Sunday, May 16, 2010

Michelle's ice cream diaries: Ice Cream with good old memories, Taegukdang Monaka Ice Cream (태극당 모나카 아이스크림)

(look at that beautiful fluff!)

After the Gookhwabbang Ice Cream diary entry, a good friend of mine from Chicago (chi-town!) asked me if I thought the Taegukdang (태극당) Monaka Ice Cream was better than the Gookhwabang? To be honest I had never heard of this infamous Taegukdang, so I'ed it and also asked my mother about it, and lo and behold it's an old timer, but surprisingly still very very good. My mother told me during the 70's when Taegukdang moved locations to the current spot, and when milk wasn't a staple in the Korean diet, she would crave the sweet milky flavor of this Monaka Ice Cream.

Monaka is a Japanese wafer like biscuit with a variety of fillings, this Monaka Ice Cream has an extra creamy and milky interior. Initially the square block format was novel but the more I bit into it, it reminded me of a crispier ice cream cone. It's pretty much the same texture and flavor (not a sugar cone) once again, simplicity is delicious!

So to answer my friends question, the Taegukdang is a better ice cream, but it could be better if they had the mochi and red bean.... well actually I think that would destroy the simple flavors of this oldie. I pick the Monaka. (i think?).

Not much seems to have changed since the 70's, I wasn't allowed to take photographs inside the building, but here is a shot of the exterior. I also picked up a few of their baked goods, but nothing worth mentioning really, still a sweet visit with my mom sharing old time stories. Glad Korea still has these untouched relics that unfold old memories.


*I'm not exactly sure when Taegukdang introduced the Monaka Ice Cream, I'm assuming it wasn't as early as when they first opened in 1946, if anyone has the correct information on the history, please leave a note. Thank you much.

Taegukdang 태극당
Located directly outside of exit 2 of Dongguk University (동국대입구) subway station line number 3/orange