What to Know About This Beloved Korean Treat from Netflix's Squid Game — and How to Make It!
The nine-episode season follows a group of down-on-their-luck people who find themselves trapped in a secluded arena, where they must compete in a series of nostalgic children's games with life-or-death consequences for a chance to win millions of dollars.
In one particular challenge — which has given fans a sweet tooth — the players attempt to survive by carving shapes into a piece of honeycomb toffee, without letting it crumble or break. In the show, the shapes come in a circle, triangle, star or umbrella.
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Social media has since become fascinated with the cookie, a beloved Korean treat known as dalgona, which is now experiencing a rise in popularity.
Here's everything you need to know about the tasty treat:
Dalgona Cookies Are a Popular Korean Candy
Dalgona cookies, also known as ppopgi, originated in South Korea as a popular street food in the '70s and '80s. They were frequently sold in front of schools, until the trend died down in the early 2000s.
The crispy sweet snack comes with a variety of shapes embossed into its surface, and the goal is to chew out the shape while leaving it totally intact. Customers who successfully remove the shape from the cookie get a second one for free.
Dalgona cookies cost about 2,000 Won — roughly $1.69 — and they're usually served with coffee or tea.
The Show Has Created a Huge Demand for Dalgona
An Yong-hui, who has sold dalgona for the past eight years in Seoul, provided 700 of the cookies for Squid Game when it filmed in June 2020, according to The Independent.
He has since gone from selling less than 200 cookies a day before the show's success to churning out more than 500 a day. An explained that he hadn't been able to go home in a week as he was busy trying to meet the growing demand.
"We are thinking we should place a rifle here as well," he joked to The Independent, referencing the Netflix show's fatal consequence for failing the challenge.
The Recipe Is Simple Enough to Attempt at Home
In addition to serving as fodder for a variety of hilarious memes, the show has also sparked a TikTok challenge. Many have recently posted videos of their attempts at making dalgona and trying to carve out its shape.
One such TikToker named Lynja (@cookingwithlynja) provided a tutorial on how to make dalgona at home. She shared a funny video last week making the treat under the watchful eye of one of Squid Game's now-infamous masked gun-toting staffers.
Follow the recipe below to try for yourself:
-Heat some sugar in a pan until it starts to caramelize
-Add a dash of baking soda and stir it in
-Pour onto a baking sheet and flatten into a circle
-Use a cookie cutter to press a shape into the surface
-Wait for your dalgona to harden