5 Top Fall Harvests in Korea

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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.

4. Pumpkin
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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7 Comments. Leave new

“Wow!” Girl, I’ve been reading your blog all day. I miss Korea so much. I spent 3.5 years there from spring 2006 til fall 2009 (courtesy of my now ex in the Army). We lived in Daegu, which was difficult at first but once I learned to navigate and not be leary of the newness. I loved it.
I have one year (credits wise) to finish my bachelor’s degree, then my great hope is to return to Korea as an English teacher. I’ve completely enjoyed reading many of your stories and it gives me renewed hope. I was beginning to give up because the economic situation I found upon my return to the States is crushing at best (especially having been a sahm for 17 years).
Really you need to get dangam that is dark orange and firm to experience it properly…..wish I had one now. If you buy them kinda orange and hard….put them in a paper sack or wrap them in newsprint (not in the fridge) and let them ripen. Pure heaven. 🙂

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    @Ida: Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Ida! =-) Wow– 3.5 years. Now is the perfect time to return to Korea. It’s starting to change a bit and upgrade itself to becoming a bit more western friendly. Within the past year, things in Daegu have gone from ALL hangul to a bit more English. More English speakers are being brought into Korea, hence, the change. Never tried Dangam. I guess that’s something new to look forward to experiencing!

    Reply

i think the best persimmon is in Korea. We have in Indonesia too, but it’s not as sweet and crisp as in Korea..

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Laura in Cancun
December 14, 2010 1:36 am

I’ve never tried persimmons before! They look delicious

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Some of those foods grow on you. I never liked persimmons or Korean pears before this year, but my wife works with a government agency that helps Korean farmers, so we have gotten a few free boxes of apples, pears, and persimmons. I used to hate persimmons, but they are nice on salads with walnuts.

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