Friday, 7 August 2009

Discover Korea #6: Andong (THE EAST Campaign in Association with Korea Tourism Organization)

Andong is a city in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea.
It is the largest city in the northern part of the province with a population of almost 185,000.
Andong is a market centre for the surrounding agricultural areas. Since the 1970s Andong has developed rapidly, although the population has fallen by nearly seventy thousand as people have moved away to Seoul and other urban centres. In the late 1990s and early 2000s it became a tourism and cultural centre. Andong is known as a centre of culture and folk traditions. The surrounding area maintains many ancient traditions, so in mid October the Andong Folk Festival is held every year. One of the most famous aspects of these cultural festivities are the Andong masks. Andong National University, specialising in education and Korean folklore has grown rapidly since the 1970s. Other tertiary institutions include Andong Institute of Information Technology, Andong Science College, and Catholic Sangji College. The Hahoe Folk Village is listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a tentative World Heritage site. The village is a valuable part of Korean culture because it preserves Joseon-style architecture, folk traditions, valuable books, and old tradition of clan-based villages.The village is located on the Hwachon Stream which is a tributary of the Nakdong River. To the north of the village is Buyongdae Cliff while Mt. Namsan lies to the south. The village is organized around the geomantic guidelines of pungsu and so the village has the shape of a lotus flower or two interlocking comma shapes.
Andong has famous local foods that originated in the city such as heotjesabap, Andong jjimdak, Andog soju (a rice wine), Andong sikhye (a punch), Geonjin guksu (a noodle dish). Heotjesabap is a variety of bibimbap, served with soy sauce (ganjang) instead of the gochujang (hot pepper paste) that is more commonly used. Heotjesa bab consists of mainly several types of namul (young sprouted vegetables) over white rice. It is also served with grilled fish and some jeon (Korean pancake). The dish originated in Andong. The term, Heotjesa bap literally means “dishes for fake jesa” that are ceremonies for death anniversary and ancestor veneration held in Korea.
Andong jjimdak is a variety of jjim (a Korean steamed or boiled dish), made with chicken, various vegetables marinated in a ganjang (Korean soy sauce) based sauce. The name literally means “steamed chicken of Andong.” There are many speculations on the origin of the dish. One is that the it is a specialty food of the inner rich village of Andong during the Joseon period, prepared and eaten for special occasions. Another assumptions is that during the 1980s in the Dak golmok of the “Andong Old Market,” restaurant owners there made a dish including ingredients that regulars demanded, which became the current Andong jjimdak.

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