These have been popping up in various places around Seoul. They originate from Rothenberg, Germany, one of my favorite places in Europe, but I had not seen them when I lived in Germany. It does look like they do have some copycats jumping on the trend, though.
They come in different sweet and savory flavors. I got one that was coconut and banana, and it was a good choice.
So, what the freak are they?
The best I can describe it is sugar ice cream cones coated in flavorings then layered like jawbreakers into balls. You buy what you want then go to the Cracking Zone.
This one cafe next to the Hongdae playground had the Cracking Zone set up conspicuously at the front window for all passers-by to see.
Here is the result of my SMASH!! The cases they’re in are refrigerated, and they did taste good cold. You should carry a beverage with you, though, as it gets rich on the throat after a while. But they’re a good bit of fun. A little thicker than ice cream cones, but they have that satisfying crunch without being too sweet.
Here’s Seattle-based food writer Jay Friedman whacking out a ball. To read his take on it, go to Serious Eats.