From changes in leaves, landscapes, festivals and now, foods… Sometimes you don’t think about how seasonal change affects a country. Here in Korea, it’s obvious. Peoples’ lifestyle and traditional tastes reflect, if not celebrate this seasonal shift in exhuberant fashion .
Actually, Korea’s zeal for its seasonally-harvested produce is hard not to notice. The moment a season changes, copious boxes, crates and bowls materialize, lining market streets with bulk deals on fresh fruit and greens. While the “family-sized bulk quantities” in which food is often sold here in Korea, signals intimidation for the single traveler/expat who merely wants a “sample”, I find if I wait out my curiosity, either it will arrive on my school lunch tray or one of my Korean colleagues will eventually bring it in to share as an afternoon or morning snack.
5 Popular Fall Harvests in Korea:
1. Jeju oranges (aka tangerines)
Personally, this is my favorite. Imported from Jeju Island, they’re cheap, sweet, easy to peel and to snack away on.
2. Stocks of Winter Cabbage for Kimchi & various kinds of radishes
One head of this cabbage, alone is likely to be bigger than your head or hand span, which makes for curiosity. Are these cabbages genetically enhanced? Well here’s the deal– late October to November is kimchi making season! It is a tradition amongst Korean families to make their own kimchi… and enough to last the year!
3. Sweet potatoes
Koreans love this as a snack. You can wrap it in foil and throw on the stove to roast. When it turns soft, just peel and eat.
Ever tried homemade pumpkin soup? I have. It’s not my favorite kind of soup, but it is a Korean favorite during fall.
5. Tomatoes? No, it’s Persimmons.
Persimmons are the fruit of the Gods, so they say. The good news is you don’t have to be a god in order to afford these fruits, as they come in large abundance and near cheap prices. How do you eat it? Just cut up and serve. The fruits aren’t generally sweet nor juicy, but a bit dry, with a light crisp taste.
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