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Maybe the most Korean thing about me, apart from being 100 percent Korean American, is my unbridled adoration for goguma (sweet potato). In college I even had a finsta account under the username Grateful_Goguma where I shared tidbits of my personal life and A LOT of sweet potato photos. Roast them, steam them, or air-fry them and, without fail, they’ll always be delectable. Just when I thought I’d reached peak goguma, I stumbled upon these Korean dried sweet potato snacks a few years back and knew this would be an everlasting love.
Being somewhat of a spud specialist, I’ve tried loads of different brands, and JeollaNamdo is hands-down my favorite. Straight out of the bag, the golden spears of dried goguma look like a cross between a piece of Turkish Delight candy and a chubby little french fry. Texturally, they’re incredibly fudgy with a delicate, taffy-like pull. The only processing the sweet potatoes go through is a roasting and drying that boosts their syrupy sweetness without any added sugar. Low and slow dehydrating also means the starches release a white, malty sugar dust that coats each piece. In this snack equation, time equals concentrated flavor and major powdered jelly donut vibes.
Each handful of these root veggies come in a sunshine yellow snack-size pouch that I infer as strong encouragement to eat them all at once. I keep a stash tucked away in a special box (labeled “Fun Stuff!”), alongside a supply of kettle corn and almond butter cups, and I reach for a bag whenever that inevitable hangxiety comes a-knocking. If I’m seeking more satiety and sweetness, say, post workout, I like to dice the strips into smaller cubes and toss them with nuts and vegan chocolate chunks to make my own trail mix. While it saddens me to report that I deactivated my finsta account about a year ago, I’m still grateful as ever for goguma.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit