The Perfect Gift

October 2, 2011

Browned Butter and Sea Salt Rice Crispie Treats

When I was packing to come to Korea, I used my time in Japan to mentally work out what I would and would not be able to find. I had high hopes Dr. Pepper would be available at import shops, and knew most stores stocked familiar brand names. When it came to choosing whether I should bring a gift for my employer from home or find something local when I landed, I opted for the former. In Japan, I ducked into a Jupiter Imports at the train station and picked up some nice French chocolates for my AEON branch manager. But I knew I’d be far from any decent shopping in Uljin; best to risk bringing something that might upset my future boss’ Korean taste buds rather than falling back on what I most likely would not be able to find.

In this case, I happened to introduce my boss and his family to something I’m amazed has not reached mainstream Korea: rice crispie treats. Let me explain. Crispy rice is very common in Korea, eaten as a snack. But I believe 100% of all marshmallows are imported from the US and Singapore. As a result, not too many think to combine the two in what I’ve deemed the perfect gift and best snack that is still very Korean in itself.

If you’re thinking of bringing some from the US or Canada, you can’t go wrong with homemade rice crispie treats made with extra marshmallow. I happened to buy two boxes of the vanilla ones from a Whole Foods Bakery in Dallas. It’s not impossible to make them in Korea, either. Home Plus, a major supermarket chain, stocks Tesco-brand crispy rice cereal. And, on occasion, they have Rocky Mountain marshmallows (if not, you can always find them on Gmarket). Add a little butter from the market and you’re ready with an awesome White Day gift for your Korean girlfriend.

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