The focus of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games might be on the medal tables, but the real global festival was celebrated with some delicious Korean food in the eateries of Gangwon-do Province.
The K-food Plaza, a promotional exhibition hall for all types of Korean cuisine, was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and by the Gangwon-do Province government. It was set up near the PyeongChang Olympic Plaza where the Opening and Closing ceremonies took place, and was packed with visitors throughout the Games.
Learning about the many types of Korean food, as well as both sampling and cooking some of it, were the most popular events for visitors to the Olympic venue.
Many non-Korean visitors found the table manners of Koreans to be quite interesting.
Visitors were shown Korean table manners and were able to experience the traditions and philosophy of the host country.
The cooking classes allowed visitors to try making some simple Korean dishes. They were so popular that more people were turned away than those who were let in.
Visitors learned how to make traditional makgeolli rice beer, various types of rice snacks, and beef & sesame porridge. Some came in groups of 20 or more to try to cook some Korean food. Some people came back to the class to learn how to cook other recipes.
The visitors were not only interested in cooking and sampling the food. They also wanted to learn more about the glories of Korean cuisine.
“From about a year ago, kimchi became really popular in Norway,” said Mari Tokheim from Norway. “Kimchi became a food that you can see in fancy restaurants and some people talk about the kimchi they made on social media.”
“The true charms of Korean food are its health benefits,“ said Natalya Melnikova from Russia. “Even when eating roasted pork, Koreans add many different types of sauce and vegetables as garnishes, which makes the flavor of Korean food to be more natural. I already bought a Korean grill and some ssamjang sauce to take home.”
“We aim to promote Korean ingredients by letting them try Korean recipes and food,” said Ahn Eun-jung, a manager at the K-food Plaza. “Many visitors were actually interested in buying Korean food ingredients right here.”