Kitchn Love Letters

The $5 Dessert I Always Have in My Freezer

published Sep 6, 2023
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woman shopping in frozen food aisle of grocery store
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The world of Korean ice bars runs deep, whether you’re reaching into the ice chest at a convenience store on the streets of Seoul or the freezer aisle at your local H Mart stateside. The ice cream section is vast: chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, asymmetrical tetrahedrons of frozen coffee, swirly ribbon-colored ice pops, to name a few — and it seems impossible to choose just one.

Credit: Irene Yoo

For me, one ice bar did emerge supreme this summer: the Haitai Cheonhyehyang Ice Bar

This orange ice pop first caught my attention because as you can see, “cheonhyehyang” is a very long and specific word — if you know, you know! The cheonhyehyang orange is one of the varieties of oranges grown in Jeju, the island off the south coast of Korea that’s dubbed “Korean Hawaii.” While it’s not as popular as the Jeju Hallabong (a Korean orange known as sumo citrus in the States), it’s my personal favorite. The fruit is incredibly fragrant, so much so that the name itself refers to how it’s a “perfume from heaven.”

Credit: Irene Yoo

What’s So Great About Haitai Cheonhyehyang Ice Bar?

This frozen popsicle might look like just your run-of-the-mill orange-flavored ice bar, but I promise it’s so much more. I love this bar because it tastes like I’m just eating flawless frozen orange juice.

With the first bite the ice crystals shatter and spread deliciously across my tongue, lighting up all my taste buds with that perfect balance of pleasant sweetness, a touch of sour, and a dash of bitter, just like a good orange should.

It tastes incredibly juicy, not flabby like most orange juice-based pops tend to. It’s also almost a little oily. You know how freshly squeezed orange juice is far superior? It’s because often, the essential oils in the citrus peels are incorporated in the squeezing process, and that flavor is impeccably replicated here.

Credit: Irene Yoo

What’s the Best Way to Serve Haitai Cheonhyehyang Ice Bar?

Share with your friends! Every person I have shared these Jeju orange ice bars with have become instant converts. My husband reaches for them as often as I do, every kid who visits and has one breaks out into a big smile, and my friend Diane was even saved from the depths of a massive hangover after consuming one on the car ride home from H Mart

Most of all, enjoy them yourself! Pop one open any time to transport yourself to summer on a beach in Jeju.

Find it in stores: Haitai Cheonhyehyang Ice Bar, $4.99 for 5 bars at H Mart

What frozen desserts are giving you summer feels all year round? Tell us in the comments below.