Customers were rushing to Claude & Claudette depanneur in Saint-Henri on Saturday morning to buy the latest internet food trend, dalgona. An hour after opening, the Korean sweets, which were selling for $ 1.99, were almost sold out.
“I posted on Instagram and Facebook, it just blew up,” said Claude & Claudette depanneur owner Robert Kim, who admitted he wasn’t expecting a response.
“It’s amazing,” he said.
Kim and his wife made a dozen to sell after bingeing Squid on Netflix.
The Korean series is a violent thriller in which a group of people in debt are tricked into competing in classic children’s games with a deadly twist. In the third episode, the participants are tasked with cutting out shapes from dalgona.
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Kim said the streaming sensation has brought back cherished childhood memories of growing up in South Korea, but without the deadly twist.
He told Global News that he used to eat dalgona in front of his elementary school. They would then play the game with dalgona “as an episode.”
Nostalgic Korean street food has even become a trending challenge on TikTok. Users combine sugar and baking soda to make dalgona, then try to cut out the shape with a sewing needle. Kim describes the two-ingredient treat as crunchy, sweet, and unique.
“There is nothing like that here,” Kim said.
According to Netflix, Squid is on track to become its most viewed original series. University of Toronto Associate Professor of East Asian Folk Cultures Michelle Cho said the streaming giant’s influence cannot be underestimated.
“There is a kind of synergistic effect in the way that South Korean media and popular culture are becoming more popular with audiences in Canada,” Cho said.
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She added that Squid is the latest entry in a wave of Korean culture, including Korean beauty and Korean food, that is having a moment in North America.
Kim has owned depanneur Claude & Claudette for 26 years. He recently began stocking the shelves with Korean products, including his wife’s homemade kimchi. He says that, just like the dalgona, which he will do again, clients can’t get enough of it.
“It’s getting so popular, I’m very proud to be Korean-Canadian,” Kim said.
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