Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Deok (Korean Rice Cake)

Rice is everywhere here. Rice cake is everywhere. It varies from thick noodle like cakes in some main dishes, to fancy desert cakes. I don't like all rice cakes, but some are great. I really like the little white/pink/green cakes that have a liquid sugar in them (eunhaeng juak?). Songpyun, generally stuffed with bean, chestnut, sesame seeds and sugar, is also quite nice. Just plain white rice cake is another that I like.
Deok and Related Customs
1) Expelling Evil Spirits: Traditional Korean toilets had two large footstools with a big and deep hole in between. It was shaped such that children sometimes fell into the hole and injured themselves. People believed that the toilet ghost was hungry and wanted a child to eat. When such an incident happened, people brought in an exorcist who performed an exorcism. They also made a special rice cake called dung deok (excrement rice cake) that they shared with neighbours for the purpose of expelling bad luck for the child.
More information on rice cake.

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