The QiRanger Adventures

Two of the same…

with 8 comments

Wednesday is Pepero day (빼빼로 대이) here in Korea. Now I spoke about it last year, but this time , I thought I’d delve more into this national treasure of Korea. For those not familiar with the treat, it is essentially a pretzel or biscuit stick dipped in chocolate. Since its inception, there have been many derivatives including strawberry and, my favorite, almond cluster.

Now here in Korea, this holiday is marketed as a major festival promoting love. Stores showcase the upcoming holiday on their windows and have displays up front and center. Some stores go the extra mile and arrange huge displays and elaborate arrangements.

The holiday is quite fun, as adults and children alike purchase the treats and exchange them between themselves. As a teacher, I also enjoy the holiday, since I get the opportunity give a few special treats to my kids. Last year, I only had three kids on Pepero Day, so I gave each one a box. This year is a little different, since I have nearly 60 students I see on Pepero Day, I’ve taken a different approach: I’m going to buy each a large stick of Pepero.

Unfortunately, this time of year also brings out the debate between Japan and Korea over which came first the Pocky or the Pepero. Then the debate turns to which one tastes better. For the record, Pocky was first sold in Japan in 1966, while Pepero was first sold in Korea in 1983. This lends many to stand up and say that Japan was the first to develop the treat. Koreans will quickly counter saying that they developed the candy first and Japan copied it. There may be some truth to that, seeing as how Glico (Pocky’s manufacturer came to be during Korea’s annexation by Japan), but it’s more likely that Lotte copied the treat and made it their own by changing it ever-so-slightly (much the same way they did with McDonald’s and Lotteria).

It’s a fun little holiday and I decided to take my camera out and record some thoughts on it… while sneaking a peak at some of the displays inside Lotte Mart:

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Written by Steve Miller

November 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

8 Responses

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  1. Pepero Day–great marketing! There must be a huge celebration planned in two years. 😉

    Jo

    November 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

    • I bet. I had never thought about 11/11/11!!!

      Steve

      November 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

  2. Oh yeah… I am sure it will be that here in JP too. There is no love between the Korean and Japanese, it is well known. I think they will forever be arguing about who was “first”.. LOL I like pocky’s though!

    jyankee

    November 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

    • Probably. I find it quite interesting that the different kinds of Pepero have different tasting chocolate.

      Steve

      November 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  3. They have kimchee chocolate too yeah????

    jyankee

    November 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    • If they do, I’ve never seen it!

      Steve

      November 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm

      • You might find kimchi chocolate at the airport to freak out the weygooks!

        Tamar

        November 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm

  4. I love Pocky. So, is the world going to get free Pocky in 11 Nov 2011?

    Zee

    November 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm


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