Squid Game, the South Korean survival drama that just premiered on Netflix, is on pace to be one of the streaming platform’s most successful TV shows ever, overtaking Bridgerton, according to Variety.
The show is a rather dark, dystopian tale, featuring people competing for money (and their lives) in a series of games based off of old Korean children’s games. One of the games the characters compete in is Ppopgi, which you may have heard as dalgona. Yes, that dalgona. The viral coffee sensation was based on a sweet candy in South Korea, named after the similar color and textures of the coffee and candy during its making process. (Dalgona and Ppopgi are interchangeable, with the use of each often being regional.)
While this honeycomb-based candy might seem difficult to make, this dalgona kit on Amazon helps simply the whole process. Available for just under $18, it includes all the tools you need to make the candy, including a ladle, a tray, a press, a scraper, and some molds. All you need is some sugar and baking soda, and you can make your very own dalgona candy at home.
In order to make your own dalgona, start by melting some sugar on low heat using the ladle, while also stirring constantly. Once the sugar is melted, add a pinch of baking soda and keep stirring. You'll see the color and consistency change as the baking soda is added and mixed. Turn off from heat once the consistency looks similar to the final stage of dalgona coffee, then pour it onto the tray and flatten the candy using a press. Place and lightly press the mold on top of the candy before it cools and hardens to imprint a shape. Once it's cooled and completely hardened, remove the candy from the tray and try your hand at the game.
Historically, these candies were sold in neighborhoods throughout South Korea, and was especially popular in dongs like Myeongdong. Made by heating sugar and baking soda, the candy is then flattened and a shape is imprinted using a mold, then it's left to harden. People would then try to eat the candy around the mold without breaking the shape. It was said that if one could successfully eat around the candy while retaining the shape, the customer would receive another dalgona candy for free. Clever candy eaters would use various tricks to successfully break the shapes, from carefully breaking the bits around the mold to using needles. In Squid Game, one of the main characters used one of the tricks seasoned dalgona eaters know, which is to melt the candy with your saliva rather than breaking or biting it, which could potentially destroy the shape.
Try your own hand at the game with your own dalgona kit, available on Amazon now.