Sweet sweet Choco Pie

Korean kids love their Choco Pies, but I wasn’t too sure about them.  It looked like something you would pick from the discount treat rack at Plaid Pantry after deciding not to pay full price for the premium Hostess treats.  At home I enjoy a mass produced confectionery item like a Ding Dong, but it’s pretty rare that I actually eat one.

Choco

Then one day, a student left a giant empty red Choco Pie box in the classroom garbage can.  For the rest of the day, at the start of each class, all I heard was, “Teacher!  Gimme Choco Pie!  Teacher!  Choco Pie!”, followed by extreme disappointment upon learning that the box was not mine and was in fact empty.

What’s the deal with these things?  I hit up Google when I got home and learned some interesting Choco Pie facts.  A company called Orion invented the Choco Pie in 1974 for American soldiers stationed in Korea who were missing their Moon Pies.  Today, the Choco Pie is a big hit with the South Korean military, as well as the rest of the country.

But what’s interesting is that the Choco Pie has also become a major contributor to unrest in North Korea.  According to an article in the Asia Times, the Choco Pie has come to symbolize the evil capitalist invasion of South Korean culture.  40,000 North Korean workers are served Choco Pies daily at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.  100 South Korean companies have factories in this complex which is just above the DMZ in the North.  It’s estimated that Orion ships 20,000 boxes of Choco Pies each day, and that 150,000 Choco Pies are consumed each day at the complex.  This infiltration of the South’s influence is so despised by the Dear Leader Lil’ Kim that he has seriously considered scrapping the whole complex, already cancelling some of the agreements under which companies in the South operate under. And it probably doesn’t help that the Choco Pie addiction has spread beyond the Kaesong Industrial Complex as smuggled treats have created a black market for Choco Pies throughout the North.

Apparently the danger of cultural infiltration is more important than hard currency in the form of worker pay and rent for the land used by the complex.  This makes perfect sense because the North has a thriving economy and doesn’t need any assistance from the outside world to keep the people fed.

So I tried the Choco Pie.  At first it was just OK, but by the end of the box, I was pretty much looking forward to my after dinner Korean confectionery treat.  I have now tried a few varieties.  Some have a marshmallow filling and some have more of a cream filling.  Knowing of my previous addiction to chocolate chip cookies, it’s not too surprising that I would find the Choco Pie delicious.

Choco Pie 1-1

Learn Korean with KoreanClass101.com

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on June 21, 2009.

One Response to “Sweet sweet Choco Pie”

  1. […] Burgers Hotteok Restaurant Signs Bungeoppang Tomatillo Grill Butterfinger Pancakes Dried Squid Sweet sweet Choco Pie Shrimp Burger Thunderstorm Burly […]

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