Food that’s entertainment too? It must be kkultarae, traditional string candy, also known as dragon’s beard candy. It was once a favourite snack of the Korean royal court, but now us everyday folk can enjoy it too. The sweet treat is made from honey malt that has been matured for eight days. The ball of honey malt is stretched over and over again until it forms 16,000 strands of honey thread. Then it’s packed with peanuts and pine nuts to make a small parcel of crunchy sweetness.

The entertainment factor comes from watching the kkultarae makers live in action, stretching the honey malt into impossibly thin threads in front of you. They’re always lively and talkative to tourists. A good place to see it being made in Seoul is Insadong.

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A box of ten pieces costs 5,000KRW, and can be kept in the fridge for about three months, or one month at room temperature, so even if you can’t make it to Korea, get someone to snag them as a souvenir for you. Or order some Hong Kong style from ebay.
Want to try making it at home? So did this guy – good luck!


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.