korean melon

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Korea has their own melon! The first time I saw this was when I visited Korea for the first time with my friend in 2009. I actually like melon (except watermelon) but Korean melon’s texture feels closer to pear. Maybe the taste too. So… I’m not a fan. But it works well in our morning fruit juice.


韓国には韓国メロンがあります!調べてみたら日本ではウリですね。2009年初めて韓国に訪れた時、友達の家で食べてみました。実はメロンは好きです。スイカを除いて。でも韓国メロンの食感と味は梨っぽい。だからそんなに…でも朝のジュースなら大丈夫!

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kaki no tane

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I’ve loved this snack since I was a little kid. But I hated peanuts then so I would eat everything but the peanuts. Now I can eat them, but I prefer buying the bags with only the spicy cracker part. I remember when I was little, there was metaiko (spicy fish rod) flavor we bought in Fukuoka. I ended up eating the whole bag even though my dad bought it for himself! Since then, I have been looking for it whenever I’m in Japan but without much luck.


小さい頃から柿の種が大好きです。でもピーナツが嫌いだったので、それを除いて食べていました。今は食べられるけど、できればピーナッツが入ってない袋を買います。それと、小学校の時に明太子味を福岡で買った覚えがあります。お父さんが自分のために買ったのに、一人で全部食べちゃった!それから、いつも日本で明太子味を探してるけど、なかなか見つからず…

dorayaki

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Dorayaki is japanese snack of red bean paste sandwiched between two small pancakes. It’s the favorite snack of a popular character in Japan, Doraemon. I always remembered reading it when I was kid, but don’t have many memories of actually eating it. In high school though, my family would occasionally buy it at the japanese grocery store. It always felt like a small luxury to eat. Now that I think about it, I never bought one from a traditional store in Japan. I’ll have to include it in my itinerary for the next trip!


どらやき。みんなが大好きなドラえもんの大好物。小さい頃読んでたのよく覚えてるけど、どら焼きを食べた記憶があまりない。高校に入ったら、家族がよく日本のスーパーで買ってました。食べるときは小さな贅沢をした気分でした。考えてみると、老舗で食べたことない。今度日本に行くとき、食べてみないと!

honey

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Once I became a bit more “health conscious” I replaced sugar with maple syrup when I bake or cook. But honey is cheaper so now I tend to use honey instead. Especially with maple syrup more expensive in Korea. Honey is very common here though since honey, corn syrup, and molasses is often used in cooking. We even have pollen bee in our freezer. Apparently it’s good for the stomach.


健康志向になり始めた時、料理やお菓子作りに砂糖をメープルシロップで代用し始めました。蜂蜜がもっと安いので、最近蜂蜜を使ってます。それに韓国ではメープルシロップは高い。でも蜂蜜はよく売られています。蜂蜜、コーンシロップ、糖蜜は韓国料理でよく使われているので。そして私たちの冷凍庫にビーポーレンもあります。お腹にいいそうです。

persimmon

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Since I was little, my grandma would include dried persimmons in her huge box from Japan in the winter. I guess I didn’t like them because I never ate them. But when I was in college visiting my grandparents, I tried them and they were delicious! Also high in fiber and good for digestion. Since moving to Korea, I’ve tried a regular and ripe persimmon. The regular one is ok but harder than I would like. And then when I ate the ripe one…! Delicious! Sweet with a jelly like consistency. I want to eat one now, but I have to wait until late fall.


小さい頃、冬におばあちゃんが送ってきた大きい荷物の中に干し柿がありました。食べてる覚えがないので、試した時好きじゃなかったのかな。でも大学の時、おばあちゃんとおじいちゃんの家で食べてみたら、美味しい!食物繊維も多いから腸にもいい。韓国に引っ越してから、生と熟れた柿を食べてみました。生の柿はいいだけど硬い。熟れたのを食べたら…!うまい!甘くてとろっとした食感。今も食べたいけど、秋まで待たないとね。

sweet pickled plums

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Since I was little, my grandma would send a box of pickled plums every year. One was the red sour plums and on was sweet green pickled plums. I never tried the green ones and I hated the red sour plums growing up. (Now I can enjoy the red sour plums once in awhile though.) But when I was in college, I tried the green plums for the first time. I regretted not trying it when I was younger. Or maybe my mom was trying to keep the from me. They are delicious! Unfortunately, my grandma is getting old and the plum trees are not harvesting well so she no longer makes them. I wish my aunt would learn how to pickle plums…


小さい頃から、おばあちゃんは毎年梅を送っていました。一つは梅干しでもう一つは青梅の砂糖漬け。青梅は試したことなく、すっぱい梅干しは嫌いでした。(今は梅干しは食べれるようになりましたが。)大学の時、一回青梅を試してみたら、小さい時に食べなかったのを後悔しました。それか、お母さんが私が食べないようにしてたとか?!青梅の甘漬けがこんなに美味しとは!もっと早く知りたかった。残念ながらおばあちゃんは歳をとってきて、梅もあまり実らなくなってきました。おばさんが梅干し作りを習ってくれたら…w

mikan

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Clementine season is ending soon! Korea has many types of clementines but I can’t keep the names straight. So I’ve created a little family tree of just a few of the types I’ve seen at the grocery. The big ones tend to be pretty pricey but typical mandarines are pretty cheap. In the end, I think I like the small clementines the best but it’s fun to try the bigger ones too.


みかんの季節は後もう少し… 寂しいね。韓国はみかんの種類が豊富で覚えきれないので系図を描いてみました!これはスーパーや八百屋でよく見る種類です。大きい種類は結構高めだけど普通の小さいみかんは安い。私は普通のみかんが一番好きかも。でも大きいのを試すのも楽しい。来年の冬はチェジュ島行きかな?!

dried squid

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Most westerners probably wouldn’t like this, but a snack I loved growing up was dried squid. I remember going to a store with my grandpa when I was in elementary school that sold all kinds of dried fish snacks. But now I’m wondering if this store actually existed because I couldn’t find anything like it when I walked the neighborhood a decade later. In Korea, dried squid is also a popular snack with a normal and spicy version. My parents would buy a non-MSG version at Hmart until they stopped selling it. Most of the time dried squid is pretty expensive for a small bag but I was able to buy a huge one at the conventional market back in November. I keep forgetting about it though.


西洋人は苦手だと思うが、小さい時からスルメは大好きです。一回おじいちゃんと色々なスルメを売ってる店まで散歩した覚えがあります。でも10年後、近所を散歩して店を探した時見つからなかったので、この記憶は正しいのかが微妙。韓国でもスルメは人気で、普通のと甘辛いのがあります。数年前Hmartで化学調味料を使ってないのがあったので両親もよく買ってました。スルメは小さい袋でも結構高いけど、11月に寄った市場で安く大きい袋をゲット。でも忘れるから量は減らず。

purple sweet potato chips

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I love purple sweet potato! Ever since I first tried a purple sweet potato crepe at Kansai airport (I’ve never seen it again though..), I can’t help but try any purple sweet potato flavored sweets. In Korea, I often see purple sweet potato chips with other traditional Korean snacks. At a conventional market I bought a huge bag for only 5,000 won! I’ve long finished the bag and can’t wait to buy it again.


紫芋が大好きです。関空で初めて紫芋クレープを食べてから(あれから売ってないけど)、紫芋デザートがあるとつい注文してしまいます。韓国でよくスルメや乾物系スナックの横に紫芋チップスを見かけます。市場で五千ウォンで大きい一袋を買ったけど当分前に食べ終わっちゃった。

clementines

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Winter is cold and dry… but also a season for many of my favourite foods! CLEMENTINES! I remember when I was little, I would sit in the kotatsu (heated table) peeling away at the fruit. No offense to the US, but the clementines cannot compare to the ones I’ve had in Japan. After eating the juicy and sweet ones at my grandparents, it was hard to be satisfied with the small slightly sour versions in the northeast. So moving to Korea, my expectations are high!

We first bought a box of Jeju clementines at a small mart near our apartment a month ago. Jeju is an island off the peninsula and is famous for it’s clementines. I thought they were pretty good, but my foodie partner said they were sour. I guess it was still too early. About a week later, he brought home some jeju clementines a co-worker had brought back from a vacation. These tasted sweeter. Lately, we’ve been trying some other types of clementine/mandarins as they come into season. Even if my foodie partner is disappointed, it tastes much better to me! Only if they weren’t so expensive here too…


冬は寒いし乾燥してる…でもこの季節は私の大好物がたくさん!みかん!小さい頃はよくコタツに入ってみかんを剥いてました。でもアメリカのみかんは日本に比べようがない。おばあちゃんの家で甘くてみずみずしいみかんを食べたら、アメリカの小さい酸っぱいみかんは物足りない。だから韓国に来て期待は高い!

一ヶ月前にアパートの横のスーパーでチェジュ島のみかんを一箱。チェジュ島は韓国のハワイと呼ばれ、みかんが有名。私は結構美味しかったと思ったけど、彼は酸っぱいと。まだ時期が早かったのかもしれない。次の週に彼の会社の同僚が旅行お土産で採ってきたチェジュ島みかんはもっと甘かった。それから、旬になり始めた違う種類のみかんを試してます。彼はがっかりしても、私にとっては美味しい!でもやっぱりここでもみかんは高いね…

jam

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I’ve always had an obsession with glass jars (and glass in general). I would save jam jars or buy glass jars thinking I will use them in the future only to have them stack up in a corner. But the jar shape is just as important as the contents when I buy jams at the store. During travels abroad, I love looking for regional jams and spreads. I wish I could take a bunch home but glass adds weight quickly.

So far my top places for buying jams and spreads is Japan! I love looking for unique Japanese flavored jams with Kyoto being one of the best spots. There’s a shop in Gion that sells matcha, purple sweet potato, pumpkin, the list goes on! And another kinako (soybean powder) specialty dessert shop that has amazing kinako jam. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water…

I think France and Belgium would have delicious fruit jams and chocolate nut spreads. Ok, next stop Paris and Brussels!


昔からガラス瓶(とガラスの置物)が大好きです。いつか使うと自分に言いながら、空になったジャム瓶や店で購入したガラス瓶が隅でどんどん溜まっていく。でもガラスならいいだけじゃない、瓶の形も大事です。海外に行く時、地元のジャムやバターを探すのが好きです。たくさん持って帰りたいけど、ガラスはすぐ重くなる。

今のところ、ジャムやバターを買うのは日本が一番。和風味のジャムが好きで、京都でたくさん揃っています。祇園にある店だと、抹茶、紫芋、南瓜、などなど。そして京きななのきな粉専門の甘味処の店には絶品のきな粉ジャム。思い出すだけでヨダレが…

フランストベルギーも美味しいフルーツジャムとチョコナッツバターがありそう。次はパリとブルッセルだ!

pepero

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In Korea, November 11 is Pepero Day. Today friends and loved ones exchange Peperos to show affection like Valentines Day. (Pepero is a cookie stick dipped in chocolate – it’s basically the same things as Japan’s Pocky.)

These past couple of weeks, shops along the street have been preparing for the day with stacks of Pepero boxes. There are all sorts of flavors from the classic chocolate, almond, strawberry etc. Some like to take the effort and bake homemade Pepero.

Yesterday, I took a trip to Bangsan Market (방산시장), which is right across from Gwangjang Market (광장시장), in search of baking goods. Luckily, I went a little earlier in the day, but customers were increasing by the minute to buy ingredients for Pepero. Coating chocolate, sprinkles and crushed nuts were the popular items of the day. They even sold bare cookie sticks so all you have to do is decorate it.

Maybe because I’m used to abundant baking goods in the US, but I was a bit disappointed with the wares (it’s only 2 small alleys of stores). Most of the stores sold the same products. It was fun to see the different kinds of powders though – ranging from spinach, pumpkin, and matcha! And, there are more options than the regular supermarket. Hopefully, next time I go to Bangsan Market, it will be less catered to Pepero making. But I think I will be stocking up on supplies next time I’m in the US.

Happy Pepero Day!


韓国では11月11日はペペロデーです。バレンタイン見たいに、友達や恋人にペペロを渡します。(ペペロはポッキーと同じです。ただグリコではなく、ロッテの製品です。)

この数週間、この日の準備でコンビニや店の前に大量のペペロ箱が飾られています。ポッキーと似て、色々な味もあります。買わずにペペロを手作りをする人もいます。

昨日は製菓用品を探しに、パンサン市場に行ってみました。有名のクァンジャン市場の向かい側にあります。午前中に行ったので、まだ混んではなかったが、ペペロの材料を買いに来てた人はすでにいました。コーティング用チョコレート、スプリンクル、ナッツがどの店にもあり、その日の人気商品でした。ただデコレーションをするクッキースティックまで売ってました。

製菓用品の売り場は小さいので(短い路地が2つぐらい)、少しガッカリしました。アメリカではベーキングは人気なので色々置いてあります。ここには、店がほとんど同じ商品ばかり置いてました。ただ値段比べをしてる感じです。普段のスーパーより選択は多いけどね。一つ珍しいのは変わったパウダーが売ってました。ほうれん草やかぼちゃパウダー、そして謎の紫色…紫芋かな?!次回パンサン市場に寄るとき、ペペロデー用のものだけが置いてないといいけど、実家に帰るとき買い置きが必要ですね。

ハッピーペペロデー!