November 11th in Korea each year is pepero day so on Friday we were treated to our very first one. From what we can gather, it is in essence a quirky Korean special day – kind of like Valentine’s Day – when friends/lovers/students give each other ‘pepero’ which are bread sticks dipped in chocolate and decorated with various sprinkles. The cynics, and in fact a quick Google search, will tell you give that the day was in fact invented by Lotte, one of the giant companies here. Lotte have a hand in just about everything from candy through to coffee-in-a-can through to luxury hotels through to baseball teams. Because they obviously don’t have enough money, sometime in the 80s they created a product called pepero which is rumoured to be based on the Japanese ‘pocky’ and BOOM through clever marketing have created some kind of commercial monster day. Lotte reportedly make more on this one day of the year on pepero than every other day of the year combined. It would be the equivalent to Coca Cola creating a Coke Day on which everyone exchanged cans of coke. You can buy the mass produced Lotte pepero (which are about 600₩/NZD $0.80 for a box of about 20 small sticks, gigantic single pepero sticks or even go for the luxury model bakery produced type ones. Or you can do what we did and make your own. Our lovely local bakery was selling plain pepero sticks, pottles of melting chocolate, various sprinkles and bags with ribbon ties so last night was pepero dipping night.
To be honest, they’re pretty flavourless but it’s kinda sweet that people are giving you presents all day.
In the end we amassed quite a stack of pepero…
And of course we ate too much pepero. And have an abundance of leftovers. At least now when it turns up in your Christmas stocking, you’ll have some background.
Save you buying groceries for a week?
I feel ill….!