this. Instead, they’re much softer, and much nearer to chocolate in terms of texture. What they do to achieve that, I have no idea. But it’s a good choice.

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I will shamefully admit that shortly after taking the pictures, I destroyed the entire box in record time. I’m not kidding. If my eating experience were to be named after a movie, it’d definitely be Gone in 60 Seconds. Shame aside, I think that’s testament to just how delicious these things are. Certainly a single sitting eat, anyway – unless of course you’re 빼빼로 yourself…

Pepero is also extremely cheap. The Chinese market I most frequently visit sells them for under a pound per box – cheap as chips. Take five pounds in there and you could easily come away with a box of each, and quickly work your way into those size 40 trousers.

The snack comes in a variety of different flavours, half a dozen of which I’ve seen over here in the U.K. I’ll almost certainly be reviewing a different flavour in the weeks to come, so keep your eyes open!

Lotte Strawberry Pie

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.

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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.

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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…

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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!