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A Trip to the Local Korean Market to Honor Choosok

We think that perhaps yesterday was Choosok day in Korea, but today is Choosok in America because of the time difference. We decided to go an look around at the Korean Market called 코 마트 (Ko Mart) since in is supposed to be Choosok. Choosok is a major Korean holiday. It is the time when there are traffic jams all across Korea because everyone goes home to their parents, grandparents, or older siblings houses. They call it the Korean Thanksgiving because they know that everyone goes home on Thanksgiving in America. Since코 맡is so almost in walking distance from where we live, we decided just to go through the store and see what kinds of things we could find there, and we found many things that we know my Korean son in law will like when he comes.

There were lots of big bags of rice like in a Korean grocery store in Korea.
There was kimchee for sale. My Korean son in law probably isn’t worried about this, but most Korean are. I had a student who visited Oklahoma who complained because he couldn’t find kimchee. Well, it is here. Kimchee is a very Korean dish they eat at every meal. It is pickled cabbage loaded up with lots of chili spice and garlic. My Korean son in law is not very good at eating him kimchee. His mother made him some, and he left it in the fridge and let it spoil. However, most Koreans think they can’t live without it.
Here is Korean ramyeon. My Korean son in law likes this. It is like Japanese ramen. It is a noodle soup like ramen, but it is with a Korean slant and taste. It is spicy where the Japanese ramen isn’t.
This is little pieces of seasoned sea week used to mix with your rice and make rice balls, and it is delicious.
Koreans and Japanese both eat this. It is slightly spicy, but not with chili peppers. It is for making curried rice, and it is delicious.
Wonderful! This is a package to make chook. Chook is a rice porridge the Koreans eat when they are sick. There is no chili spice in it. It is actually very tasty.
This is a Korean store, so there much be lots of spicy things to eat. Spicy is just part of Korea.
My picture didn’t turn out well, but this is 고추장 (gochoojang), red pepper paste. This was always in our fridge in Korea because my Korean son in law likes it. When I made fried chicken, he insisted my daughter learn to make a type of sauce with this red pepper paste that he used on his chicken. It is one of his favorite dishes.
In the green can, you can see 목캔디 (mok candy), the Korean cough drops we used in Korea.
There were several packages for making different kinds of Korean soup. These are not spicy, but they are good. You usually eat them in restaurants in Korea. This one is cream soup. They also had a package to make corn soup.
There were lots of different kinds of traditional Korean snacks. My Korean son in law is really into snacks!!
This is Japanese candy. The Japanese writing on the package says “Ichigo milku.” It is strawberry milk candy. Koreans and Japanese both have milk candy, and it is good.
Koreans really like fruit chewy candy! When I was going to buy some candy for a student group once, Hohyeong, one of my students, was with me, and he said I just buy fruit candy because they all like fruit candy.
These are more traditional Korean snacks. I used to eat them because they are good and low in calories.
More traditional Korean snacks/ These are good too,
Hey, there is Chill Cider. Chill Cider is a Korean drink that is like 7 Up or Sprite. It is good.
My Korean son in law is really into snacks, and I have seen him sitting on the couch eating these among many others. There were lots of different kinds of snacks in the store. He will be happy. These are good.
There were Japanese rice crackers too. You have to watch what you buy when you buy these because some of the are spicy. I like the ones that are not spicy.
There were lots of different kinds of seaweed. Seaweed is actually really tasty, and they package it up for different uses. This looks like it is packages for gimbab or sushi.
This is traditional Korean nail polish. Guys and girls both use it. It is a plant that makes your nails orange. Someone said it stops fungus from growing or something like that, but many do it for beauty. It lasts for up to three months and doesn’t chip.
Here are some Japanese drinks that are really good. They are soft drinks. I used to drink the peach water a lot because it tastes good and is low in calories. My Japanese son in law recommended Pocari Sweat to my kids, and my kids tried it and liked it, and have been drinking it every since. The Milkis is also good. It is a kind of soda pop made from milk. My youngest daughter really likes it.
Korean chop sticks and spoons. Koreans use metal flat chip sticks, and Japanese use rounded wooden or plastic chop sticks as do the Chinese, but the Chinese chop sticks are longer than the Japanese and Korean chop sticks. Only the Koreans use the spoons. I really like the Korean spoons because the handle is really long, and it makes it easier to hold them. We have some coming in our shipping from Korea. It was one thing I really wanted to bring back. They are also good for stirring things when you are cooking because the handle is so long.
Of course, they also sold rice cookers. My Japanese friends thought anyone who could do a good job cooking rice on the stove without one of these had to be a really good cook because everyone uses these in Korea and Japan to cook their rice. They are easier than cooking it on the stove.
They had the huge, round Korean pears. I actually prefer Korean pears because they last longer. If you buy pears in America or Romania, you need to eat them soon because they are so soft and go badly quickly, but you can keep these in your fridge for several weeks, and they will sill be just like they were when you put them in your fridge. They also make what they call “white kimchee” with these. They make kimchee, but leave all the chili spice and the garlic out. White kimchee is much easier for foreigners to eat than the regular spicy Korean kimchee.
They had these funny Korean hats. Usually, the older people in Korea like to wear these. The bill on them is huge! They have a scarf that comes down over your neck and then ties in the front. Koreans are kind of scared of the sun. No one wants a tan. However, hiking in the mountains is a very, very popular Korean past time, and the older people often wear a hat like this when they go hiking to protect themselves from the sun. They also have special arm covers. If they wear a short sleeved shirt, they will have sleeves that are not connected to their shirt to wear to protect their arms from the sun.
They also had Korean brands of shampoo and cream rinse.
Korean dolls/ These dolls are dressed like a Korean king and queen.
We also passed by a Korean restaurant, and my daughter took a picture of it. This is just around the corner from 코마트 ( Ko Mart).

When we decided to come to this part of Oklahoma, one of the reasons we chose here was because we knew there were Korean things here. My Korean son in law is coming. Yes, he wants to learn to ride a horse and wear a cowboy hat, but he will need this Korean store and other Korean things and people that we find to make him feel more comfortable when he comes. Places like this will help him make the cultural adjustment when he comes. –I think the guy running the store has been out of Korea too long because when I talked to him about it being Choosok, he had no idea what I was talking about, and finally, a Korean lady from the next aisle kind of scolded him and told him what I was talking about.

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