Taste of Seoul,
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It can be a little disheartening to realize there are a limited number of days left until the end of this year. As last year’s resolutions start to rush through your mind, you try to remember which ones you’ve kept and which ones you didn’t. While there are some people who feel relatively satisfied with how they spent the past year, there’s also some who are mostly filled with regrets. The end of the year isn’t always as romantic as you think it’d be. In fact, most people tend to feel gloomier, especially as the holiday season arrives.
The sun sets earlier and the weather gets colder in winter, making people shrink and withdraw into themselves, eliminating all traces of serotonin, the happiness hormone. Luckily, there’s one very simple and easy way to increase the level of your happiness hormone.
There’s a reason why people turn to sugar when they’re feeling down and tired. There's nothing more effective than tasting something sweet to cure people from their lethargic, gloomy state. In fact, it’s a pretty well known that sugar contributes to the release of dopamine, another happiness hormone. Just in time for this upcoming Christmas season, we’ve prepared a list of unique rice cake desserts to sweeten up your cold winter holidays!
1. Chocolate coated rice cake, Chocolate Chal-tteok (Rice Cake) Bar
2. Sandwich with rice cake instead of bread Tteok (Rice Cake) Sandwich
3. Rice cake (made from carrot, tofu, and castella) with red bean and butter, Angbeotteok (Red Bean and Butter Rice Cake)
4. Tasty and delicious flower-shaped rice cake, Kkot Songpyeon (Flower Rice Cake)
Chocolate Chal-tteok Bar_Siroo Cake
4 Wausan-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
You can’t go wrong with chocolate covered food. Shaped like the familiar Häagen-Da** ice cream, it's as if you're eating an ice cream bar. The cakes, madeleine, and chocolate truffles sold here are all made out of rice cake and on a whole different level than normal rice cakes. Attracting many customers with their stunning visuals and sweet aroma, the desserts can also be made through cooking classes offered by the shop, providing visitors with another way to enjoy this delicious snack.
1F, 57 Banpo-daero 21-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul
RoyaD, a shortened combination of the words “Royal” and “Dessert”, uses only the best ingredients to make all its handmade goods. Out of the many sweets lining up their display, their most eye-catching dessert is their Tteok (Rice Cake) Sandwich. While most would be dubious about the taste, Tteok Sandwich has been found to taste better than expected. Substituting the bread of a sandwich for pieces of rice cake, the sandwich has a refreshingly sweet taste. It’s a sweet and healthy snack popular among businessmen and women who are always on the go.
10 Dongjak-daero 29na-gil, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Derived from the “an” in Japanese anko (red bean paste), Ang butter bread has become a major hit in Korea, spreading to bakeries and cafes everywhere. Normally, ciabatta or baguette is used for the bread, but this place uses rice cake. Rice cakes made from carrot, tofu, and castella are filled with butter and red bean paste, leading to a refreshingly light taste. This particular menu is so popular that it’s almost always sold out, making it crucial for visitors to check first if they have it in stock before going to the store.
1F, 87 Seongsui-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
There’s an old Korean saying which states “Good looking rice cake tastes good.” That saying perfectly describes this place. As soon as you think the rice cake is too pretty to eat, you’ll find that it has already gone into your mouth. The color of their baekseolgi (snow white rice cake) is calming to the eye and the texture isn’t as rough or grainy as other baekseolgi. Served neatly on ceramic plates, the desserts give off a traditional and very Korean vibe.
Before, rice cakes were buried under the popularity of foreign baked goods and desserts due to how rice cakes weren't quite meals and yet not quite desserts. However, things have changed. Combined with other ingredients, traditional rice cakes have transformed into a new type of modern dessert to be seen and enjoyed, attracting many to seek them out again for their newfound novelty.