Friday, March 11, 2011

Exploring the Pyeongtaek Market

I've posted about the open air market before.  It comes to Songtan (the town we live in) on days ending in "4" or "9."  I've been several times but not as much as I would like because of it being winter but now that it is getting nice out, I hope to do more shopping in the open air market.

Last week we explored the market in Pyeontaek (a nearby city, about a 15 minute train ride).  It's bigger than our market and we just thought it'd be fun to check it out.  It's similar but just a lot more stands, larger quantities of most things and much of it is "covered". I took some pictures and thought I'd post to give you a taste of the Korean market.

Pictured above are bins of grains and dried beans....It's cheaper to buy them in the open market (and you can find a slightly larger variety I feel like than what you can find in the stores) but you DO have to wash everything well AND watch out for stray rocks, debris and things like that.  Also, none of it is "quick cooking" so most requires soaking overnight and longer cooking times (which is probably healthier in some ways, although not as convenient).

Another interesting aspect in living here is that I'm forced to learn to identify things by sight (rather than by label).  I haven't learned Korean yet (and even if I learned to READ the symbols I'm not sure I'd know what the words for various foods and grains etc would be).  SO I do a lot of looking and running home to look up online whatever I saw to figure out what it is.  I'm still learning and there are a LOT of things at the market that I have NO IDEA what they are or how to even find out what they are and I'm not sure I'd even want to know what some things are.....But one of these days I'm going to ask one of the Korean ladies at church who speaks some English to take me to the market and explain to me what things are and what to buy/what not to buy.

Kimchi, seaweed and sprouts of some kind (I think...your guess is as good as mine!)

Deep fried whole chickens

Not deep fried (raw) whole chickens on ice and in bags (Jeni and Renee, this is what I was telling you about).  And a pile of hearts/livers next to the vendor. I haven't worked up the nerve to buy chicken or meat that has been sitting out all day at the market yet....although I guess it wouldn't totally suprise me to find out that is where the meat I buy at the store comes from either, it just "feels" better. 

Fish Market section

Live fish, eels, octopus, flatfish and some other thing we couldn't identify

Any idea what these are (above)?  They look like squishy, live, fat worms in water...Let me know if you know what they are!  Curious.

And wanna guess what's pictured above?

Can you guess now?  Chicken feet!  Lots and lots of chicken feet.

Long day at the market....I think my boys look ready to head home!

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy some pictures from the market.  Overall, I enjoy the open market and am looking forward to going more this summer....Although there are a lot of interesting differences not found in a typical Cub Foods or Trader Joe's in the states, it is an adventure and that's what life's about, right?

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, GREAT market pictures!!!! I love your spirit! Wonderful idea to take a Korean lady from church who speaks English to help you at the market and to learn more about the food. Some ot the things looked a little scary to me...the worm thing! What do they use the chicken feet for? I know in the U.S. people deep fat fry turkeys for Thanksgiving. The chicken concept seems way easier and sounds good.