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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
설악산 국립공원 - Seoraksan National Park
Some fall scenery and local steamed crab that was amazing!!!
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.
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.