Korean Red Ginseng Candy

Posted in 2.5 Wasabi Pea Rating, Hard Candy at 12:51 am by Boo

Ahhhh…ummm…well… … …yow. Earthy. With a little touch of sweet, and a hint of minty-ness hiding at the edge. But mostly really earthy and weirdly dusty. The only contact with ginseng I’ve had is from way back in the day when I practiced Kung Fu and was part of a lion dance troupe. Crazy Tony and Cheeto Dave would bust out this ginseng extract right before a parade and pop them some ginseng juice to get revved up. Or keep revved up. Or something. All I know is that once Crazy Tony was on the stuff he’d start red shifting. Of course he was only a buck twenty five soaking wet so maybe it was a slight body/metabolism thing.

The other time I’ve been in contact with ginseng was when TheMan reviewed Korean Ginseng Drink and I didn’t have that either. Maybe I had a sip because TheMan surely said something like “Wlahhh. You should try this!” and I probably did. Basically, I have some second hand ginseng experience and not a lot of first hand ginseng experience.

Today’s my lucky day eh? I think the Red Ginseng Candies smell sort of musty earthy (loamy?) even through their little hermetically sealed wrappers. TheMan said that he smelled no such earthy. I think they smelled even more earthy once you managed to get into the wrapper and that earthy does not go away if you pop the candy in your mouth. TheMan at least agrees with me on that last bit.

However. I was talking to my assistant, who is Korean, about ginseng and she said that the roots taste earthy and medicine-y and that old school Koreans stand by the ‘magical’ properties of ginseng root. Magical being in quotes here because I wasn’t sure if it was ‘magical’ as in a very effective homeopathic cure-all for quite a lot of things or ‘magical’ as in ‘we don’t need doctors, we have ginseng!’ I forgot to ask. Anyway, from her description the candy is spot on for what one would expect from ginseng, so I can’t fault it for its dirt like taste with a sort of mild mentholation after wash. Apparently, that’s ginseng.

I also can’t say that Korean Red Ginseng Candy is in my top 10 flavors of JSFR hard candy but I will say that it is miles above Nama Ume Ame. Given a choice, I’ll always choose the ginseng no matter how much it tastes like I’m sucking on sweet moss. Mildly mentholated sweet moss. Mildly mentholated sweet moss with a touch of honey.

I think that if you have developed the acquired taste for ginseng then this candy is right up your alley. In fact, go ahead and think of it as a 3.5 pea alley if you’re all about the ginseng. For the rest of us who don’t have quite as distinguished a palate, my guess is that the earthy dustiness is going to be a major detraction to an otherwise decent candy. Ergo, I think I’m going to give it a slightly better rating than the drink but a slightly less than average rating over all of

2.5 wasabi peas of out of a possible 5 wasabi peas.

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