Rice Topokki Snack
Cosmos Confectionery Company (2022)
This little snack size bag of snacks from South Korea was available at Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre, PA on my last visit. I wasn't really sure what it was, but how could I possibly pass up this happy little bastard.
The snacks inside reminded me of crispy rigatoni, but they're supposed to be something else entirely. Please forgive me for the over-simplification because I did all of three minutes of research on this, but from what I gather, these are meant to be a snack version of a Korean dish called tteokbokki, which is made from a cooked cylinder shaped rice cake called garae-tteok. This is sometimes seasoned with a red chili paste called gochujang, which I guess is what the makers of this snack are going for with these.
I don't know how spicy the actual dish is, but these snacks are not the least bit hot no matter what the cute little pepper thing on the package has to say about it. I don't mean this as a half-ass macho claim, like somebody who eats hot peppers and then tries to tell you that they're not spicy as their eyes tear up. I mean that these snacks aren't spicy... at all. You could give them to a toddler who has never had a hot or spicy food in their lives and it wouldn't phase them a bit. They sort of tasted like a bland barbecue sauce mixed with ketchup. I'm not sure how close they come to tasting like the dish that they're based on, but the best complement I could give to them is to day that they're not disgusting, but they're not especially good either. The flavor isn't interesting enough to suggest giving them a try. The best thing about them is the little cartoon pepper on the bag.