Is Squid Game's Dalgona Candy Worth the Hype? I Tried It to Find Out

Overnight, Netflix's thrilling South Korean series Squid Game turned dalgona candy from a little-known nostalgic treat into an international sensation.

In the show, the childhood game of ppopgi is turned into a matter of life or death. The players have to remove the pressed shape in the middle of the sugary candy from its surroundings without breaking it, or meet their end.

Lucky for all of us, Squid Game is just TV, and we can enjoy the treat without horrible consequences—and that's just what I decided to do. But since I don't trust my confectionary skills (or ability to follow directions off a TikTok video) I decided to buy them online, instead. I found SweetIndulgenceUS on Etsy, offering boxes of four handmade cookies for $18 (plus about $7.50 shipping), and ordered them to see what the fuss was all about.

The Package

On the SweetInfulgenceUS Etsy page, the photos show four dalgona wrapped up in a black box with a red bow, complete with a brown card featuring the symbols from Squid Game.

SweetIndulgenceUS Dalgona candy box

(via SweetIndulenceUS/Etsy)

Inside are four round and shiny treats in their own paper cups, featuring the circle, triangle, star and umbrella shapes from the show. So, when the package arrived at my doorstop exactly a week after I ordered it, I was excited to dig in.

sweetinfluenceus-dalgona-cookies

(via SweetIndulenceUS/Etsy)

 

The Experience

When I opened my dalgona box, I found that not only were the sweets contained in invidious cupcake wrappers, but that they were also individually wrapped in saran for freshness. I couldn't wait, so I picked the circle dalgona as my first attempt.

My dalgona box

Before I started, I noticed that on the back of the card with the circle, triangle and square, there were instructions. They read, "You have ten minutes to remove the shape without breaking it. You can use a needle or toothpick. No lighters may be used. Licking is okay! Good luck!!!"

Seeing as I didn't have a clean needle or toothpick to go about removing the circle from the dalgona, I decided to just try to bite the simple sweet into shape. I took my first bite of the edge, and instantly fell in love with everything about it.

The dalgona had a nice snap and a hard crunch, and I loved the texture—even if it somewhat annoyingly got stuck to my teeth. The flavor was also incredible. It was sugary with strong caramel notes, and just a hint of bitterness, reminding me of British honeycomb candies, which I also adore. It was so easy to eat, and I managed to nibble around the edges within the time frame to perfectly remove the circle from the surrounding cookie. I would have survived!

I used the same methods for the triangle and star dalgona and made it out alive. With the umbrella, I wasn't so lucky. Even utilizing Seong Gi-Hun's licking method, the thin umbrella's handle foiled me. Of course, nothing bad happened to me when I failed, and I got to eat the rest of the tasty candy!

 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an authentic dalgona experience, I definitely recommend SweetIndulgenceUS'packages. Their treats look just like the ones from the show, also offering authentic flavor and a fun experience you can share with friends and family who also loved Squid Game. While they may be a little bit expensive, and they're likely not as fresh as if you made them at home, they save you the hassle of failed attempts at making it—and you don't need to buy any specialized tools or cookie cutters, either. They make a great gift for fans of the show while satisfying your curiosity and sweet tooth.

 

If you're curious about all things dalgona, click HERE to find out the history of the treats, plus how to play ppopgi and how to make it yourself.