A late spring stroll through the hip Hondae district of Seoul yielded a strange and surprising sight: a window full of colorful, giant "snowballs." Upon closer inspection, I was delighted to see that these were actually powdered sugar-covered pastries called Schneeballen at a bakery/café that's appropriately named Schneeballen. While there are sandwiches, bagels, cinnamon rolls, and more, it's the schneeballen that capture the imagination.
Schneeballen are made from shortcrust pastry and originate in Rothenburg, where they were originally served on special occasions such as weddings. The dough is rolled out, cut into thin strips, and fashioned into the shape of a ball. A dusting of confectioner's sugar gives schneeballen its name, which means "snowball" in English.
They're not all sweet. During my stop at Schneeballen, Garlic and Onion varieties were on display. But as much as I like savory snacks, the sweet ones, dipped in creamy chocolate and other flavors, seduced me. Cinnamon and Coconut Chocolate, for example, looked good, while the brightly colored Strawberry or Pink Chocolate would have matched both the exterior and interior of the nearby Hello Kitty Cafe. But being in Asia, I ultimately selected a Green Tea Coconut schneeballen.
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