20 October 2011

Jungang Hansik Food Tour

That concludes the photo coverage of the tour, but you can expect more content from me, as well as the other guys, in several places all over the Internet.

  • Article in Spanish
  • Article in Arabic
  • Article in Japanese
  • Article in Chinese

  • Korea net blog article

    Along with my article I did for work, I also created the Jungang Hansik Flickr page, and we're planning the Andong Soju Taste Challenge, which will probably be on October 29 somewhere near Club Spot for the Halloween show. Dori is in charge of the Twitter page and YouTube page.

    In the meantime, I have a lot of backlogs to go through, band pictures, some cat stuff, and the Broke in Korea #13 release show.

  • 19 October 2011

    Convenience Store Delicacies

    If you go to a 7/11, you can find instant meals of Andong Jjimdak and Chuncheon Dakgalbi. Do they hold up to the originals? Not even a little bit, but it beats getting a convenience store hot dog.

    9 October 2011

    Andong Jjimdak

    The climax of the trip was Andong jjimdak, which we had all been looking forward to. Except Angie, who said she hated it, but once she gave it a try in Andong, her mind was changed. In all honesty, the difference between it here and Seoul was much less stark than it was with Chuncheon dakgalbi, but it was great to see the craft that went into producing it here. It was great to meet the people who have dedicated their lives to perfecting it, rather than just get a bunch of prepackaged sauces (that likely partly come from somewhere on this street) dumped into a bowl of chicken, vegetables, and noodles.

    Be sure to check out Phil's review.

    9 October 2011

    Wolryeong Park

    After the funerary food, we got to enjoy the afternoon in Wolryeong Park, where Angie attempted to teach us Hwatu, and a ton of old Koreans gathered around to offer advice and gape at foreigners playing the game. Across the river was a folk village, so I had a bit of a walk around there too.

    9 October 2011

    Funerary Food

    One of the biggest surprises of the trip was at Kkachi Gumeong Jib, which translates to Magpie Hole House. It was shark, the most feared creature of the sea, and it was right there on our plate. It actually tasted kind of like pork.

    The whole meal was part of a traditional funerary serving, but fortunately we weren't there to perform a funeral service (I suggested Steve Jobs but Dori wasn't having any of it).

    You can also read a more in-depth review of the restaurant, with history and a recipe as well, here.

    9 October 2011

    Jongjae Jongtaek

    Our second night, we stayed in a traditional house called Jongjae Jongtaek. It was built in the 19th century if I remember correctly, and shows many examples of Confucianist ideals, one being that men and women never slept together in the same building.

    The owner also had an apple orchard, so he took us on a walk through there as well.

    8 October 2011

    Andong Mackerel Restaurant

    For supper we went out for Andong mackerel. Since Andong is so far inland, they were unable to get fresh fish to eat, at least until they discovered salting. During the Joseon Dynasty, Andong's aristocrats would treat their guests to salted mackerel, which was quite a novelty to eat in Korea's interior.

    8 October 2011

    Andong Old Market

    This is the market where Andong Jjimdak was created. The whole street is filled with jjimdak restaurants, as well as several other random things such as clothing shops. It's definitely a nice market, and all the aromas were compelling.

    8 October 2011

    Andong Soju Museum

    Our first stop in Andong was the Andong Soju Museum. The museum itself has exhibition rooms dedicated to traditional foods, but Andong Soju was the main attraction. We learned about how a traditional distillery works, actually quite similar to desalination. We also saw information on Queen Elizabeth's visit to Andong in 1999. However, two things we didn't get to do were see inside the actual distillery (closed for the weekend) and meet Cho Ok-hwa, the master distiller who has been designated an Intangible Cultural Asset of Gyeongbuk. Curtis hopes to go back another time to meet her.

    We each got an expensive bottle of Andong Soju as a gift, but our plan was to buy a lot more to take back home and give to friends/bosses. The gift shop was closed, so we went to the Maskdance Festival to visit the tent I remembered from the previous week.

    8 October 2011

    Hanu Plaza

    After the festival, we went to a restaurant to try Hanu itself. They taught us how to cut expensive flower sirloin, then we got to try it in several varieties, including raw. One serving would cost about 100 000 won in Seoul, we were told, but here it was half that.

    8 October 2011

    Hanu Festival

    We stopped by the Hanu Festival in Hoengseong-gun, a region known for its high-quality cattle. It ended up being probably the most fun part of the entire trip.

    7 October 2011

    The pension

    I didn't really know what to expect from lodging during the trip; it's not necessarily on camera, so maybe KBS2 will stick us in a motel room where we all sleep on the floor. Turns out, for our first night we stayed in a very nice pension out in the countryside near Chuncheon. Each room had its own girl's name, such as Dori's Pamela, Curtis' Misty, or Verv's Wendy. We were provided with our own rooms as well, allowing us all to get a good sleep.

    7 October 2011

    Chuncheon Dakgalbi

    Our first stop on the tour was Chuncheon Jungang Dakgalbi, a dakgalbi restaurant in Chuncheon's Dakgalbi Street. This is where the dish was invented, in the '60s.

    While the obvious focus of the food tour is on traditional Korean foods, I also wanted to cover some of Korea's dishes with lower class origins. This is one of Curtis' favourite foods, and it's a genuinely good meal, provided you can handle your spices.

    You can read more about the restaurant here.

    Or you can read Curtis' article.

    7-9 October 2011

    Central Korea Hansik Tour

    What fool would put me, Verv, and Dori on TV? The good people at KBS2 and Hansik, apparently.

    This weekend, we're going to eat our way through Gangwondo into darkest Gyungbook, armed with as much media equipment as we can carry to record our journey and give updates from the road, as well as a TV crew who will be filming it all for a documentary. We're going to Chuncheon for dakgalbi, Hoengseong-gun for the Hanu Festival, Andong for jjimdak, Andong Soju, and funerary food, and last to Daegu for galbijjim.

    This is a competition, and we're up against four other teams covering different regions of the country. You'll be seeing lots of updates, some through here but over the weekend probably mostly on Facebook, so be sure to join that page.

    Curtis has a good introduction to what we're doing.

    1 October 2011

    Andong International Maskdance Festival

    I've been waiting about a year for this. You can read more about it here.

    I took a day trip to Andong to scout out the city a bit prior to our food tour next week which will take us through there. We won't be going back to the Maskdance Festival, which doesn't have much in the way of food, so I wanted to have a visit where I could focus on the festival itself.

    Unfortunately I didn't make it to Hahoe Village, a folk village that's still inhabited. That's where they have the best Maskdance performances apparently.

    By the way, yes, maskdance is now officially a compound word.

    24 September 2011

    Hansik Food Tour

    A while back, Dori and I encountered a woman who was looking for foreigners who might be interested in an all-expenses-paid tour of Korea to sample traditional foods and promote them for cash prizes. We didn't see what was wrong with that, so we put together a team.

    Apparently the plan is to visit Andong in the second week of October, with a stop in Chuncheon on the way back. If you think a TV show where Verv professes his love for Islam and proceeds to get black-out drunk on Andong Soju sounds like good watching, tune in. More details to come next month.

    More info here. If you surf through the English page you might find an English translation.


  • Jungang Hansik Facebook Page
  • Jungang Hansik Flickr
  • Jungang Hansik Twitter
  • Jungang Hansik YouTube
  • Korean Food Foundation


  • E-mail
    Jon underscore Dunbar at Hotmail

  • Please remember that these photos are all copyrighted to me. If you want to use them in any way, there's a 90 per cent chance I'll give you my permission, and be able to give you a copy with a higher DPI.
    Copyright Jon Dunbar 2004

    Photos taken by
    Nikon CoolPix 950
    digital camera.