Food Culture




Korean food is divided largely into usual diet, traditional dishes and drinks.

The usual diet consists of staple foods and side dishes.

One kind of the traditional staple foods is pap (boiled cereals). Pap is made with rice, hulled millet, barley, millet, Indian millet and corn. There are different kinds of pap including rice pap, ogokpap (made with five cereals), yakpap (glutinous rice mixed with sugar, jujube, chestnut, pine-nut and sesame oil), pibimpap (boiled rice mixed with side dishes) and kimpap (seasoned rice rolled in laver). Other staple foods of unique national tradition include ttok (similar to rice-cake), noodles and so on. There are scores of kinds of ttok including chalttok (glutinous rice-cake), songphyon (half-moon-shaped rice-cake, stuffed with beans and flavoured with pine needles), shiumttok (fermented rice-cake), siruttok (steamed rice-cake), etc. Noodles are not only a kind of usual diet but also a popular dish for a birthday party and wedding ceremony. Pyongyang Cold Noodles are the most famous of them. As a saying goes that "Do not say you've been to Korea if you failed to eat Pyongyang Cold Noodles," its popularity is great. Side dishes are soy sauce, bean paste, soup and kimchi. Among them soy sauce and bean paste are indispensable foods for diet. Hot soup is usually served for breakfast and supper, and often cold one in summer days.

Jijigae, a dish of fresh pepper, garlic, green onion and bean paste stewed in earthenware before serving, is an important element of the diet. Kimchi is one of the most renowned traditional dishes of Korea. It is known far and wide for its efficacy in health and longevity as it contains plenty of vitamins and other nutrients. Among Korean dishes are exquisite drinks such as tea, hwachae (honey juice with fruits in it), sikhye (sweet rice drink), liquor, fruit punch (made of honey, dried persimmon, pine nut and cinnamon), sweet drink (prepared with rice and malt), scorched-rice tea, etc. Liquors include rice wine, thakju (unrefined rice wine ), and soju (Korean gin).

The renowned brands of Korean liquor are Pyongyang Liquor, Pyongyang Soju, Kamhongno Liquor, Taephyong Liquor, Kaesong Koryo Insam Liquor, Wild Insam Liquor, Inphung Liquor, Wine, Paektusan Bog Bilberry Wine, etc. Traditional candies include taffy, kwajul (fried cake made of wheat flour, honey and oil), yumilgwa (oil-and-honey pastry), kangjong (fried glutinous rice-cake), tasik (patterned savoury cake), suksilgwa (food made of steamed date or chestnut mingled with cinnamon powder, pine nut powder and honey), jonggwa (fruit jam), etc.







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