I often stumble over a Manoffin shop in subway stations around Seoul and it was in Jongak station where I saw these cute Halloween monster muffins.
According to the Manoffin website (where we are invited to ‘enjoy muffin life’) they sell a range of muffins including walnut, chocolate, green tea, New York cream cheese, and strawberry brownie. And at Halloween they do a special range. Looks like the chocolate cookie bat muffins and chocolate pandas are proving popular.
Before we peruse the muffins, did you hear that Korea is in shock this week at the political revelations surrounding President Park Geun Hye? The now infamous Choi Sun Sil gate is already on Wikipedia. The papers are full of it. All my students are talking about it. Basically it’s been revealed that President Park has allowed a close confidante Choi Sun Sil to ‘help’ her in political matters, sharing top secret government documents with her. (Choi Sun Sil’s father was a controversial religious cult leader)
The scandal started off with an article about students protesting over Choi Sun Sil’s daughter getting special favours at the prestigious Ewha Women’s University. This ended up with the president of the university resigning. But then after more digging into Choi Sun Sil’s affairs, it ‘s been discovered that she’s been using her connections with President Park to get up to all sorts of other shenanigans. The scandal has made it to the international papers. Here’s an article in the New York Times. It’s a pretty horrible Halloween for President Park as there are calls for her resignation. But you came here for monster muffins, so let’s get back to the muffins…
There are 8 kinds of muffin. Here are some pig devils, green witches, ghosts, pumpkins, and mummies.
The pig devils are black tea muffins with pink cream on top, the mummies are strawberry fondue jam muffins, the pumpkin muffins are made of …yes you guessed it …pumpkin and pumpkin seeds with pumpkin coloured cream.
I like the green witch, which (see what I did there?) is a yuja citron fondue muffin with a kind of marmalade filling. The filling is soft and citrusy and not too sweet. It has a chocolaty cone witch’s hat and green coloured cream – a bit quirky and abstract with a Dr Who feel about it.
And then there’s the ghost, a chocolate mocha brownie. It was at this point that I got into a rather odd conversation with Mr Kim about this ghost muffin, which (see what.. oh no, forget it) is called goma yuryong poo poo in Korean. Obviously.
The goma yuryong poo poo is a cute ghost that looks like ice cream. Or is it?
I was intrigued by the poo poo part of the ghost’s name and promptly marched over to the sofa to wake up a grumpy Mr Kim to question him about it. Here’s the conversation …
Enlightening. I’m sure we all feel more enriched now. Actually I have seen poo bread before (read more about poo bread here aka Dong bang) so I’m kicking myself for not spotting it this time. I should have noticed, but honestly, I just saw ice cream…
HOWEVER, not so fast …
The next time I was passing the Manoffin shop I went over and asked the shop assistant if poo poo really meant ‘dong.’ Was this a ghost poo muffin? In retrospect this was not the wisest move because she said,
‘No, it’s just a cute name’. (and then she looked at me a bit strangely..)
I rushed home to tell Mr Kim. But he didn’t believe it and he is still, to this day, adamant that he is correct. I suppose I will have to write to the Manoffin head office to clear this up …
I don’t have a photo of the puranken Frankenstein muffin – it must have sold out (I wouldn’t be surprised, as it’s a green tea muffin and I love green tea). But you can see more pics of the muffins and how to decorate them at a Halloween muffin decorating class at one of the Manoffin stores. The muffins cost 3300 won each but are on offer at the moment and a set of 4 costs 12,500 won.
I would like to end on a sombre note. I am not into dressing up or having anything that remotely resembles fun at Halloween. This is because when I was a child I went with my sister to a Halloween party at our local church hall. We were both dressed in witches costumes made by our mum. But even though we were dressed EXACTLY the same (I can’t emphasise this part enough) my sister WON the fancy dress competition. And I left with NOTHING. Even though we were dressed EXACTLY the same. (did I mention that?)
The only conclusion that can be made is that, because my sister is younger than me, she was a smaller and cuter witch. So she won. I’ve never got over the unfairness of this. Talking about it has brought back all the memories. So now I will go off and eat my witch muffin and sulk in a corner. Happy Halloween. (said without enthusiasm)