Have you heard of the all-time famous Korean snack Pepero?
Or the Japanese snack Pocky?
More likely. Both Pocky and Pepero are chocolate snacks in form of very long and thin bread sticks covered with chocolate. To any Koreans, the Pepero is a national snack (~ national flower). What they don’t know is, as you can guess, that the Korean Pepero originated from the Japanese Pocky.
In fact, the original Pocky-maker Lotte- now one of Korea’s largest food manufacturers, was founded in 1948 by a Korean in Japan. Then in 1967, after the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea, Lotte established the Lotte Confectionary Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Lotte introduced Pepero to South Korea in 1983; the first Japanese Pocky was introduced under the name of Chocoteck in 1965.
Koreans wouldn’t want to know that there was something more original than their Pepero – quote Gdog in his The Daily Kimchi blog: “don’t mention that to your students, as some of them are sensitive towards all things Japan”. Even if you were to show them the Pocky, to Koreans, Pepero came first.
Image courtesy of: http://www.naokis.net