명인과 함께하는 한식체험
Known for its well-balanced ingredients and nutrition value, Korean food is gaining more and more popularity worldwide.
But it was no overnight success.
For our culture spotlight tonight, Lee Ji-won zooms in on K-Style hub, one of the various efforts made to build on the current popularity and better promote Korean cuisine.
The sweet smell of Korean rice cake, or tteok, is enticing enough to stop passersby in their tracks. The delicious aroma comes from a small booth, where colorful tteok featuring traditional patterns are offered by amiable ladies dressed in traditional Korean attire.

“We were passing by and we decided to try this rice cake. It’s really tasty and I like it.”

The booth is part of a free tasting event organized by the Korean Food Foundation which started last week. But the event is a treat not only to the palate, but also to the eyes, as visitors can also watch rice cake masters display their skills.

“We not only wish to share Korean snacks with people, but give them the chance to know more about Korean food culture by experiencing the process and learning from the masters.”

“But in addition to giving people a taste of the sweet, chewy snack, organizers are also hoping to draw people into the K-Style Hub
where people can learn more about tteok and other kinds of Korean food.”

The K-Style Hub has been promoting Korean cuisine, or hansik, in a variety of events and programs, such as the Korean Food Exhibition Hall. From different spices and condiments to various staple dishes that best represent Korea’s traditional cuisine,… the exhibition introduces to visitors the unique culture of hansik, one that seeks harmony of dishes and ingredients at the dining table, all while keeping balance in terms of nutrition.

“I like Korean food and there’s a lot of it in China. But through this exhibition, I was able to learn so much more about it… such as the basic ingredients.”

Onggi, or Korean earthenware, is also showcased at the hall. Korea’s traditional food containers, which use the energy of the sun and soil, has been highly praised worldwide, as demonstrated at the Milano Expo last year by utilizing state-of-the-art graphic technology.

Another exciting learning experience is the Cook-N-Dine program. Visitors get to learn how to cook Korean food and, of course, enjoy the dishes they make, providing the backdrop of unforgettable memories.

“It was very mesmerizing.. actually seeing the food being made in front of me and actually eating what I cooked. And having a star-chef like her to teach us. It was truly an honor.”

Those who decide to participate in this event, such as these exchange students from Korea University’s International Summer Campus, get to make staple dishes such as bulgogi, or Korean marinated beef, and jeon, or Korean pancakes.

“It’s very much healthier than Thai food, with so many vegetables on the menu.”

Since it opened in April this year, the K-Style Hub is aiming at becoming a one-stop service in learning about Korean dishes and cuisine, as well as Korean culture overall.

“We cannot solely promote Korean food, without providing visitors the basic culture and background of our country. We need to put in the cultural aspect along with K-cuisine for our food to be further known and recognized around the world.”

Yun hopes that through the efforts of the government and individuals, more people around the world get to experience and enjoy the outstanding benefits and aspects that Korean food and culture have to offer.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.

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