Korean Desserts

Fruits are common components of a Korean dessert
Photo by: Christina Xu, Creative Commons

To the Westerners, desserts usually conclude a meal, the last bit of greatest sweet satisfaction, be it a slice of cake, ice cream, cookies or pies. On the other hand, the Koreans perceive dessert as a part of their tradition and for the most part comprise mainly of a couple slices of fruits. For instance, a Korean dessert could be an Asian pear, watermelon, a mandarin orange, or probably a somewhat sweet beverage such as sujunggwa, which is a juice of persimmon and cinnamon.

Other delicious desserts are sweet teas; also made of fruits and sweetened honey. Mee-shil cha is composed of apricots. Mo-gwa cha, which is made with a quince and the honey teas such as ggool tae chu cha and ggool cha. Korean desserts may also include some nibbly-snack like such as narungji, which is the term used to refer to a sheet of crispy, unsalted rich layer derived from the bottom of a rice cooker. Korean desserts are not meant to overcome a meal and are often very light.

Korean desserts can also be very sweet. They may include cookies, rice cakes, ice creams as well as some sweet pastries. Songpyeon, a famous rice cake is served during a festival at autumn called Chuseok. This rice cake is decorated with seeds and nuts. Another rice cake called Ddok, which is typically formed into different sizes and shapes and are also soft and chewy. Other common desserts in Korea are rolls such as ho-ddok, which comes with a cinnamon and honey filling on the inside. Pot-bingsu is the Korean version of the ice cream, which is made of mainly sugar sauce, red beans, crushed ices, and fruits. A dough composed of sweet red beans called boong-aw bbang is another popular dessert.

Unlike its Western counterparts which are eaten as a final heightened experience in taste, desserts from Korea are simple and soothing to the stomach.

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