Each year on November 11th (11/11) it’s Pepero Day! What is Pepero Day, you ask?
Pepero is a thin, stick-like cookie that is dipped in chocolate (think Pocky, for those who know more about Japanese culture). It appeared on the Korean markets in 1983 by Asian super-company Lotte. Long story short, the Lotte company noted that Pepero was selling more
of its product around 11/11 and Pepero Day was born (also note that 11/11 looks like four Pepero sticks! This also added to the madness).
Across Korea on 11/11, you buy boxes upon boxes of Pepero in not only original (for only 1,000 won, or 90 cents), but also a variety pack for 5,000 won. Flavors come in original chocolate, almond and chocolate, strawberry, nude (chocolate on the inside), and peanut and chocolate. Pepero Day has been called the “Halloween” of Korea, only you don’t trick or treat, you just give away boxes of Pepero to your friends and family. The back of the boxes are also pink and cute, where one can write his or her name for the recipient. To me, it seems that Pepero Day is a Halloween/Valentine’s Day hybrid. Ya’ll know I love Valentine’s Day, so I can say that Pepero Day is one of my new favorite (Korean) holidays.
In town today, despite the rain and winds, many stores had large balloon displays with high end Pepero arrangements to the simple boxes. Some stores, such as CU, are offering an 11% discount on purchases. Also, Lotte-owned restaurant, Lotteria, declared today to be “Cheese Stick Day.” When I ordered my usual cheese sticks, I was given two orders (four cheese sticks total) for the price of one. 11/11 never tasted so good!
As far as seasonal foods, Dunkin’ Donuts in Korea has now introduced its Christmas-themed coffee. It’s a caramel-tinted blend with whipped cream and sprinkles. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I would recommend coffee enthusiasts who might be reading this to try it out.