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SPRING FOOD & DRINKS:

Unlike many other Asian countries, Korea has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The spring season is considered to be the best to visit the country.

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From mid-March to early June, the weather is warm but not hot with average temperatures ranging between 15°C and 18°C. It is also really beautiful with all the flowers in bloom!

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Koreans usually like to eat seasonal ingredients, therefore the type of food they eat varies according to the season. During the spring they tend to prefer food that can maintain their health and stamina. Here is a list of food and drinks you’ll only find in South Korea during spring. 

Jjukkumi (Spicy Grilled Baby Octopus)

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Jjukkumi, which literally translates to Spicy Baby Octopuses, are not actual Octopuses' babies but are called this way due to their size, smaller than usual octopuses.

Spring is the best season to eat them as they emerge from the deep waters on Korea’s west coast.Additionally, during this season their head is filled with eggs which makes it taste even better. 

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There are several ways to eat Jjukkumi, but one of the most popular dishes is Jjukkumi Samgyeopsal. It consists of eating baby octopuses with pork belly while drizzling with a hot red sauce and it’s delicious! 

Daege-jjim

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Originating from Daegu, Daege-jjim is a simple dish made solely with steamed crab king or daege. The success of the dish is based on the quality and taste of the meat crab only. Therefore, during the spring, Koreans will visit Daegu’s region to find fresh crabs when the meat tastes the most delicious.  

Bingsu 

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Bingsu (빙수) is a traditional Korean dessert very popular during the spring and summertime. The earliest form of bingsu can be traced back to the Joseon dynasty. 

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The Korean dessert is made of finely shaved ice usually from cream, milk, or yogurt. Bingsu comes with topping ingredients such as red bean paste, Ingeolmi, tteok (rice cake), fruits, cereal flakes or anything you might like. 

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In the springtime, 딸기빙수 (strawberry bingsu) is really popular because strawberries are at their pick and Koreans LOVE strawberries. 

Jajamyeon 

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In Korea, the 14th of every month is an unofficial holiday. 

On February 14th, Valentine’s day is celebrated all around the world, but in Korea, on the day of love, only girls give boys chocolate. On March 14th, boys return the favor by gifting candies to their significant other.

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And finally, on April 14th, there is an unofficial holiday for single people. On the so-called Black Day, single friends gather together to commiserate, some even wear full black outfits, and go out to eat black food, including Jajamyeon. 

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This Korean-Chinese dish is made out of black bean sauce, sliced pork and vegetables such as onion. For many Koreans, this dish is comfort food as it is cooked in oil and the sauce has a touch of sweetness. 

Chimaek at the Han River

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With the warmer days setting in, a picnic at the Han river is a must in Seoul!

Chimaek (치맥), a combination of fried chicken (치킨) and beer (맥주) is the most popular meal to have while enjoying the river sight.

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The combination started to gain popularity in the early 2000’s and there are now several different restaurants along the river selling different variations: Regular fried chicken, Yangnyeom chicken, coated with spicy sauce and  Ganjang-chicken, coated with soy sauce). 

Hwajeon

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Hwajeon or fresh flower sweet rice pancake is a traditional Korean dessert made out of honey, glutinous rice flour and spring edible petals. In spring they usually come with seasonal flowers such as azalea, cherry blossom or Korean rosebay. 

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The origin of this dish can be traced back to the Koryo Dynasty. In the lunar calendar, March 3rd marks the start of spring when women used to go pick azaleas then use the petals to cook and have a picnic called Hwajeon-nori. 

Unique Spring Drinks

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No matter the season, Koreans are fond of iced drinks, but this is particularly the case in spring when the weather is warmer. Especially matcha lattes, smoothies, ades (lemon, peach, grandberry…) and with the fast-paced environment, iced coffee -AA as Koreans call it- is also a must.

However, during the spring season, a lot of these typical drinks get a limited-edition cherry blossom version. 

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This spring Starbucks is releasing a limited-edition matcha latte with a touch of strawberry. 

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Coffeebean also released an iced blended drink with soft vanilla and sweet and sour cherry. 

Items from our March box that are perfect for spring:  

Binch Strawberry Fromage: It is a limited edition biscuit covered in strawberry and cream cheese chocolate. 

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Custard Sulhyang Strawberry: Is This milky and eggy custard bread creates a wonderful harmony with sweet and smooth strawberry cream. 

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Mon Cher Strawberry: It is a moon pie stuffed with strawberry cream and jam. 

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Choco Pie Happy Berry Chocolate: It is a moist and sweet chocolate cake. Every bite is full of rich chocolate and fresh raspberry-strawberry-cranberry filling—a perfect combination with sticky marshmallows. 

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You can get these delicious spring snacks, on this month's Seoulbox!

Which one of these foods would you like to try in Korea in spring?

Author: Elisa 

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