Starting in October in North America, pumpkins and pumpkin spice lattes everywhere can be signs of autumn arriving. In Korea, you can now enjoy a pumpkin spice latte at newly opened cafe in Itaewon called Sweet East Cafe. It is opened by one of the owners of Vatos, and also specialises in sweet treats like funnel cake and cheesecake.  

As I mentioned in the summer, fruit is very seasonal in Korea and the taste, cost and availability varies greatly according to what time of year it is. Korean traditionally would eat fruit after dinner or as a snack, so fruit is always a common thing to have in the house. It is always served when guests come over to visit as well. Here are some fall fruits to enjoy!


Persimmons (감 - Gam)

A fall fruit favourite of fruit of mine are persimmons (감 - gam)!  In Korea, persimmons are readily available everywhere once the weather starts getting cool, and it brings me just as much joy to see these orange gems come out as some of my friends feel with pumpkins back home. 

Persimmons for sale on the street fruit carts. 

Persimmons for sale on the street fruit carts. 

There are 3 main different kinds of persimmons. From left-right: 연시 (yun-shi), 단감 (dan-gam), 홍시 (hong-shi).  1 and 3 can be made into 곷감 (ggot-gam) which is simply a dried version of the fruit. These are delicious and chewy when dried, and can also be cut up and used as fillings for Korean cookies. 1 and 3 can also both be put in the freezer and enjoy as a frozen fruit treat. Once it thaws a bit, the frozen flesh tastes like a sweet sorbet - it's an all natural healthy option to ice-cream! 

There are 3 main different kinds of persimmons. From left-right: 연시 (yun-shi), 단감 (dan-gam), 홍시 (hong-shi). 

1 and 3 can be made into 곷감 (ggot-gam) which is simply a dried version of the fruit. These are delicious and chewy when dried, and can also be cut up and used as fillings for Korean cookies. 1 and 3 can also both be put in the freezer and enjoy as a frozen fruit treat. Once it thaws a bit, the frozen flesh tastes like a sweet sorbet - it's an all natural healthy option to ice-cream! 

1) 연시 (yun-shi) Squishy and juicy. This one has a paper thin peel that is super squishy on the inside even to the touch. It is very delicate and if not packaged properly, it will pop while you transport it. To eat, you just wash and bite into it while sucking out the sweet fibrous flesh. It is so juicy and sweet and gone in about 2 seconds.

1) 연시 (yun-shi)

Squishy and juicy. This one has a paper thin peel that is super squishy on the inside even to the touch. It is very delicate and if not packaged properly, it will pop while you transport it. To eat, you just wash and bite into it while sucking out the sweet fibrous flesh. It is so juicy and sweet and gone in about 2 seconds.

2) 단감 (dan-gam) Crunchy and more firm to the touch. It does not need to completely soften to be ripe. This also has a paper thin peel, but must be peeled off before eating. When you cut it into small slices, there are sometimes thin seeds you need to pick out, otherwise there is a very enjoyable crunchy to this persimmon with a different texture around where the seeds would have been. You can eat these ones are different stages for various firmness levels.

2) 단감 (dan-gam)

Crunchy and more firm to the touch. It does not need to completely soften to be ripe. This also has a paper thin peel, but must be peeled off before eating. When you cut it into small slices, there are sometimes thin seeds you need to pick out, otherwise there is a very enjoyable crunchy to this persimmon with a different texture around where the seeds would have been. You can eat these ones are different stages for various firmness levels.

3) 홍시 (hong-shi) Soft and squishy as well, but you must wait for this one to be completely ripen before eating otherwise it is very bitter. Once soft and ripe, it is also very sweet. The texture is a bit more firm that 1, so you can bite/cut this open and then scoop out the flesh to eat with a spoon.

3) 홍시 (hong-shi)

Soft and squishy as well, but you must wait for this one to be completely ripen before eating otherwise it is very bitter. Once soft and ripe, it is also very sweet. The texture is a bit more firm that 1, so you can bite/cut this open and then scoop out the flesh to eat with a spoon.

As with most Asian foods, no part goes to waste! I discovered that Koreans like to take the persimmon leaf, dry it, and use it to make a persimmon leaf tea! You can buy ones already made, or take the leaves your own persimmons, wash and leave them to dry completely, and then enjoy it steeped in some hot water for a great tea! I first tried this at a tea shop in Insadong and then started making my own at home!

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Giant pile of persimmon and apples for sale out in the country side near Seorak Mountain. What a beautiful sight! Just be careful you don't eat TOO many all at once - although these are fruit and are good for you, overeating them can cause you constipation. Too much of anything is never a good thing!

Giant pile of persimmon and apples for sale out in the country side near Seorak Mountain. What a beautiful sight! Just be careful you don't eat TOO many all at once - although these are fruit and are good for you, overeating them can cause you constipation. Too much of anything is never a good thing!


Ginkgo Biloba (은행 - Eun Heng)

Ginkgo is known to be a health food that has multiple health benefits. It has been used in East Asian medicine for years. I'm not a doctor, but I'm on the bandwagon with Korean on this one - eat these because they are good for you!

The majestic and gorgeous ginkgo tree stands tall and proud. A beautiful tree with leaves that change from green to yellow in the fall. Another sign of fall is the distinct smell that comes from the outer layer of the ginkgo seed/fruit of this tree. 

The majestic and gorgeous ginkgo tree stands tall and proud. A beautiful tree with leaves that change from green to yellow in the fall. Another sign of fall is the distinct smell that comes from the outer layer of the ginkgo seed/fruit of this tree. 

The seed/fruit hangs off of the branches, and during the autumn, they fall off onto the pavements in Seoul and everywhere around Korea. 

The seed/fruit hangs off of the branches, and during the autumn, they fall off onto the pavements in Seoul and everywhere around Korea. 

You probably have stepped on these plenty of times or at least wondered what that stinky stench of puke/poo is.

You probably have stepped on these plenty of times or at least wondered what that stinky stench of puke/poo is.

Yes, now you know - it is the outer layer of the ginkgo seed/fruit. The squishy orange part has a foul smell to it that lingers in the air and sticks to your shoes...

Yes, now you know - it is the outer layer of the ginkgo seed/fruit. The squishy orange part has a foul smell to it that lingers in the air and sticks to your shoes...

But once you get back that part, the inside of the ginkgo is a hard like nut you have to crack and peel off the outside layer to get to the softer flesh of the ginkgo fruit. 

But once you get back that part, the inside of the ginkgo is a hard like nut you have to crack and peel off the outside layer to get to the softer flesh of the ginkgo fruit. 

Once you peel of all the stinky and hard layers, you are rewarded with a beautiful green gem that is extremely healthy for you. You can find these roasted and sold on the streets all around Korea. The texture is somewhat soft, yet still holds a firmness to it. It can be slightly bitter, but it usually has a pleasant healthy wholesome taste to it especially after being roasted. Koreans often put it in rice as well to add some texture during the fall/winter months. 

Once you peel of all the stinky and hard layers, you are rewarded with a beautiful green gem that is extremely healthy for you. You can find these roasted and sold on the streets all around Korea. The texture is somewhat soft, yet still holds a firmness to it. It can be slightly bitter, but it usually has a pleasant healthy wholesome taste to it especially after being roasted. Koreans often put it in rice as well to add some texture during the fall/winter months. 


Figs (무화과 - Moo Hwa Gwa)

I didn't know figs were a common fruit regional to Korea, but apparently my mom grew up eating these here too! I've most often seen them used in desserts or made into jam, but I really just enjoy these fresh as they are. 

Stands along the street selling figs and the remaining summer batch of giant grapes. 

Stands along the street selling figs and the remaining summer batch of giant grapes. 

They are soft to the touch when ready to eat, and the bottom opens up like a cross that splits. 

They are soft to the touch when ready to eat, and the bottom opens up like a cross that splits. 

I love the texture of the seed along with the sweet flesh of this juicy fruit. I don't eat/buy this often, but I love fresh figs!

I love the texture of the seed along with the sweet flesh of this juicy fruit. I don't eat/buy this often, but I love fresh figs!


Apples (사과 - Sagwah)

Apples always seem to be available all year round, but these are the most fresh and in season in Korea starting in the fall. Unlike the varieties they have in other places such as: Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Granny Smith, Gala, Fiji Apples etc...they most just have "red apples" in Korea. Sometimes they refer to these as 꿀사과 (Gool Sagwa) which translates to Honey Apples, but it just is a nickname that means that they are sweet.

Down in the countryside of Korea, we passed by an apple orchard and got to see/pick these beauties first-hand!

Down in the countryside of Korea, we passed by an apple orchard and got to see/pick these beauties first-hand!

You can buy what you pick - and there were so many beautiful red apples easily available to pick off! 

You can buy what you pick - and there were so many beautiful red apples easily available to pick off! 

Crates of different sizes of Korean apples. Some of them are HUGE! 

Crates of different sizes of Korean apples. Some of them are HUGE! 

I like the medium ones as the big ones can be too much/difficult to eat. Korean usually cut up the apples into slices, but I still like to grab an apple and eat it on the go!

I like the medium ones as the big ones can be too much/difficult to eat. Korean usually cut up the apples into slices, but I still like to grab an apple and eat it on the go!


설악산 국립공원 - Seoraksan National Park

Some fall scenery and local steamed crab that was amazing!!!

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I absolutely love everything about fall - especially the weather and beautiful scenery that comes with it. I wanted to get out of the city so I took a drive down to Seorak Mountain for the day, which took 3.5 hours to get there with a bit of traffic, but only 2.5 hours to get back without. 

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I absolutely love everything about fall - especially the weather and beautiful scenery that comes with it. I wanted to get out of the city so I took a drive down to Seorak Mountain for the day, which took 3.5 hours to get there with a bit of traffic, but only 2.5 hours to get back without. 

당풍 - my favourite part about having seasons. 

당풍 - my favourite part about having seasons. 

Me and my lulu's...staring at the crazy hiking gear that all the Koreans are decked out it. I think their outfits were just as colourful if not out-matched the foliage! LOL

Me and my lulu's...staring at the crazy hiking gear that all the Koreans are decked out it. I think their outfits were just as colourful if not out-matched the foliage! LOL


Seoraksan is on the east side of Korea, being very near Sokcho - a coastal city, they are known for certain regional foods. Steamed crab being one of them. 

Beautiful and delicious.

Beautiful and delicious.

The fried rice in the shell mixed in with the crab roe was simply amazing. 

The fried rice in the shell mixed in with the crab roe was simply amazing. 

Crab Ramen that was also part of the set meal. 

Crab Ramen that was also part of the set meal. 

Succulent crab meat that slides right out of the shells. This sweet and flavourful crab meat was steamed just right, perfectly salted, and really just as good as it looks!

Succulent crab meat that slides right out of the shells. This sweet and flavourful crab meat was steamed just right, perfectly salted, and really just as good as it looks!

This set meal for 3 was only 48 000Won, was shared between 4. That means this delicious meal that left us stuffed was not only amazing, but was only 12, 000Won each!!! (that's like $10 USD!). Although the last time I went to Soraksan was 11 years ago, I would definitely eat here the next time I come back. 

I'm sure you can find this sort of meal in other places in Seoul at like restaurants - I'm not sure if the price would be the same, but it's still nice to be able to have the food option. This particular restaurant was one we happened to walk into that was fairly busy.

 대게나라조개마을 (Deh Geh Nara Jogeh Mael) in Sokcho Food town which is about 15mins. away from Seorak Mountain.

강원도 속초시 교동 962-6번지. 962-6 Gyo-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea. 

Call: 033-636-5545

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