Name: (참) 붕어 싸만코
Yum: ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2
Apparently 붕어 싸만코 turns 22 today (April 1st) since it was invented in 1991 according to the package and brand website! This ice cream is actually based off a popular street food called 붕어빵 (fish/carp bread aka Korean Taiyaki) which is cake batter filled with red bean and poured into a fish shape. The ice cream variation of this treat features a similar shape with a soft waffle-like crust, the inside is filled with vanilla ice cream a red bean paste!
Look how cute that shape is!
In Korean, bung’eo (붕어) means Carassius, a kind of fish, and ppang (빵) means bread. The name for this ice cream borrows some of that, 붕어/Fish + 싸만코 which is some sort of pun that combined sounds like a fish name + cheap/ a lot of… It’s a bit hard to explain in English for me ^^;
Fun Fact: It says 1991 on the package, but the official birth date was 1990. They discontinued 1990 shortly after its first release due to some trace of toxic chemicals found in the red beans which were at the time imported from China~ yikes! In 1991 they found a new source (I’m assuming in Korea) and re-released the snack with no other issues! Its been safe to eat for years now, so no worries ♥
So some of you that don’t eat Asian treats often may be saying “red beans in ice cream, are you serious??” YES! Red bean paste that has been slightly sweetened is a very traditional treat in many Asian countries, including Korea. This sort of filler and topping is not even really thought of as BEAN-beans, in Korea bean is called 콩/Kong but red bean topping is called 팥 /Patt (its given its own name basically) because its sweetened and considered a part of deserts. In the summer you can often get red beans poured over vanilla ice cream and fruit as a topping, or filled cakes, stuffed in dumplings, etc.
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Personally I don’t enjoy red bean very much, I find it a little bland and don’t like the texture with ice cream so much~ but Nara LOVES it so he was my taste tester for this treat! The waffle/outside fish is the same as most waffle-style ice creams here~ bit chewy, bit crunchy, little bland, but does not get soggy and does its job containing the goodies inside. The ice cream layer inside is nice and thick + a good creamy vanilla, not the cheap icy vanilla some brands use. The red bean layer is covered on one side and is overall an even thin layer with a nice sweet flavor and typical paste texture. If you enjoy red bean treats you will most likely REALLY enjoy this combo with the vanilla ice cream as a fast snack, and if you are looking for a red bean treat to try this is a nice starter since the layer is very sweet and fairly thin in this product! ♥