Cup of Confusion

Snack food should never be this confusing, but in this era when we help mega-food corporations pick their latest flavors, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on anymore.

I’m not sure if it’s the Korean or the American in me, but I’m a sucker for these crazy, chemically preserved Korean snack foods I find in the markets here. Part of it is also just the urge to try something new in a country where my food options are limited, and the national snack food is dried milk curds.

I found this in the snack aisle, appropriately situated between the chips and the Yan Yan, the original snack in a cup. The enticing graphics and packaging is what nailed it though. If I could read Korean, I would have known better…

There’s a graphic of a deliciously fresh looking dollop of ketchup, a steaming hot baked potato, toasty campfire-style flames, and french-fry-esque sticks. So much happening in this little plastic cup! After some translation help from my mom, my go-to in all things Korean, I learned that the text was just as deceptive and confusing as the graphics:

Baked Potato in a cup.
Grilled. Crunch sound and breaks neatly.

You know they are lying. The picture shows a square hand grill that
you use over the stove, or over coal heat, and claims that this square
grill was used to bake.
Crunch sound described is “Ttaak”.

Mom nailed it. You can’t make a baked potato on a grill and get something with a delicious “ttaak” crunch, unless it’s covered in carbon. And why would you want a crunchy baked potato anyhow.

What you DO get is a Pretz inspired snack stick that tastes mildly of potato. Mildly. It has a good crunch, and it does break cleanly. It tastes nothing like a baked potato, or a french fry. The ketchup came in a packet and was probably better suited for spackle than snacking.

So, yeah…. not falling for that trick again.

I made a much better snack selection a few days later. Crab and Mushroom Soup flavored Lays that cater to the Russian market for chips. The crab tasted like a seafood-y barbeque potato chip. The mushroom flavor was actually pretty delicious and mushroom-y. Maybe I just need to stick to the Russian snacks from now on, even if they have really racist graphics every once in a while.