While traveling in Seoul, one of the places I wanted to visit was O’Sulloc (오설록), a café that specializes in all things tea, particularly Jeju Island green tea. If you ever plan to travel to South Korea, I definitely recommend going to an O’Sulloc branch and trying out their green tea latte. Utterly divine.
Anyway, while I was shopping around Insa-dong (인사동), I came across an O’Sulloc branch. I wandered inside, and a small glass jar filled with some green substance caught the corner of my eye. I walked over, grabbed the jar, and read the serif font that splayed across the label: Green Tea Milk Spread. Wait, did my eyes deceive me? Green Tea? Milk? WHAT?! Would it taste like matcha milk tea?
I contemplated for several days before saying “F it, YOLO,” and bought the 8000won jar. When I came home, I was so excited to try it. I immediately broke the seal, and an intense green tea aroma greeted my nostrils and made my mouth water. The spread is thick and smooth. I greedily sampled it, and my smile disappeared. It was like eating frosting. I enjoyed the subtle taste of green tea, but that was all it offered. There was no explosion of green tea flavor. The sweetness, probably from the amount of sugar added, overpowered the bitterness of green tea.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it makes whole wheat bread—utterly dry and bland—taste great. Add slices of banana on top of the spread, and you got yourself breakfast. Though, for me, I can only handle eating it once a week. Hopefully I can figure out what to do to find the perfect balance of sweetness. If you have any suggestions, let me know!
If you love sweet things and green tea flavored goodies, then maybe O’Sulloc Green Tea Milk Spread should be your go-to spread on bread 🙂
My friend who lives in Korea came back to visit over the winter break, and she gave me a box of Vita 500, which is a popular South Korean vitamin drink. The box contains 10 small, brown, glass bottles. She told me the name comes from the 500% of Vitamin C contained in the drink; Vita 500 also contains 86% of Vitamin B₁₂. I never had any American energy drinks, so I am not sure if Vita 500 is just as sweet as or sweeter than energy drinks, but Vita 500 does have a strong sugary (with a twinge of sour) taste. I think it is quite addicting to drink, but because of the sweetness I am hesitant to chug five bottles in one go since I feel like I may be ingesting 3 billions grams of sugar. Overall, it is an interesting experience and I am a sucker for the packaging. I can’t help but like tiny bottles.
After eating dinner at Valley Fair’s food court with my friends, we went downstairs to try Mealtop, a South Korean shaved ice shop. According to my friend who has been to Korea, the shaved ice is exactly the same as the Mealtop in Korea. The menu is stripped of unnecessary items and focuses on the basics. The $4.95 shaved ice comes in Original Milk, Green Tea, Fruit, and Coffee. Each shaved ice comes with a cup of red bean and two chunks of mochi. You can replace red bean for fruit for $1.00, but who can pass up red bean?! Mealtop also offers drip coffee, bottled water, and soda. Like I said, very basic, which is also reflected in the interior design.
My friend ordered Original Milk, which looks pretty in its white glory.
My other friend and I shared Green Tea. The green tea flavor is delicious albeit on the sweet side, so I preferred eating it on its own. Nevertheless, the divine combination that is green tea/matcha and red bean cannot be denied entrance to one’s palate. The red bean complements the green tea shaved ice wonderfully that I wonder if the side topping will go well with other flavors. The texture is very light and soft, and melts in your mouth. However, since my family owns a shaved ice maker and the shaved ice it produces vaguely resembles Mealtop’s,(EDIT: After making shaved ice at home, I realized the incredible difference in texture and crossed out what I said) Mealtop’s shaved ice seemed somewhat pricey to me.
You definitely can eat one by yourself as the portion is on the small-medium side. I think the presentation is nice, and the ambiance makes me want to visit Korea even more. If you are ever around the area and you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, head over to Mealtop 🙂
I am still curious of the other flavors, so I might try them next time.
I used other filling ingredients such as dried pork shreds, or 肉鬆 (pin yin: rou1song4), and kale. I would have liked spinach but my mom has been obsessed with kale. I also used brown rice instead of white rice, which actually doesn’t taste any differently once you mix in rice vinegar and all those other ingredients. I definitely want to try making this again after discovering that it isn’t too difficult to make. Plus it’ll give me a chance to practice how to julienne vegetables.