Mention jeoneo (전어, spotted gizzard shad) anywhere in Korea, and someone is bound to bring up the popular saying “전어 굽는 냄새는 집 나간 며느리도 돌아오게 한다.”
Omija: The five-flavor berry
One of Korea’s most unique fruits, the omija (오미자, or Schisandra chinensis) berry, contains five distinct, fragrant flavors.
Chamoe: A must-eat summer melon, Korean yellow melon
There are two fruits that represent summer in Korea: One is watermelon, and the other is chamoe. When you see chamoe start to appear in the markets, it’s a sign that summer is truly here.
Ggot-gae: Kind of blue crab
Ggot-gae (꽃게) is Korea’s best-loved crab, prized for its sweet flesh and soft shell.
Cham-namul (Pimpinella brachycarpa): A case of mistaken identity
Digging into the story of cham-namul turned out to be a case study in mistaken identities, a plant world mystery of invasion and identity theft.
Seolhyang ddalgi, Korean strawberries
10 years ago, almost 80% of strawberries grown in Korea were Japanese varieties. Today, over 80% of our strawberries are homegrown strains, representing tireless scientific work and no small degree of national pride
Bajirak: littleneck clam
If saejogae is the king of clams, then bajirak (바지락) is the humble but hardy peasant, a clam as common as air.
Ssuk (쑥, pronounced “sook”) is another leafy green that heralds the arrival of spring. In English, it’s often called “mugwort” along with a group of other related species, and shares their pungent aroma and medicinal benefits.
Saejogae: egg cockle, bird clam
Saejogae in English is “egg cockle,” but literally translates to “bird clam” in Korean, since the meat inside the shell resembles a bird’s beak.