Bingsu

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I spent all four years of USC completely obsessed with bingsu. I fell in love with what I considered to be the Korean ice cream sundae. It consisted of everything I loved: ice cream, sweetened red beans, whipped cream, piles and piles of fruit (strawberries, bananas, kiwis), corn flakes (or even better, rainbow Fruity Pebbles!), lots of small pieces of mochi all piled on top of shaved ice and condensed milk, and then– because just when I couldn’t think it couldn’t get better, it did, drizzled with chocolate syrup. My favorites were the bing su with green tea ice cream or strawberry ice cream. It comes in a large bowl and is meant to be shared; while I always shared, I could easily finish a bowl meant for four people all by myself. I would practically inhale it as MiRi watched in horror at my monstrous spectacle. It was gorgeous and delicious. It was also the cause of many, many brain freezes, but, believe me, they were completely worth the pain.

Strawberry Bingsu from Koffea (I pronounce the cafe name as "Coffee-UH" because it hilariously annoys Cheng) in Koreatown in Los Angeles

One of the many, many reasons I was sad to leave LA was because I thought I wouldn’t be able to find a place that served my beloved bingsu. I should have been more specific when I made wishes to find a place in Northern Virginia that made bingsu– I know I could just get an ice shaver machine and make my own…but I’m a little bit on the lazy side– because Annandale, VA has a lot of Korean cafes that serve bingsu, but just not the way I prefer. There’s always a couple ingredients missing, which annoy me. Sometimes it’s the ice cream. Sometimes it’s the fruit. Sometimes it’s the mochi pieces. Sometimes the corn flakes. Sometimes the whipped cream with the chocolate syrup drizzle. It’s always something, which both frustrates me and makes me sad because I desperately crave the bingsu combinations that I spent four years way-too-happily eating.

However, eating bing su has made me realize which ingredients I really need to be in the bingsu for me to at least be satisfied: ice cream, pieces of mochi, sweetened red beans, shaved ice with condensed milk.

Green tea bingsu from Shilla Bakery in Annandale, VA

It has green tea ice cream sandwiched between mountains of shaved ice. Green tea syrup is poured all over the top mountain of shaved ice while condensed milk is poured on the bottom mountain of shaved ice. Underneath of the green tea ice cream are the mochi pieces and sweetened red beans. It’s the only variation that I’ve had in Annandale that I’ve liked, and only because of the copious amount of green tea ice cream served.

As Wayne said,”It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.” It will do until my next trip to LA.

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