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.
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.