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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.

It must be noted that the first company in Hawaii to offer this style of Korean corn snack tube ice cream is actually Corny Cones, who served them on Mother’s Day on May 10, 2014 at a Hawaii Polo Club tournament on Oahu’s scenic North Shore.

Corny Cones’ Yun Jin samples Jipangyi Ice Cream where it all began in Insadong, South Korea

Corny Cones owner Paul Cofman, along with his beautiful Korean wife Yun Jin, invested into a machine that makes these unique cones, and worked tirelessly to perfect it, which you will hear more about later on this blog.

Back to Snow Factory, Initially Pipe Ice Cream will only be sold at their 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. Also visit Facebook.com/CornyCones.
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)


10 thoughts on “Snow Factory Korean Pipe Ice Cream

  • July 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    The Korean ladies were laughing at you because they knew you would drop your load.

    • July 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm


      Seriously, the heat was so intense, I barely had time to get some of these shots — just footsteps out the door of Snow Factory — without the soft serve ice cream becoming liquid. I had to crank my SUV’s AC on max just to make the short trip home with it somewhat still intact.

  • July 22, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Pomai, I would like a churro style cone too. I saw in Beijing churro with ice cream in a bowl with chocolate sauce. It taste great prefer with cinnamon sugar with it.

  • July 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Thank you for the research…so we don’t have to add the calories!

  • July 22, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    While this doesn’t appeal to me, I’d like a savory version. Like a corn chip shell filled with nacho cheese, or a potato snack shell filled with sour cream.

  • July 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    @ h – I like your thinking! A corn chip shell shaped in a j-bend tube like this Pipe Ice Cream, filled with all the Nachos good stuff (think 7-layer dip) sounds delicioso!

    I don’t think the Nachos filling would work in the shell served with this Pipe Ice Cream though, as it’s too spongy, while its slight sweetness would clash with the spicy/zesty/cheesy flavors of the Tex-Mex mixture.

    @ Sean – But why always me? Common man, you gotta’ “take one for the team”, too!

    @ Amy – I used to like the Churro at Costco’s Food Court. They got rid of it, now selling Gelato.

  • July 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you for reviewing such an amusing and interesting snack. ;) When the cashier brought out our Pipe Ice Cream, she began giggling as she handed it to us and I have to say that we started snickering as well. Even though I had read your review, I don’t think I expected it to be so big (it really is as big as the picture on the window!). It definitely got us some funny looks and laughs when my husband and I sat outside to share our ice cream (Thanks for the tip btw, it was definitely big enough for two people). The fact that we kept laughing as we tried to eat it probably didn’t help our attempt to keep a low profile. lol.

    • July 25, 2014 at 7:10 pm


      Regarding everything you shared about you and your husband’s shared Korean Pipe Ice Cream “experience” at Snow Factory, LOL to da’ max’ !!!!!!!!!! :-)

      BTW, I think you had the same cashier I had. If so, she’s a riot! Great personality!

  • July 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I was just in Korea last month and you know what.. I did see a chocolate version in Insadong. Haha. I didn’t get a chance to try it because the idea of corn mixed in with ice cream is a bit odd to me, but I reckon it’s similar to throwing a bunch of cornflakes on top of your soft serve?

    And it doesn’t help that the shape is.. erm.. peculiar, with the lack of a nicer word for it. LOL!

  • August 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Actually they are not the first company to introduce this product to Hawaii. We imported the first machine months before the Snow Factory decided to try the same idea. We served at the Mother’s Day Polo Show and also were serving an almost identical product at the Korean Festival.
    Our company is called Corny Cones, 100% gluten free and made in Hawaii. We’ve been serving since January of this year. You may view some photos at our facebook of us serving months earlier at the the Mother’s Day Polo Game and also at the Korean Festival.
    We offer our cones in both yellow corn and white corn, as well we offer a choice of Vanilla Ice Cream with a candy flower on the end, or we also offer the Dole Soft Serve Ice Cream including an ice cold fresh cut piece of Dole’s Golden Pineapple’s. Please be aware that we have been providing this products way before the The Snow Factory Introduced at the Korean Festival. Our new website. http://www.cornycones.com is being built, but in the meantime you can view some photos on our Facebook page at
    If you’re interested in serving these in your location, you may reach us at info@cornycones.com.


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