When it took me so long to start it blog, I started to collect images and food stories. With a backlog of information, I realized that some of these stories were being held on for too long. It has been several months since I went on a trip with my friends of see the green tea fields and the bamboo forest (yes, I did these in one trip). And let me tell you, there was food galore.
I think when people from North America think about Asia, this is exactly what they think about. Green tea is everyone. There are forests of bamboo with happy pandas playing around. But here is the thing. Those things exist, but they aren’t everywhere (they aren’t even in most of Asia). So when my friend invited me to go on a trip, I knew that it was going to be worth the travel.
After several hours of travel, we made it to the town of Damyang. Damyang is home to a bamboo forest. We paid ~$6 to get to walk around inside and it was as serene and beautiful as movies make it look.
Right next to the bamboo forest, there was a very nice, almost formal restaurant that served more food than I had ever seen in my life.
The main part of the meal was the tteokgalbi, which was absolutely delicious. But the cool part for me was that the rice was served in an actual bamboo stalk. It gave the rice a somewhat nutty flavor. My friend even cleaned hers out and kept it as a pencil holder. I have been told several times that more side dishes equals a fancier meal. And this meal was definitely nothing to sneeze at.
Outside were food stands and booths for businesses, much like a normal festival or community event. We enjoyed bamboo ice cream and there was even bamboo heotteok (a kind of caramel and nut dessert pancake).
A perfect green and white swirl – tasted like vanilla with a subtle, nutty-like aftertaste.
After spending a day and a half at the bamboo festival and Damyang, we boarded a bus and were off to Boseong.
Boseong has long been known for their green tea fields. Though they are open year round, we decided to go during the actual green tea festival.
It. Was. Beautiful.
We were lucky enough to not have any rain on the day we were at the fields. All of the green tea bushes were green and lush. And the smell was so clean. As someone who lived in Colorado and has an affinity for the mountains, the views from the green tea fields (which were on a series of hills) were spectacular.
But you aren’t here for beautiful landscapes. You (and I) are here for the food.
Near the base of the hills is a restaurant, store, and cafe. Due to the festival, they had some specialty items to try. We decided to be brave and try the green tea tteokbokki, which are spicy Korean rice cakes. I was a little hesitant about having green tea with spicy foods, but I could hardly taste the green tea so I didn’t affect the taste much. It was very spicy and had both green tea pieces of rice cake and fish cake. On the whole, they weren’t that bad. (And yes, we got more ice cream. I know I have an addiction. Don’t judge me.)
We came back the next day and walked through the green tea museum. I can’t give you much information about the museum as everything was understandably in Korean, but what I can say is that Boseong has been involved with green tea for centuries. After making a green tea candle (and buying a bottle of local rice wine), we headed out.
If you ever get a chance to visit Damyang or Boseong, you should go for it. Both of these places has there own unique beauty and are open all year round. Though we went in the spring, you might have a completely different experience during the fall or winter. And no matter what, the food is worth the trip.
Thanks and happy eating,