Introducing Pepero day (by Annie)

Pepero day is a popular holiday in Korea that acts a little like Valentine’s day but in November. This famous snack is recognized on November 11 because of its similar appearance to the date (11/11). On this day, Koreans buy pepero for their loved ones and go out on dates with their significant others. Pepero is a sweet bread stick covered in chocolate and other toppings made by Lotte. Pepero day can be between couples or friends, very much like handing a Valentine to someone.

The origin of the day is unknown but there’s a popular story in 1982 about two girls exchanging pepero and making wishes to be tall and thin. Pepero became something that girls would eat to make them thin. The myth is that if you eat pepero on 11/11 at 11:11 and 11 seconds, you’re wish to be thin will be granted. Lotte uses this story to successfully advertise pepero day and make it as popular as it is today. Convenience stores, super markets, and even bakeries sell pepero on 11/11 with high profits. Some say that so much money shouldn’t be spent on a snack just because the day was made but who doesn’t like a sweet pepero stick? My friend, Hannah, and I talked so much about pepero day that two of our friends bought us pepero just to make us stop talking about it. We had a laugh and shared all six boxes of pepero they bought. This kind of exchange had no romantic meaning behind it but we all enjoyed the day and each other’s company. If this day does anything, it brings busy loved ones together so they can share a moment with each other.

There are so many interesting flavors of pepero and I actually like most of them. My favorites include original, cookies and cream, blueberry, and coconut. Coconut is one that I tried for this pepero day and I think it’s one of the newer flavors. There are some flavors called nude which means the chocolate is on the inside like blueberry and cheese flavored. No matter who you’re spending the day with, there’s a pepero stick that they can enjoy.

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To make Pepero day more romantic, Koreans like to make their own pepero to personalize their ‘Valentine’ for lack of a better word. These can be made entirely from scratch or just addons to bought pepero or bread sticks. For the average person living in Korea, I think it would be hard to make the entire thing from scratch. Ovens aren’t as common in Korea than they are in other countries and the dough for the stick part has to be baked. The other way, however, is doable for every one even if you just have a microwave to cook things! What most people care about anyway is decorating the pepero to make it special. Melt chocolate, dip the store bought pepero or bread stick into whatever flavor of chocolate you prefer, and add decorations. This could include sprinkles, crushed cookies or graham, different colored icing or chocolate stripes or dotes, and so much more. After the pepero is decorated, the sticks can be chilled and packaged for loved ones.

Video for handmade Pepero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5mC7rmQL3c&t=7s&list=WL&index=41

Video for store bought pepero:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aCobnAik54&list=WL&index=40

Article by Annie Lynch from the States

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