Tangy sweet and savory salty. Maybe you have heard of this unconventional combination of flavors being trendy nowadays–Honey & Butter! Yep, the sweet and salty flavors are a heavenly match!
In Korea, the popularity of this flavor was all over the place. Come to any convenient store or supermarket and this Honey Butter flavor is everywhere from snacks, to biscuits, to lotions and creams!
One particular product that Koreans were once crazily racing for is Haitai-Calbee’s Honey Butter Chip 허니버터칩. Introduced at the summer of 2014, the potato chips was an instant hit with annual sales exceeding 50 billion won (millions of dollars). The massive popularity of this snack led to a very high demand that the company couldn’t keep up. As a result, the chips are frequently sold-out and people on and off Korea are hunting for them like crazy! No doubt that its unique taste became popular even to Korean celebrities.
The minimal and signature packaging of Honey Butter Chips is eye-catching for me, although many other snacks imitated it. One can grab a bag of similar looking chips but then- uh, no, that’s Honey Butter Tong-tong (easily mistaken for the Honey Butter Chip!) The chips come in either 60 g or 120 g sizes. In the front it says, “indulge into sweet honey taste; French gourmet butter; 100% real potatoes”.
Take a closer look at the nutrition facts of a 60-g chip (for those health conscious and nutrition geeks!): Calories (345 kcal), Carbohydrates (30 g), Sugars (2 g), Protein (2g), Total fats (24 g), Saturated fats (8 g), Trans fat (0 g), Cholesterol (0 g), Sodium (200 mg).
Well, it’s still potato chip, what do you expect?
So let’s see inside this bag of chips!
Actually, I have been an avid organic potato chip fan. I used to eat chips to stay awake when I have to study overnight during my college days. PepsiCo’s Lay’s Classic potato chip was my all-time favorite because of its natural and salty taste in a relatively cheap price. I’ve also been fond of other potato chips, but limited only to “organic” and unflavored varieties (ie. sea salt) such as Kettle and Thomas Chipman. I kinda have a high standard for chips btw! I was always in search of fresh and natural potato chips, my tongue just knows if it’s safely good or unhealthily modified.
The Honey Butter Chips, meanwhile, are nowhere near Lays’ which has oily texture and thinly sliced, but I am surprised on how good it is! The chips are smaller and the thickness is just right. The sweet buttery taste melts in my palates and that’s just perfectly wonderful. For the first time, I felt like going out of my usual plain organic chips. I fell in love with this chip that’s just perfect for my sweet tooth! Nevermind if it’s organic or not.
Nowadays, the chips are now commonly found. It also costed at least thrice lower than before. One can find a 1000 KRW for 60-g chips in Daiso, while some supermarkets discount them for 900 KRW. Nevertheless, the Honey Butter Chips is the best chips out here in Korea and I would still grab them whenever I have a chance!
Those outside Korea can order Honey Butter Chips online. Amazon still sells the 60 g for at least 3 USD, which is ridiculously expensive compared to local selling, but is significantly less than when it was on market hype. I suggest checking out the Korean Gmarket which sells them for a cheaper price.
Korean snacks are getting more and more creative nowadays. Have you ever seen banana-flavored corn chips? Or soy sauce flavored potato chips? Koreans come up with interesting flavors. Stay tuned for another Korean food trip then!
There is another reason why I am fond of buying Honey Butter Chips! Shall I tell you our Korean Story?
When I came to Daejeon in 2015, the stores held back from displaying all their Honey Butter Chip stock, so it was still pretty rare to find. My Korean friends were also into these chips that they would immediately buy them once they laid an eye on them. Once, we had to go to Sejong City to find at least 3 bags in a CU convenient store and we had to request the storekeeper to take out more from their stock room! At that time, a 60-g bag costs 3000 KRW! It was so expensive and rare, so I deemed it to be valuable.
At the time I was nearly going back to Philippines, I really wanted to take some home. In my heart, I was praying to find even just one bag. I checked the snacks section every time I go to convenient stores and supermarkets, but to no avail.
One afternoon, I dashed off to meet a friend. It was slightly raining and I forgot to take an umbrella. I was carrying my friend’s DSLR camera and I was afraid that it would get wet, so I ran to the nearest supermarket and lingered until something beside me caught my eyes. Just as if God answered the simple wish in my heart, I found a whole box of Honey Butter Chips displayed outside their store!
With that little miracle, I was delighted and I came to realize God’s love even more. Those times, I was struggling from feeling unloved that I was literally depressed. Yet, God poured a sunshine of joy over me, much more than what I expected. I asked even for one piece, but he showed a whole box of them! I realized that like this, He is more than willing to give something that is even rare and valuable to those who share love with Him.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I immediately bought about 4 of them and gave one to the friend I was meeting. She was so happy that I bought her such a rare thing. She drove me back to the supermarket and bought some for her family too. After the day’s tour and then having Samgyeopsal for dinner, we passed by the supermarket again but the whole box was gone. Sold-out so quickly. We were so amazed and happy that we were able to grab the rare chance.
I felt like this incident was a revelation. So, I came to think deeper…
What is the rarest and most valuable thing that God has ever given mankind? Isn’t it the Savior, whom through His Words and sacrifice, He brings us to God so that we may live eternally with Him? Surely, those who share love with God, He will let them meet the Savior and enable them to live a successful life. That is God’s best expression of love. Starting from that day on, I came to uncover God’s definite love for me. I will always remember this story whenever I get to buy Honey Butter Chips.
If you have stories like this, please feel free to share to us! 🙂