Lost in Digestion: Goguma

September 9, 2018

This is Lost in Digestion, where we do a quick review of the oddest-looking mystery eats available from the Metro’s many foreign groceries. From Japanese Ice-Cucumber Pepsi to Thai liter bottles of Yakult, we got you covered. We’ll help you decide which items you’d want to buy, and which ones you’re better off leaving on the shelf. 

Goguma would never top my ‘names of food that make me hungry’ list. It would, however, be pretty high up on my ‘names for a giant monster turtle that Godzilla or Ultraman could fight’ list. Everybody has one of those, right?

I’m quite certain that Goguma means something legit (and delicious) in Korean, but I didn’t bother asking the lady at the counter to translate it for me. Looking her in the eyes, let alone actually talking to the woman, went out the window the moment she caught me doing my happy dance in front of a chest freezer full of fish-shaped waffle ice cream.


I think we can all agree that the snack’s visual appeal is one of its high points. I mean, look at it! It’s fantastic. It doesn’t necessarily look like food, but it is very pretty. Each individual chip is faintly reminiscent of those pink and white swirly things they put in ramen, only they’re brown and deep-fried.

When spread out on a table, Goguma chips look like something that your vegan friend (the one who dresses in itchy-looking shirts and always smells faintly of castañas) would use to tell your fortune. The red twisting lines look like runes engraved over lacquered wood that’s harvested from a very tiny magic tree.

Taste and Texture

Goguma tasted like nothing I expected. It actually reminded me of dried kamote chips (the kind that the same vegan friend makes and gives away for Christmas), but sweeter and a bit chewier.  Also, despite its shiny appearance, it wasn’t sticky or messy to eat at all.

Eating it was far from unpleasant, but you do get sick of it pretty quickly. Its size and taste are deceptive. It’s a very heavy, stick-to-your-ribs kind of snack. While I could inhale bags of Chiz Curls or Pringles indefinitely, just a couple (or three) handfuls of Goguma had me tapping out quick


Again (despite what certain shameful playlists on my iTunes would have you assume), I don’t speak a lick of Korean. This makes it difficult to assess Goguma’s nutritional value since everything on the bag is written in Hangul. Hell, I don’t even know what the thing is made of.

Fortunately, the bag had a ’170g/670kcal’ stamp on it that was obviously added post-production. That means a bag of the stuff is the caloric equivalent of a big fast food burger. That’s really nothing to worry about though, since I doubt anybody could finish a bag all by themselves.

Final Rating

Lost in Digestion gives Goguma chips a generous three and a half Sandara Parks.

While relatively tasty, it lacks that addictive component we look for in truly great snack food. You would never find yourself mindlessly finishing a bag while doing homework or watching television. Like any good ex-girlfriend, there’s just something about it that lets you know that enough’s enough. And just like that same ex-girlfriend, Goguma’s not exactly cheap either. One bag costs roughly around PHP 70. That’s a hard-sell in a city where chips can be had for a quarter of that price.

Lars Roxas Lars Roxas

Laurence is a twenty-something turtle pretending to be a writer. In the past, he has worked as a warehouse clerk, Apple genius, martial arts instructor, copywriter, editor, english teacher, and personal trainer. He can’t swim or ride a bike, but he's done Judo on three continents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Occasionally, his stories appear in real actual books. He makes awesome waffles.

14 comments in this post SHOW

14 responses to “Lost in Digestion: Goguma”

  1. D Camacho says:

    1 point for the Judo reference and 2 points for the photography!;)

  2. Nice rating system you got there! Although mas current sana if you used Jinri instead of Sandara haha. Pero great concept ah, super dami mong magagawa with this.

  3. Ali, your vegan friend says:

    I shall try making kamote chips for you this Christmas. Hahaha.

  4. vankirsty says:

    Funny rating system, I’m relieved you didn’t use Psy. Looking forward to your future lost in digestion articles.
    P.S. those pink and white swirly things they put in ramen -> I think they’re called naruto 🙂

  5. foodsibite.wordpress.com says:

    I guess it’s right for the taste to remind you of kamote since Goguma is sweet potato in Korean. Reminds me of Goguma couple from the We got married sitcome 🙂

  6. foodsibite.wordpress.com says:

    I guess it’s right for the taste to remind you of kamote since Goguma is
    sweet potato in Korean. Reminds me of Goguma couple from the We got
    married sitcom 🙂

  7. Any chance you can mention where this snack is available? 😀

  8. […] full story on: pepper.ph Image Source: Flickr. com / Naomi Kim […]

  9. Gia says:

    Goguma means sweet potato 🙂

  10. Secret says:

    Three and a half Sandara Parks. hahahahha

  11. […] As we’ve previously established, despite certain songs on my iPod that bring shame to my family, I can’t read or understand Korean. I do, however, have Dars on speed dial (no, I don’t). That’s what I call Sandara Park by the way, Dars, because we’re close personal friends (no, we’re not). Anyway, I called her up (this never happened), reminisced together for a bit (neither did this), and promised to call more (I’ve never even seen her in person) if she could help me translate the label on this drink. She agreed, of course (lies). […]

  12. Sanya Coo says:

    Nice Mart is the place to be!

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