Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Korean Food, Festivals And Other Facts

Over at Robin Street Market, we have been trying to decide where to go on our next trip - we are keen to go searching for some more unique and handmade goodies to add to our nest!  Korea is one country that really interests us - particularly because our love for Korean food.

Korea is located on a peninsula in far east Asia and has four distinct seasons.  It is because of these seasons that Korea has an amazing variety and abundance of natural ingredients that Koreans use in their cooking. Korean wisdom says that "food and medicine are grown from the same root" and this shows how important food is to the physical and emotional well being of the Korean people.

Food that is popular in Korea include rice, noodles, porridge, soups, stews, casseroles and lots of delicious side dishes.  And to swill down that yummy food, popular liquor choices include rice wine, soju, flower & fruit wine and medicinal wine. 

Table Manners

These tips made us smile so we thought we would share.  These are the main things to be remembered when sitting down for a traditional Korean meal:
  • respect for elders:  do not pick up your chopsticks or spoon until an older person has commenced eating.  Also, do not continue to eat after an older person has finished eating.  When drinking wine, turn your head away from the older person;
  • eat quietly: no slurping or talking with your mouth full! Be careful not to lift your bowl when eating and if you really feel the need to have a natter, do it in low tones.
  • eat hygienically: do not rummage through side dishes with your chopsticks (because they have been in your mouth!).
I must admit to a creeping concern that David and I will be kicked out of every Korean restaurant we go to!

Street Food

Ah, the joy of walking down the street and being enticed by all the delicious food being cooked by the side of the road. Depending on where you are, you could pick yourself up some candied rice cakes, a sugar filled pancake, some roasted chestnuts, skewered potato chips or even a bottled (or plastic bag) cocktail! 

Food Festivals

There are lots of food festivals that you could incorporate into a trip to Korea, here are a few to take note of:

Thanks so much to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) for providing some of the information above and for providing the lovely photos of delicious Korean food.  And if you are interested in finding out more about Korean food (including recipes) here is a link to a KTO website.

If you have been to Korea, we'd love to hear from you, so please comment below and let us know where you recommend as well as any travel tips that you are happy to share.