Korea takes “seasonal foods” to a whole new level. There is a long list of “Korean traditional foods” that quite literally are only available a couple months each year. Frustrating as that can be for foreigners, this particular food still makes it in my top 5 favorite things in Korea list. I also think it is responsible for my recent weight gain but that’s another story altogether.
Patbingsu, or potbingsu, (pronounced like the latter) is a summer staple. A friend described it as the Korean snow cone and I think that’s a pretty spot-on description. A basic version is shaved ice with a touch of condensed milk, then smothered in sweetened red beans, fruit, and a rice cake or two. The more elaborate versions include toppings like flavored ice creams and an assortments of nuts. Most importantly, there is a whole world of different patbingsu flavor options to choose from such as green tea, strawberry, milk tea, and my most recent discovery…..Tiramisu. It’s just heavenly.
Who could say “no” to that? Be serious, now.
This past weekend I was able to coerce a couple friends to join me on my quest for this amazing new dessert. Begrudgingly, they obliged and off we went to A Twosome Place, a popular coffee shop franchise. (Please note: this is not a single person affair. If you try to eat this alone, you might die. You would die with a smile on your face, but dead is dead.)
It’s important to mix it all together. If you get to the bottom and have only shaved ice left you will be very disappointed.