|Rice cakes of various flavours|
Lunar New Year is a time for gift giving. Traditional gifts include rice cakes, sweet treats and ginseng. For both new year and thanksgiving this year, our school gave a us a generous helping of ginseng. But our good friends got two huge packs of rice cakes. My Korean teacher Helen also had a big box to share.
The rice cakes are more like a puffed syrupy rice roll and have green tea, berry or honey flavours. They look really pretty and have the texture of polystyrene but I really like them! The boxes come wrapped up in a delicate pink carrier for easy transportation.
|Traditional Korean gift box|
The cakes our friends Grat and Leslie received included some really delicious sesame seed sticky cubes, although there was one shocking seaweed and sesame treat which was less treat, more surprise, and not in a good way.
|Korean gift box of Lunar New Year treats|
There were also some sweet and greasy pastry cakes with rich cinnamon and poppy seed flavours. These were by far my favourite! Soft and chewy but incredibly satisfying. These babies leave you wanting more!
So if you receive a box of these traditional sweets, don't be afraid to try them all, but watch out for the green ones! They may look pretty but the flavours can vary from bitter or sweet to bland, but all are very chewy and incredibly different to what our western palates are used to. Much better than getting the SPAM gift boxes I have seem about town.