Sometimes, when I’m having my daily pudding fix, the thing I’m eating is so unextraordinary, I wonder what on earth I’m going to say about it. At times like these, I am often forced to spend a whole minute – sometimes two – conducting thorough supplementary research on the World Wide Web in order to pad out my post. Such is the burden of blogdom.
On this occasion, the pudding in question was another of my cousin’s Hong Kong haul (see blog posts passim): a box of stick-shaped biscuits dipped in milk chocolate; also known as Pepero – and which actually hail from South Korea. They were certainly moreish – the thing about stick-shaped goodies is you can push them through your teeth like you’re a sawmill; get a constant nibble going. Being chocolate-covered was a plus point too, as always.
Still, aside from thinking they could do with a thicker layer of chocolate – and discovering that they made fabulous dippers for my collection of salt caramel sauces – I was at a loss for what else I could say about these sticks: nice, crunchy, fairly inoffensive… adjectives like those will hardly set the pudding world alight.
Time to think outside the Pepero box then: what else can I impart to you, dear Ogglers? Well, you know their blandness makes them nice for dipping. But did you also know that they’re copycat biscuits?
It depends on whether you’ve ever cracked into a box of Pocky. I have, and these Japanese biscuits are virtually identical – apparently Pepero got on the dipped stick bandwagon. Still, that’s hardly fascinating either… So what else can I tell you?
Aha! How about this: the 11 November might be famous in the West as Armistice or Remembrance Day, but in South Korea it’s… Pepero Day! Apparently sales of the biscuit go crazy, with people buying them up as gifts, and handing them out all over the place (why 11 November, you ask? Because of the date’s resemblance to four vertical Pepero sticks, as if you didn’t know. I’m sure the troops would be thrilled).
What with all these Pepero flying about, it’s not surprising people have invented things like the Pepero Kissing Game (think Lady and the Tramp, but replace the spaghetti with a stick-biscuit. If you still can’t imagine it, I found a website full of loved-up Korean couples all having a go).
I’m sure that’s not all you could do with them either. Ear scratchers? Mini javelins for the 2012 Pudlympics™? Supports in the construction of a chocolate mansion? They may be fairly simple as sweet treats go, but I clearly underestimated the power of Pepero… There’s more to these sticks than meets the eye. Any more suggestions (or stickgestions)? Let me know and we’ll see what these biscuits are really made of.