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  • Andrea Juarez

South Korea's most popular iced dessert

Patbingsu has made its way to Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Cowtown.

Patbingsu is a South Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings such as chopped fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrup and red beans. Pat means red bean and bingsu means snow.




In South Korea, Patbingsu can be found at fast-food restaurants, cafes and bakeries. Its high demand has positioned it on the menus of Western fast foods chains like KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King during the summer.


Patbingsus with ingredients other than red beans are called bingsu. Across the globe, bingsu has made its way to Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and was brought to Calgary by Jusfruit Canada.


Calgary’s Jusfruit team tried the Patbingsu during a trip in South Korea and thought it was something they would like to put on their menu due to its flavour and unique texture. Now, Jusfruit Canada serves different bingsu flavours such as mango, matcha, soy dust and berry-berry.


The mango bingsu includes mango chunks and marshmallows, and the matcha bingsu has red beans, mochi (soft Japanese cake made from mochi rice), and condensed milk. The berry-berry bingsu has strawberry and cheesecake bites.


“A lot of people sell matcha green tea, so we put it in a different form,” says Pierre Chan, Marketing and Development Director at Jusfruit Canada.


The soydust bingsu is the closest to the original patbingsu as it includes soy powder, red bean, mochi, almond and condensed milk.


According to Chan, originally, the base for patbingsu is milk or water. However, it wasn’t something they (Jusfruit team) wanted for Calgarians as it tasted “bland”.


Chan says the Jusfruit Canada team chose to implement new ways to make bingsu more flavourful and uses fruit flavour and milk for the base.


When asked how Jusfruit developed the flavours for its patbingsu, Chan said it was the sense of being a foodie.


“The owner and founder developed the products and has a good sense of mixing and matching ingredients,” he says.


“We asked ourselves how much sugar, matcha and what type of milk we should use.”


Many people in Calgary weren’t aware of this dessert or struggled to find a place to have it.


Jusfruit Canada was the first in bringing bingsu to the city, and to do it, it had to buy a machine specially made in China that doesn’t crush the ice but gives it a soft texture that’s similar to snow.


“It was difficult to start from zero to the product, but once it is done, it’s easy to implement,” says Chan.


Since it was launched last summer, bingsu has been successful among Calgarians, and approximately, 30 to 40 bingsus are sold on a daily basis.


“We don’t only sell bingsu but also drinks and food… so if we sell those, it is a good amount.”


Ian De la Cruz, a Jusfruit regular customer, says his favourite flavour is the Matcha bingsu.


“It’s very savoury, not very sweet and it’s filling,” he says.


Another favourite is the mango bingsu.


“It’s nice when you eat it for the first time,” says Isaia Cunanan. “The condensed milk adds another flavour.”


For only $10.50 (and an extra $1 for a scoop of Fiasco gelato) bingsus can be found in the different Jusfruit locations across Calgary: Chinatown, Heritage, Forest Lawn, and Pacific.


“It’s a new type of ice cream… it’s an iced treat, but not ice cream at all,” says Chan.


You didn’t hear from me, but Jusfruit also has a secret menu item: oreo bingsu. You're welcome.


Follow Jusfruit on Instagram and visit Jusfruit.ca for more information.



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