How do you say 'gooey brownies'?
My Korean ESL class gobbled up their underbaked treat.
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The dairy section of my local grocery does include Camembert and brie cheeses, Philadelphia soft cream cheese in regular and strawberry flavors, and some products I can't identify that are probably cheese related. There are no other cheeses: no mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss, Colby, etc., although Velveeta is displayed in a department-store grocery here.Skip to next paragraph
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Yoplait and Dannon are both popular brands here, but Korea is getting to be known worldwide for its own yogurt (probably because of those happily secreting cows), so yogurt drinks and snacks take up most of the dairy section. They are offered in surprisingly small bottles and containers – some that appear to contain only a swallow or two for the purchaser.
To find solid cream cheese, I had to visit a Western-style supermarket in Seoul. This is also the only store I have found that carries chocolate chips, pecans, and vanilla extract.
I can get to it by taking the No. 1 train to Seoul, changing to the No. 3, and changing again to the No. 6. Then I take a bus up an impossibly steep hill and walk two blocks and down a flight of stairs to the basement-level Haddon Market – where a box of Rice Krispies costs $14, and the price for everything else is at least double the amount we pay in the States.
So I made my trek to Seoul and came home laden with cream cheese, pretzels, and Campbell's Soup. There is something very comforting about opening a kitchen cupboard and seeing the familiar red-and-white Campbell's Soup can. (Andy Warhol got it right.)
I was curious about the reaction the kids would have to something baked with cream cheese, since cheese is not part of their daily diet. The recipe I found online gave a 25-minute baking time. When I took the pan out and cut into the rich chocolate and cream cheese mixture, I ended up with 30 squarish, brown puddles. But I had to take them to school anyway or I'd eat them all myself.
I figured the kids would like them if they could get beyond the way they looked.
As it turned out, there was no need to worry. Only one boy wouldn't try them – until his friends gobbled them up. One little girl fell in love. Cream cheese gobs have become her favorite food.
As always, when I handed out the goodies, the immediate response from most kids – even before anyone tried one was, "Two, Teacher?"
In all, it was a good reward for their work – although the director and his wife looked a little puzzled at the concoction when I shared a few with them.
I did tell them, "There wasn't enough time to bake these through, but I brought them anyway because most people like gooey brownies." I'm not sure they were able to translate the word gooey – but they smiled, tentatively tried one and said, "Ahhh, chocolate."