Jars of hwangari at Hahoe village.
Food tour in Andong. Start time 7am. 3.5 hours.
Actually it was more than just a food tour. More like 'Korean style oriental herb healing tour,' as it's actually titled. The tour was led by 'Big Farm', which is a creative hub for agriculture here in Korea, alongside Ongo Food communications. They teamed up to lead this tour for mostly foreigners in Korea who were interested in diving into the world of farming.
When I first learned about this tour, I for sure thought there would be a lot of 'eating+drinking' involved. I even skipped breaky for this! haha. Ok, so we didn't exactly eat every hour. However, we did get our fair share of food for lunch and dinner. It was really more the 'experience' of the local foods in Andong, and what herbs and food items played a large role in their diet. The highlight of this tour was learning everything about 'Ma,' which is a type of Korean yam. Looks like a combination of American sweet potato and a large Asian root. Tastes like, uh nothing. Very bland actually, but the texture is very crunchy and sticky. However, due to the climate, water, and the sand that this ma needs to grown on, Andong farms the most ma in all of Korea. Most Koreans enjoy ma through herbal medicine, makes juice with it, and a handful of food items can be prepared with this yam. I have to admit that the food that we tried made with ma on this tour, I wasn't too impressed. I did enjoy the 'jun,' but I think there was a lot of other things added to make the jun very flavorful (like Korean sweet pumpkin, green tea powder, etc).
This tour also included a sweet stop over the famous Hahoe village, where there are actually residents still living in these hanoks (traditional Korean homes)! Also, the ferry ride to Buyongdae cliff and the hike up-the view on top itself was definitely worth the hike. Then we finished off the tour by learning how to harvest ma and getting a taste of their makgeolli. This is where the girls at our table were drinking makgeolli like water, haha.
Overall, the tour was quite an experience. The other 'food tourists' that I met on this trip were pretty cool folks. Eungeumju An (who led the tour, also famous T.V. spokesperson+president of Big Farm) and the Big Farm 'farm mates' (other staff) were very attentive and patient with us. I do recommend this tour if you would like to get out of the city for a day, and of course to learn a little more of what Korea has to offer with their natural resources:)
Culinary tour of 'Kyung-buk Andong'
Big Farm company (click to see website)
Farm mate May Jung: 010.9267.3102
Here is the link to the short 'Andong food tour doc filmed by MBC Korea'
Andong Food Tour (click here)
Must warn you I look like the biggest dork!
Oh the wonderful wood sculptures...do you see the one wrapped with a towel? haha.
The lunch spread @ Andong Heotjesatbap.
The local kitties enjoying the leftovers, haha.
Traditional herbal medicine cabinet.
I love this, Korean halmoni's in Hahoe village ironing-the old school way!
Drying large red chili, they say they handwash each individual one, then dry them. Wow.
The beautiful Buyongdae cliff, where we took a ferry to get to that cliff.
Soft footprints along the river-this is the special sand in Andong that is key in farming ma!
View from on top of the Buyongdae cliff-it was definitely worth the hike!
Other folks taking the ferry...
I was a sweaty mess when I took this photo.
Digging up Korean ma.
Now that's one big piece of ma!
Unlike like American yam, the inside of this type of Korean yam 'ma' is white. Texture is very syrupy and gooey like, and crunchy at the same time. Taste-actually it doesn't taste like anything, pretty bland!
Making ma jun (Korean style pancakes). This was awesome~
And of course one of the best moments on this food tour: Ma-kgeolli, haha. Usually makgeolli is made with rice, this however this one photographed above is made with ma.
I really enjoyed the beautiful Korean pottery, this one kinda reminds me of 'Korean artists meets anthropologie,' haha.