Squid Game is a huge hit on Netflix. In this hugely popular Korean series, a group of people play a series of children’s games that allow them to win a lot of money. Not unimportant: whoever loses is brutally killed. One such game revolves around a traditional cookie sold as a snack on the Korean streets: Dalgona candy (or Ppoppgi). And Culy wouldn’t be Culy if we didn’t want to know the finer points…
Dalgona candy is a super breakable cookie containing a shape such as a heart, umbrella or star. The challenge of the game is to poke around the mold with a needle so that the mold does not break.
It’s not easy: make a mistake once and the cookie will break automatically – much to the frustration of the participants in Squid Game, of course.
Nostalgic youth snack
In Korea, the scenes surrounding Dalgona candy in Squid Game sparked a wave of nostalgia for the popular childhood cookie. After all, it has a special meaning for many Koreans. The Dalgona candies filled a sweet void in post-war South Korea for children who had grown accustomed to the free chocolates given to them by American soldiers, assistant professor of Korean history Albert Park tells The New York Times .
Dalgona candy was cheap and accessible and therefore an excellent replacement for the suddenly inaccessible chocolates. In the 1960s, the candy was therefore ubiquitous in primary schools and toy stores, although most of these sellers disappeared around 2000 – partly due to the rise of online shopping.
With Squid Game, the sweets are ready for a serious revival again, and not just among the Koreans. That is of course also in the taste, which tastes sweet, caramel-like and roasted.
How do you make Dalgona candy yourself?
Dalgona candy consists of only two ingredients: sugar and baking soda. However, making it is more difficult than you might think: first you have to melt the sugar in a frying pan. Stirring is the key here: this prevents lumps from forming and prevents the caramel from burning. Once you have a nice, caramel-like mass, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda.
You can now pour this liquid mixture into rounds and flatten them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Then hurry to make a figure in it with a mold or stamp, before the mixture hardens. Cookies cooled down? Carefully lift (again: fragile!!!) and prick…
Prefer a step-by-step recipe? You’ll find it here .