Welcome to this week’s ‘Eat Like a K-pop Star .’ It’s the weekly series where we showcase a delicious Korean specialty or something we’ve seen a K-pop star chowing down on lately and show you how to get or create some food of your own.
These days, chowing down like a real Korean means chowing down on Honey Butter Chips.
The salty sweet chips have exploded across Korea, with stars including Sooyoung, Siwon, Hyomin , So Yoo Jin, Hello Venus , and Jaejoong declaring their love for the crunchy chip.
Snack company Haetae-Calbee launched the chips in Korea late last summer, and they quickly became a Korean snack obsession that shows no signs of slowing down.
Honey Butter Chips are, well, exactly what their name implies – salty potato chips with a combination rich, buttery flavor and sweet honey sensation.
It may not seem particularly innovative to Western snackers, but treats tend to be either savory or sweet (or super spicy) in Korea, not a combination of the two.
It could be the novelty of a flavor marriage that’s luring the country into fiendishly buying more chips, or maybe it’s just a case of mass appeal breeding more demand in a country that loves to love what everyone’s loving.
Whatever the appeal, it’s alive and well.
Bags are going for upwards of $15 on eBay and Amazon (compared to the about $2 asking price in Korea), and at least one sale has gained more than $100.
Spinoffs of the chips are also now available, with Haetae debuting new iterations like Honey Corn Pop, and competitors like Nongshim are delivering honey butter chips with other popular Korean flavors like honey mustard and cheddar.
Like any good nationwide phenomenon, Honey Butter Chips have inspired countless Tweets, blog posts, a Wikipedia page , memes, smartphone apps , and of course, conspiracy theories.
Some online commenters have suggested that Haetae is controlling supply and demand of the product, leading to scarcity that’s driving up the prices and hysteria over the chips.
Haetae has denied these reports, though, claiming it has ramped up production but still cant keep up with Honey Butter hunger.
If you’re not in Korea to scour every corner store for a bag of your own, or don’t feel like throwing away your life savings for an eBay bag, don’t worry – it’s pretty easy to make these at home.
And don’t tell Hyomin or So Yoo Jin, but this fresf version might be tastier than the store bought one.
Not only do the flavors feel a little more authentic and less processed, you get to eat them piping hot, still crackling out of the pan.
Have you tried any Honey Butter Chips? Let us know in the comments if they lived up to the hype!