Rice Cake Soup (떡국 Tteokguk)

Food has been one of my favorite things about travel and visiting new places. Every country has something new to discover and something new to eat. I loved having Korean food in the states but I was finally able to try Korean food in South Korea. The first meal I had was rice cake soup, a dish I really enjoyed in the US, and there was a large difference between the soup in the US and the soup in Korea. The spices used were different and even the rice cake had a different taste. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the taste very well because it was so far back but I know the soup was not the same. But I enjoyed that I got to experience two dishes that were the same but made with different ingredients.

Bulgogi was one of the first Korean dishes I tried that I’d never heard of before going to Korea. It was a very tasty dish with the rice underneath and meat on top with some vegetables. It was filling and I’d love to try it again. It’s also fun to see what ingredients are put together to create dishes that are “authentic”. But it’s also difficult to find “authenticity” and judge what is “authentic” in different cultures.

One of the similar things that Korea had to Japanese or Chinese cuisines was this dumpling soup. It was made a bit differently than a Japanese or Chinese dumpling soup. But it brings up a discussion about influence that is always fascinating. It seems that these three countries are influenced by each other and it’s interesting that food is also influenced from colonization or whatever form of occupation occurs. Of course it doesn’t always happen but with cultures that seem so similar, it’s fun to find those similarities.