Snow Factory Korean Pipe Ice Cream

Get ready for the next big sensation to hit the local ice cream foodie scene: Korean Pipe Ice Cream!  And big it is, measuring an envious 17″ long from the top to the bottom of its whacky J-bend shape.

Snow Factory just started offering this new Korean street food sensation at their McCully store this past Saturday, after they enjoyed huge sales success at the recent Korean Festival at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park, where they made their debut.

Initially Pipe Ice Cream will only be sold at the McCully location, however they do plan to eventually make them available at Snow Factory’s WaipaHU! and Mililani locations.

The Korean name for it is Jipangyi Ice Cream, where it’s said to have started in the South Korean city of Insa-Dong. The soft serve ice cream pumped in it is a very new concept, however the Jipangyi shell itself is said to be a much older Korean street food that’s eaten by itself (no ice cream in it) as a sort of cracker snack, having a flavor profile similar to corn puff breakfast cereal.


Korean Jipangyi street snack (no ice cream goes in these). Image courtesy of thepomnechy.wordpress.com

Here’s the original Jipangyi Ice Cream from Insa-Dong, Korea….


Korean Jipangyi Ice Cream Tube – photo courtesy of Semi-Adventures.com

And here’s the Pipe Ice Cream I got this afternoon from Snow Factory….

Notice with my version, there isn’t much of a soft-serve swirl on the top of each end as the Korean version has. Reason being, as soon as I walked out the air conditioned store and into the hot Hawaiian summer afternoon in the parking lot at McCully Shopping Center, it already started melting voraciously. I had only SECONDS getting this shot before it started dripping to the pavement. The heat outside was crazy!

I wanted to get either video or stills of them pumping the soft serve ice cream into the tube-shaped cone/shell, however they don’t make them in front where you can see. Oh well, there’s a good video that shows that already on YouTube that I have shared below.

What’s funny is, as soon as the attractive Snow Factory gal handed me my Pipe Ice Cream, these two older Korean ladies quietly waiting in line lit right up and started giggling with this stunned, yet shy look, excitedly asking (more shouting to) me “what is that?!” To which I told them it’s an ice cream cone that’s the newest craze on the streets in Korea. They kept laughing as I walked out, which had me wondering what they were thinking. I almost felt embarrassed. lol Even for the brief walk to my car just out the door, folks in front turned and stared at me, completely perplexed what I hand in my hand (even with the big sign out front).

There I just took a bite off the short end of the J-bend, where you see the grits-based corn snack shell has very thick walls. Specifically, it measures 1½” diameter on the outside, with a 1″ diameter inner tube chamber. So the ratio of corn snack shell to vanilla soft serve ice cream is very high. I actually think too much, where you get kinda’ burnt out on the semi spongy, semi crunchy corn snack after getting through about 1/3 of the entire thing.

The total length once again is 17″ from the top of the corn snack shell on the long end, to the bottom of the J-bend, while the short end of the bend measures 6″. In other words, let’s just say holding this makes a statement. Kinda’ like a power symbol / “Yeah, I’m a freak like that”symbol. lol

To further explain the taste of the corn snack cone/shell, I’d say its like a cross between your standard soft serve ice cream cone you get at McDonald’s and Kellogg’s Sugar Pops cereal. It’s a tad sweet, but not too much, which is good. Like I said though, there’s so much of the corn snack shell, paired with what I think isn’t enough soft serve ice cream to compliment it. In my opinion, they need to make the corn snack shell’s walls a little thinner so there’s more soft serve ice cream, so that every bite is balanced.

The smooth, creamy and delicious Vanilla soft serve ice cream it’s filled with is your typical American type, nothing specially imported from Korea. The grits-based corn snack shell is also made in-house by Snow Factory, not imported. And yes, Snow Factory is owned by a local Korean family.

Getting back to its shape, seriously, it kinda’ reminds of that Ericofon dial telephone our family home used to have back in the 70′s…

“Hello, uh, Pizza Hut, um yeah, I’d like to make a phone order please.” PH replies, “Uh, Sir, I can’t understand a word you’re saying. Are you talking from one of those new Samsung Galaxy S7 Pipe Ice Cream Phones?” LOL!!!

Obviously if you bite off the end of the J-bend, the quickly melting ice cream in this hot Hawaiian summer heat is going to fall right out, as it did shortly after I got that shot above, prematurely losing its load…

Awe, pua ting. lol

Here’s a dissected view of the corn snack shell after about a whole scoop of soft serve ice cream melted right out….

I seriously think they should coat the inside of the corn snack shell with shell chocolate so that not only do you get that delicious contrasting flavor of the chocolate, but it would also seal the cone, as mine had pukas (tiny porous holes) on the bottom of the J-bend, and it kept dripping melting soft-serve ice cream as I was eating it. So much so, some got on my shoes, where If I were inside the Snow Factory store eating this, I would have made a mess on their floors.

Luckily the only mess I left was on my own parking stall at home.

Summing it up, the all new Korean Pipe Ice Cream at Snow Factory in McCully Shopping Center is definitely something you gotta’ try if you love ice cream, cool new concepts, or if you’re simply a fan of bizarre foods, even it’s just the shape of it. It’s pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. If the ratio of soft serve to corn snack shell was in better balance, I’d say excellent. If it had other yummy stuff added, like say caramel and/or chocolate sauce, fresh fruits and nuts, I’d say it has the potential to be outstanding.

Just be careful how you hold it and eat it, or you may get funny looks from onlookers. I sure did!

What? Pipe Ice Cream
Where from and how much? Snow Factory @ McCully Shopping Center (coming later to Waipahu & Mililani locations), $4.99 each.
What is it made of? A unique Korean corn snack tube-shaped shell, filled with soft-serve Vanilla ice cream
Big Shaka to: Totally bizarre, yet “fun” shape. Huge portion (you actually get full eating the whole thing). The corn snack shell compliments well with the onoliciously creamy and smooth Vanilla soft-serve ice cream. Reasonable price considering its size (this could easily be shared by two). Great edible conversation piece.
No Shaka to: The corn snack shell’s walls are too thick, making the ratio of shell to soft-serve ice cream out of balance. The Vanilla soft-serve ice cream needs to be firmer, frozen-wise, in order to stand up longer to the hot Hawaiian summer heat. The shell had pukas (leaking  pores) on the bottom of the J-bend, causing melting soft-serve ice cream to leak all over the floor/ground, making a complete mess.
The Tasty Island rating: 3 SPAM Musubi (very good)