[Yeosu] Experiencing the Taste of Various Foods in Yeosu

The article was created by 11th and 12th graders at High School in Yeosu with an aim to tell our dear friends at home and abroad about EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. 

News written by the group of ‘ILOVEYEOSU’ : Park Jina, Kim Yujeong,KimJihye, Lee Minjeong, Hwang Inseon. Guidance teacher : Park Yongseong

“Yeosu is a beautiful city, isn’t it?”

“Sure. And it is famous for a lot of delicious food.”

To make good wine, you need a good environment. Intense sunlight, thin fog and good breezes are essential elements for the highest quality grapes. Fertile soil and wine-making skills are also needed. An environment that creates a high quality wine is called ‘Terroir’ in French.

Terroir applies to wine, but a similar concept can be applied to Yeosu cuisine. Yeosu has many mountains, fields and fishing ports, so it has many vegetables, wild edible greens, and fresh seafood. Also the mothers of Yeosu are such excellent cooks that all food in Yeosu is called “best food”. Therefore, Yeosu is not only a beautiful city, it is also well known for its food. If you have ever visited Yeosu, you will agree with me.

“Is boiled barley ‘poor food’? Now we call it ‘well being food!”

Photo by Park Juyeon

This is boiled barley – Boribap. Where can we have such a rich table for less than ten dollars? Maybe nowhere but Yeosu.

Years ago, we Koreans had to subsist on a poor diet. The poor had to get over the ‘barley hump’-the farm hardship period between May and June when there was no food to eat because old grain was exhausted and new crops hadn’t ripened. “Overcoming the barley hump is harder than hiking a high mountain.” Would they say these words if it weren’t that bad? It was not until after the barley ripened that they could eat boiled barley. How delicious it was! It might taste of honey though it was made of only barley.

By the way, it was recently discovered that boiled barley is a health food as well as an inexpensive yet filling food source. Barley contains protein, essential amino acids and a water-soluble dietary fiber that relieves digestive inconveniences. And after eating boiled barley, you will exclaim “Oh, how flavorful it is!”

Gourmet: Jinbok restaurant, near rotary, Jungang-dong, Yeosu-si, 061-664-7555

“Handmade knife-cut noodle’ soup tastes fantastic!”

Photo by Choi Hyeju

From upper right hand corner, clockwise: wild sesame clear soup with wheat flakes; red-bean gruel taken on the winter solstice; short-necked clams with knife-cut noodles; big dumplings. You can eat three of them for just 6,000won. Red-bean gruel is 6,500won.

Handmade knife-cut noodles are our traditional food made of wheat vermicelli. The vermicelli flour is hand-kneaded and cut with a knife. People eat them mainly in summer because we lose appetite in that season. When flavored with wild sesame, red-beans, anchovy, or short-necked clams, the knife-cut noodle soup is something to be savored on a hot summer day.

There are so many great dishes we can share and enjoy; Red-bean gruel; clear soup with wheat flakes and wild sesame; and knife-cut noodles, either on their own, with short-neck clams caught in the sea of Yeosu, or with red beans. Go to a restaurant with your friends and family, and order and share different dishes. You will understand the saying that “Taste makes harmony”. Oh, and eat one big dumpling per person for dessert. Yummy!

Gourmet : restaurant : Deulkkaenara, across from Buyeong the 3rd Apt. Singi-dong, Yeosu-si, 061-685-5678

“Loach soup, which is not eaten only in autumn.”

Photo by Kim Minji

This is loach soup. Loach soup, which is boiled from loaches that are as fat as pigs. They are found in the ditches around the paddy fields in summer, but they are perfect as a health food during the change of seasons. It costs 7,000 won per person.

Many years ago, when finishing the autumn harvest, our ancestors would take a loach from the soil and after removing the smell of mud by sprinkling it with salt, eat it as loach soup with rice or as a snack with drinks. Loach soup is boiled for a long time then seasoned with dried radish leaves, bean sprouts, green onion, soybean paste and hot pepper sauce.

By the way, we can eat loach soup all year round now. Loach contains as many nutrients as an eel. It is rich in Vitamin B1, B2, protein, fat, calcium, and iron, and so warms our internal organs and helps blood circulation. While you are visiting the Yeosu Expo, if you don’t feel well, please have some loach soup. There is a restaurant where they have boiled the loach soup for 60 years.

Photo by Choi Hyeju

This is a grilled eel. When you take it with loach soup, it is a perfect as a relish with a cup of hard liquor. You will feel a wonderful food of living ocean and sea in Yeosu. It costs 12,000 won per head for a set. Please help yourself. Our slogan is : “The loach soup of the land, the grilled eel of the sea!”

Gourmet : Seonok restaurant , in front of Nonghyup(National Agricultural Cooperative Federation), Gwanmun-dong, Yeosu-si 061-662-5048

“Do you want to get the royal treatment? Eat rice cake rib.”

Photo by Kim Huigon

This is a rice cake rib. Long years ago, It was treated only to a king. Now, it is treated to anyone for 9900won.

Farm cows were very important to Korea because Koreans lived in an agricultural society for a long time. So, our ancestors didn’t often eat beef. But the king ate them anytime. By the way, he ate rice cake rib because he didn’t tear at the meat with his bare hands. Why don’t we act like the king today?

When you eat rice cake rib, it captures our tongue with a spicy surface fragrance and a juicy beef stock that bursts from the inside. You can wrap the beef in lettuce. It’s a delicacy. In Korea we say “It’s drop-dead delicious.” You can add gatkimchi, the principal products of Yeosu, and lotus root and greens. You can taste their freshness.

Gourmet : Maehwagangsan, the front of seonso, Hak-dong, Yeosu-si, directly opposite of sea, 061-692-1616

“We Koreans have a proverb: A mother-in-law shows love to her son-in-law by providing a well-done brood hen. What does it mean?”

Photo by Park Jina

It’s Samgyetang: Clean chicken containing ginseng, jujube, chestnut, and garlic, and sticky rice soaked in water for more than an hour, making a good thick stew. 12,000 won for 1 person.

I know a warm-hearted story from Jack Canfield’s book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul.””Such a feeling, we call ‘affection(情)’. If you want to feel it, try Korean chicken soup, Samgyetang.

Chicken soup was a very precious food when our country was poor. Even though poor, a mother-in-law served a brood hen for son-in-law. Then as she got a bit rich, she served a chicken with ginseng, jujube, ginger, and garlic. This is called Samgyetang. Nowadays, it is one of Korea’s representative recuperate food in the summer season. How about a bowl of chicken soup for lunch? Maybe you can feel like a dear son-in-law.

Gourmet: Gogung restaurant, Hak-dong, Yeosu-si, near Yeosu Fire station, 061-681-5087

Photo by Jeong Jonghyeon

A picture taken in chicken broth restaurant. Aren’t we cute? Please understand us even if we were in a awkward pose.

We have introduced a variety of foods to you. We recommend food that will help you your experience both Korean unique taste and Yeosu local specific taste, all for less than ten dollars. We also hope that you will enjoy for yourself 10 beautiful reminiscences as well as tasty food.

So we are promoting a campaign activity: Let five hundred thousand foreign friends from all over the world visit Yeosu Expo and return home with 10 cherished reminiscences of 10-dollar meals. Furthermore, we wish this movement will expand to the extent that five million reminiscences will bloom like five million flowers in the parts of the world.

We call this ‘5010 project’. How about this project? Is it funny? If so, please, visit the Expo, experience the taste of various foods, and cherish beautiful reminiscences in Yeosu. Our mascot, Yeony and Suny, will guide you with sincerity.

source: korea.kr