A colleague of mine is from South Korea, and she always brings in the most interesting candies to share after she takes trips to South Korea. Her latest treat was red ginseng candies. Red ginseng is a popular ingredient in Korea – and is found in everything from tea to candy to jelly. Red ginseng is a special preparation of ginseng where it is heated to create a brittle texture.
I know ginseng is supposed to be good for you – and has been shown to have some anti-carcinogenic effects, but I’ve never had it like this. The little candies looked suspiciously like lozenges – and at first sample – they tasted like them too. Gradually the little maroon-colored candies tasted sweeter, but with a bitter, medicinal tinge. All in all, not bad – and pretty good for you (for a sweet). I’ve seen red ginseng candies in Asian supermarkets in the Chicago area, however you can get them from several online shops as well.