By:  Gwen Hard Counts and Rodney T. Hard

I remember street vendors making sugar art in Korea.  For several Korean “won”, the equivalent of an American penny, we could choose which design we wanted, watch it being created, and then walk away with our candy art on a stick to enjoy at our leisure.  Good times!

We could choose from dragons, tigers, butterflies, dragonflies, birds, flowers, ships, airplanes, and many other designs.  The larger, more complex, three dimensional works of art cost a little more and made us reluctant to destroy them by eating them.  Well, maybe only for a few moments of contemplation.  Then into our mouths the sweet morsels went.

For one Korean won, we could get a small sheet of this candy with little dumbbells stamped in them.  If we could patiently eat or lick away the candy so that a delicate dumbbell was left intact, we could show it to the vendor and he would give us another free piece of candy as a prize for our diligence.

Often, the same vendor would make “bbawp ki” using melted sugar and baking soda.  The little puffed up sugar wafers had a different taste and texture to them that we could not resist.

Dr. Rodney T. Hard