For a Lighter Bite, Fruits Bring Zing To Dessert, Juices

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For a Lighter Bite, Fruits Bring Zing To Dessert, Juices

"I eat these fruit ice creams almost every day," said Park Hee-young, 21, a junior attending Myongji University. "They are addictive."

More and more stores that sell a variety of foods and dessert made with fruits are opening around Seoul, with fruit ice cream leading the way.

"I just can't resist sweets. Since they are made with fruits, I feel less guilty about eating them," Ms. Park said. On this day, Ms. Park was eating ice cream made from bananas and sweet potatoes at Terre de Glass, a fruit ice cream chain with a store near Ewha Womans University.

Stores that sell ice cream made of fruit first appeared around 1998. "Each day I make about 20 different kinds of ice cream with fruits, including watermelon, peach and plum," said Noh Yong-hwan, the owner of French Kiss, a fruit ice cream store near Hongik University. He opened the store in April 1999. "Most of our customers are young women and they tend to look for something sweet, but not too heavy." In addition to fruits, the store also sells ice cream made with green tea, yogurt, wine and grain powder.

Every morning, Mr. Noh prepares the day's supply of fresh fruit ice cream. He peels the fruits and cuts them up. Then he mixes the fruit with milk and gelatin, using a special machine. After freezing the mixture for about eight minutes, fresh fruit ice cream is ready to serve. A single-scoop ice cream cone costs 1,500 won ($1.17) and a cup, 2,000 won. No matter the season or the weather, fresh fruit ice cream sells steadily, Mr. Noh said.

Fresh fruit juices are another popular item, especially around the university districts in Seoul. Can More, located near Ewha Womans University, sells 20 kinds of fruit juices. The juices cost from 2,500 won to 3,500 won for a 300-millimeter glass, about the size of a soda can. The store's fruit juices include melon, orange, banana, pineapple, apple, grape, pear, tomato, kiwi, peach and strawberry. Customers can also order mixed fruit juices, such as orange with pineapple, banana with strawberry and grape with apple.

"We have 300 to 400 customers visiting our cafe every day," said Cheong Hyo-jin, 23, who helps to run her parents' store that opened in July. The cafe also sells a variety of fresh fruit platters, from 3,500 to 12,000 won. Fruit salad made with whipped cream is another hot item of the cafe, costing between 4,000 and 9,500 won. Fruit parfaits, a dessert made of fresh fruits and ice cream, cost 3,500 won. The "Wild Thing" is a creative dish for healthy eaters; it comes with milk, cereal and a choice of fresh fruit. Can More is open from 9 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

by Ser Myo-ja

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