Over 60% of South Korea’s territory is covered by forest.
These forests are one of the most important places of agricultural production
in the country. Some products are grown only in these mountainous
regions while the others are installed there in search of a
better quality thanks to its preserved and wild environment.
Here are several products from Korean forests.
The Korean name of Omija literally means “the berry of five flavors”. The first impression on the palate is quite tangy
but some shy sweetness arrives soon after. Then, Omija leaves a slight bitterness on the tongue as well as a salty taste with a peppery note.
The fruit gives a bright red color and the dried berries has a peppery scent similar to pink peppercorns.
Because of its very pungent taste, fresh Omija berries cannot be consumed as it is. But once dried,
it becomes a surprising ingredient for infusion. Koreans really appreciate this bright red
and very thirst-quenching cold infusion during the summer.
Omija syrup is a more practical product to make soft drinks and cocktails or to replace a classic sweetener.
Scientific Name : Lentinula edodes
Fresh mushroom, Dried mushroom, Infusion,
Pyogo Known by its Japanese name Shiitake, Pyogo is one of the most important ingredients in Asian cuisine.
Korean Pyogo has very distinct characteristics: We can see white streaks on the cap,
which make Pyogo look like oak bark. Its flesh is firmer than that of a large button mushroom. It gives a woody scent
and once in the mouth, a remarkable taste which reminds of walnuts.
Once dried in the sun, this mushroom turns into an excellent source of vitamin D.
Just soak these dried mushrooms in lukewarm water for half an hour before use. Full of fragrance
and taste, the soaking water can be used as a broth.
Scientific Name : Diospyros kaki
Fresh fruit, Frozen fruit, Dried fruit
Persimmon has a thousand and one faces. There are many ways to taste persimmon and in each way, we discover a unique aspect
and a different way to taste it. As a fresh fruit, there are low tannic varieties that you can bite into like an apple.
For tannic varieties, either we wait until the fruit becomes so ripen that the flesh melts in the mouth, or
we dry the fruit. Once frozen, well-ripen persimmon can replace a classic sorbet.
Sweet as much but rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals! Dried persimmon can be consumed alone
or in a dish. It is a dried fruit without tangy taste but with a note of chestnut.
It goes perfectly in a bowl of muesli or in a recipe with or replacing other dried fruits
Scientific Name : Zizyphus jujuba
Dried fruit, Fruit chips
Jujube… its name already sounds like a candy! The fresh fruit has an olive-like shape, a color between light green
and brown, and a subtle texture and taste of wild apple.
The dried fruit has a chocolate-red color, a marshmallow-like texture, and a sweet taste with a hint of caramel.
Korean traditional medicine attributes sedative and sleeping effects to Jujube. Put some dried jujubes,
cinnamon sticks, a piece of ginger in a pot of water, then boil them together.
When the water begins to simmer, continue to heat over low heat for 30 to 60 minutes.
Alone or with honey, you get a very comforting infusion.
And its freeze-dried chips have a crispy texture and a subtly caramelized taste, just like the praline
but 100% fruit! Their red-brown color gives a pep to cakes, pies or cookies.
They go well in granola bars, in a bowl of muesli or even in a salad.