Sunday, September 2, 2012

Challenge: 이크IK vs Strawberry Ice Bar

Round two of the Ice Cream Bar Challenge pits summer birthday parties against simplicity. 

Birthday parties were probably not what Lotte was aiming at when they created 이크IK (900won). The packaging, for instance, features a couple on a park bench in one corner with little hearts floating out of them. However, the birthday party effect is exactly what they achieved. 

이크IK, pronounced "ee-kuh" not "ick," is anything but icky. The name is actually an acronym for, "It's a Cake." And it really is a cake, but it is a half-eaten one that got left in a bowl at a party long enough for the cake to get a little crusty and for the ice cream in the bowl to have melted and mixed with the cake. This isn't the most flattering description, but, as many birthday party goers have discovered, if you accept fate and mix the two together you end up with something delicious. 이크IK is exactly that treat, except with the addition of caramel sauce. 

The challenger, Wara Icebar Strawberry (600won), comes from a line of amazingly refreshing ice cream bars made by the Wara Family. The product is simple. It's strawberry ice on a sturdy, wooden stick. It's not overly sweet. It does not taste artificial and is mildly flavored. Plus, despite being an ice bar, it is a little creamy. The sesame seeds sprinkled on the top don't add any flavor, but they do make it seem more "Asian."

These two bars are so drastically different and delicious in their own right it is hard to chose a victor. Both are absolutely worth buying. However, nostalgia's power grows the further and longer one travels away from home. Thus, for evoking memories of summer birthday parties, 이크IK wins.

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