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Why Korea is awesome (the foodporn edition): Bingsu

After all those posts about China, here's one about something I really love about Korea.


Bingsu(빙수) or Patbingsu (팥빙수) , for those who are not familiar with it, simply means shaved ice (usually water, sometimes it can also be shaved frozen milk or flavoured ice like green tea) with toppings.
The traditional version includes red bean paste and Ddeok, korean rice cakes, but by now, there's a huge~ variety of flavours and toppings. Fruits, ice-cream, ddeok, sweet condensed milk, cookies, it and it's probably included in some sort of bingsu. Nowadays, there are even cafés which offer alcoholic Bingsu.

Because I love Bingsu so much, I'm gonna show you some photos of Bingsu I tried while I was in Korea and tell you which ones tasted the best! (yes I get easily excited over Bingsu)

Our first candidate~

Berry Mix Bingsu

This is a really cool Bingsu with lots of different toppings. It may not have red bean paste, but instead it has vanilla ice-cream, different kinds of berries, ddeok and even cereals on top of it! We also got a small can with sweet condensed milk to pour over it if we wanted it even sweeter ^-^
I tried this one in a small café in Edae. It had an ideal size for two people, if you want to share it with more you might need another one.

Twosome + Grapefruit Bingsu

What, grapefruit Bingsu? Shouldn't Bingsu be something sweet, you might ask?
Yes, normally. But like I said, there are all kinds of flavours. Koreans are very creative with their Bingsu creations.
As you can see, this Bingsu is made of flavoured shaved ice, not just plain normal ice. It also contains many~ grapefruit bits and has soft ice on top instead of normal ice-cream.

I can never talk enough about how awesome this was. Sour, yet sweet too, thanks to the soft ice. The grapefruit bits seemed quite fresh and were really refreshing. And the portion size was huge, yay :D

Bingsu from Twosome + cafés were by far my favourites. Another flavour that I tried there was milktea Bingsu. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of that, as I tried it on a night before going clubbing (and taking a DSLR with me when going to a club would not be a good idea) T^T

Caffe Bene Oreo Bingsu

So here we have a standard Oreo Bingsu. Oreo cookies, ice-cream on top and normal shaved ice. To be honest, this was the Bingsu I liked the least. It didn't have much flavour, even though I really love oreo cookies. But at least the serving size was gigantic, which is always great.

Cafe Bene Green Tea Bingsu

This was the first Bingsu I ever tried and I loved it :D  Green Tea Bingsu tends to be one of the more traditional ones and usually includes red bean paste, as you can see on the photo. This one also had green tea ice-cream and different nuts on top, and the shaved ice was partially green tea flavoured. Caffe Bene's Bingsus are huge, so always share them with at least two other friends (or only one friend who's starving). 


My last Bingsu in Korea...oh the memories~
This was the most traditional Bingsu I ate, if you ignore the honeydew.
Look at that big amount of red bean paste~

So yummy :D It also had some powder (probably from nuts), nut pieces, honeydew and rice cakes with red bean filling (red bean-ception) on it. I ate it in a café somewhere in Hongdae which was open 24/7, so it probably was a chain. Finding a good place to eat Bingsu at 3am is not that easy after all.

And now, introducing the prettiest Bingsu:

Strawberry Bingsu

Doesn't  it just look lovely?
This is the first strawberry Bingsu I had that also had some red bean paste ^^  Like most Bingsu, it also had vanilla ice-cream on top and sweet condensed milk on the side that you can choose to pour over it, if you want to.
The portion was really small, probably more fit for one person than two, but it was just so pretty and tasted super sweet ^-^  We tried it somewhere in Edae too. Since Edae is the area around a woman's university, it's a great place for cute desserts and you'll find plenty of them there.

I hope you enjoyed the photos, and if you're craving Bingsu right now, I'm not going to take responsibility for that :P
If you ever tried Bingsu, tell me which is your favourite ^^ Any great café or Bingsu recommendations are very much appreciated, since I'll be going to Korea again next summer and I'm preparing to taste even more Bingsu! :D


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