MONTREAL -- A sugar candy featured in the wildly popular Netflix series Squid Game is causing a stir in Montreal.

Robert Kim sells Korean fare at his St-Henri shop Claude & Claudette Depanneur. Two weeks ago, he started selling dalgona, a candy featured in the series.

The treat comes with its own built-in game: scratch out the inner shape from the brittle sugar disk without snapping it.

Kim remembers playing dalgona as a kid.

“Me and my classmates, we went for it, and played this game and we enjoyed it,” he said.

The after-school treat of his youth is now being devoured by neighbourhood kids. Though of course, the stakes aren’t quite as high as they are in the sinister series from South Korea that’s taking the world by storm.

Squid Game
This undated photo released by Netflix shows a scene of contestants vying to win the Dalgona Korean candy challenge in a scene from "Squid Game." (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)

“When we trim exactly the perfect shape, we get some free dalgona, that's the whole game about it. Without the death, no blood, nothing like that. Just fun,” said Kim.

'Squid Game' is the latest Korean pop culture craze that's made waves around the world. Experts say the show's popularity indicates blossoming North American interest in international content. 


Young Montrealers play with their dalgona cookies -- a common South Korean snack popularized around the world by smash-hit series "Squid Game." (Christine Long, CTV News)

“'Squid Game' is an unique phenomenon, but it will lead to more Canadians choosing to get their entertainment outside of Hollywood and Canada – outside of the west, let’s say. It’s a sign of what’s to come,” said University of Toronto Korean studies professor Michelle Cho.

The show's streaming host Netflix wrote to social media this week that the show had garnered 111 million viewers, making it the largest series launch in the platform's history. 

The nine-episode thriller, released on Sept. 17, follows protagonist Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae) -- a man in serious debt to a local gang. He and hundreds of others enroll in a series of children's games for cash prizes. However, losers of those games face deadly consequences.