Today lets have a classic Korean snack review: “Home run ball 홈런볼” by HT~ a favorite here since 1981!!
Home Run Balls are what I would call a Korean Nostalgia Snack since they have been around since the 80’s and is still always stocked in stores and very popular for kids to buy. Ask any Korean about this snack and they will usually have fond memories of eating it as a child~ in fact, the packaging has even stayed almost exactly the same since it launched. When Nara and I first started dating this was one of the first Korean snacks he brought home for me because knowing it was a “must” along with 칸쵸 which I will feature in a future post ^^
So what are these balls exactly? Home run ball is a sweet little finger snack filled with a smooth filling in a soft, yet still snack-ish crisp mini puff pastry… think like a “Koala yummy” mixed with a cream puff.
The original Home Run Ball puffs are filled with chocolate and come in a shiny yellow-green bag with the iconic batting boy in the corner. A nostalgic snack package for many Koreans!
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The filling is a nice creamy Coco +nut blend (I’m guessing hazelnut) and the portion of filling to pastry puff is nicely balanced. I enjoy this flavor a lot because I just love hazelnut/nutella anything and you can really taste a dash of that in the filling which makes it a little more interesting vs just normal chocolate. If you get an older batch they can be a little bit dry, but they are great for just mini snacking.
Recently the original mascot from 1981 has received a modern upgrade! He looks cooler, but I kind of miss the old 80’s one~ I believe they are just using him on any new flavors they introduce though, because I still see the classic mascot being used on the original chocolate packages.
Aside from the original choco Home Run Ball, occasionally you can find a new flavor on the shelf! I managed to find several after scoping out various shops, but this is the first time I have ever seen so many at once~ maybe they are testing the market? Like with many special/new flavors here in Korea, try then when you see them~ because they may not last for long! Koreans tend to stick to the classic stuff they know, so it is rare a new flavor sells well enough to be a Korean snack mainstay here for the long-term.
Fun Tidbit: Koreans online often refer to the filling hole in each ball as the ball’s “butt hole 똥고” lmao!
In 2012 they launched caramel, strawberry, and fresh cream on the shelves as special flavors~ Caramel seems to be quite popular with Koreans online and can still be ordered through some shops, but “fresh cream” seems to have already disappeared… at least for me personally, I have not spotted it in a few months now
While I was digging around for info I also found some images of old Home Run Ball 홈런볼 bags showing they sold Dark, Banana, and Cheese flavored Korean home run balls at some point in the past! I would love to try the “Dark” flavor since I usually love double chocolate or dark chocolate editions of snacks, but the price on the bag is only 700₩ so it is probably a bit older haha they cost about 1400₩ nowadays!
The other two flavors seem be from 2007 and 2009 according to the dates visible.
초코 홈런볼, 딸기 홈런볼, 카라멜 홈런볼, and 생크림 홈런볼~ Time for a taste test!
Choco Home Run Ball – The original and classic flavor for everyone. My favorite~ nice chocolate cream plopped in a little mini soft puff snack.
Strawberry Home Run Ball– nice and very sweet creamy strawberry chocolate flavor.
Caramel Home Run Ball – The caramel filling is actually not really sticky caramel like what is shown on the packaging, its actually milk-caramel flavored soft chocolate. The taste of the filling is true to the flavor and is nice and sweet. I did not like this one very much, but Nara loved it. (Possibly discontinued 2013)
Fresh cream Home Run Ball -very sweet milky-milk taste to the chocolate,if you have had any “whipped cream” flavored things (like the whipped cream flavored vodka by Pinnacle) you will recognize the flavoring used. Its not overly sweet or vanilla flavored like I expected, just very milky flavored smooth chocolate. Koreans really love milk and yogurt flavors 😛 not quite for me personally. (Possibly discontinued 2013)
Update! I originally wrote this post in 2012, now in 2013 they have launched another new flavor~ yay! This new Home Run Ball is filled with “Lowfat Milk” flavored chocolate…. eh?” I think this was created to possibly replace the “Fresh Cream” ones from last year which honestly tasted a little odd.
I like it a LOT better vs last years “Fresh Cream”, it is just a nice subtle sweet milk taste compared to the old sickly sweet one!! Seems like a lot of Koreans like it as well because it I found lots of positive blog reviews on it here and they have been stocking them a lot in the stores~ at least in my area of Seoul! I want to snack on these with an ice cream shake haha
Last one and my favorite of them all is the choux pastry ice cream Home Run Ball !!
We started seeing these around 2012 in our local mini stop’s ice cream freezer among the other yummy Korean ice cream goodies and became hooked. This is packaged in a similar way to the original snack, but instead of a few dozen tiny puffs, you get two larger frozen choux puffs filled with yummy ice cream~
♥ 슈 홈런볼 2 per pack so you can share wish someone… lol if you want!
These treats are a little softer and more like an actual proper puff VS the original snack which can be a bit stale in texture and sparsely filled. Each pack gives you two large Home Run Balls stuffed full of ice cream~ the flavor is a bit like a milk +vanilla + maybe custard cream flavor and is really yummy.
I enjoy 슈 홈런볼 a lot because the ice cream inside is always soft and plus the pastry is nice and a little squishy usually ♥ Actually Baskin Robbins Korea makes a similar filled ice cream choux treat~but those are so dry and the filling is frozen rock hard, Nara and I both prefer these even though they are cheaper lol!
Apparently some baseball fans say eating Home Run balls and watching the game is good luck for your baseball team. . but that could be something the company spread ^^;
since they are a classic Korean snack they are very easy to find in Korean (or general) Asian grocery stores back in the USA~ so we would eat them every so often before we moved. The ones you buy here in Korea are much better though, maybe because they are a bit more “fresh”? That being said, these go stale SUPER fast so you have to eat them in one sitting of you open a pack~ no saving more for another day.
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Because this snack is so loved, Koreans online have actually taken to recreating fancy versions of “Home Run Ball” by properly baking pastries and using Ghana chocolates which is one of the more famous (or maybe just nicer accessible) chocolate brands in Korea. You can see some Korean bloggers attempt to make yummy home-made Home Run Balls HERE and HERE! I want to try this someday *_*
Have you had the Korean snack Home Run Ball 홈런볼 before? What other Korean Snacks do you like? Which is your favorite? Share below!!