Taste of Korea Tuesdays: cafes, chicken, and a day at the races? (+ Pepero Day!)

 

 

Today’s unlikely trio: Coffee shops. Takeout chicken. A picnic at the horse races.

They do in fact have nothing in common with each other- these are simply three noteworthy eating experiences I’ve had lately.

Recently, I joined a friendly group of girls to check out the horse races in Seoul (located at Seoul Racehorse Park station, easily enough). It was a blustery, chilly day, but we had fun. The crowds were very into the races. The horses were as speedy as you could imagine. I even won a bet- a grand total of 2500! (Won. 2500 Korean won.) Clearly, I am a big spender, and an even bigger winner.

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I feel that one horse-racing experience was enough- gambling’s never really been a strong interest of mine, and, more importantly, I don’t know how well the  horses in question are treated. Still, it was an interesting cultural activity to experience once.

Also- we had a picnic! It had a distinctly Korean flair, with gimbap, sweet garlic bread, and homemade rice balls making an appearance. Note the substantial amount of vegetables- we were aiming for balance here.

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Korean fried chicken is a treat worth sampling at least once while here. There are endless varieties- soy-coated, sweet, sweet and hot, green onion- and I’ve yet to encounter a kind I don’t like. Pictured below is the original style- 오리지날, or oh-lee-gee-nal. (Hey, that’s easy!) It’s less greasy, and much crunchier and tastier, than its North American cousin.

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And yes, the little plastic box is a container of pickled radish- a uniquely Korean addition.

 

 

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Finally, I visited yet another cute cafe, this one located right in Yongin. I sipped a mocha topped with whipped cream as I sat on the second floor loft, sketching the cafe’s architecture and brainstorming the directions this blog might take.

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On a side note- I’m so excited to have as many followers and likes as I do! Thanks to each one of you that keeps coming back to check out more! If you have any suggestions or things you’d like to see, please share it in the comments- I’d love to hear what you think 🙂

 

An addendum: Pepero Day! An absurd yet genius piece of marketing, November 11th in Korea has popularly become known as Pepero Day. These chocolate-coated biscuit sticks, known to much of the world by their Japanese equivalent, Pocky, are shaped like 1s (hence, 11/11).

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It’s a bit strange to be celebrating a successful marketing campaign by a massive corporation (Lotte) when November 11th back in Canada has always been a day to honour soldiers past and present (on Remembrance Day). However, I’ve gotten two boxes of Pepero from some of my best students, and I intend to take advantage of new opportunity, share them with my coworkers and enjoy!

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