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Tteok Cafe: Metamorphosis of TteokEnjoy delicious and visually charming tteok
Park Hey-ine  |  etoile@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2009.05.26  21:00:12
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

WHEN HEARING the word tteok, what are you imagining? Are you picturing snow white tteok instantly coming out of an old, rustic machine inside a traditional rice mill that has the floating smell of sesame oil? If so, you’ve been in Korea long enough to know that tteok is one of the representative traditional foods of Korea. However there is an interesting paradox about eating tteok. On the one hand, it is considered a must-eat food on special occasions such as New Year’s Day or Chuseok, but rarely craved once the special occasions are over. However, the establishment of Tteok cafes has made tteok more visible and fashionable. In this manner, Tteok cafes have succeeded in attracting customers by serving tteok in a more modern and classy atmosphere.

Tteok cafes are characterized by their modern interior and the evolution of traditional tteok. Just like Starbucks, where people often go after a meal or during a break, Tteok cafes have adopted pretty much the same characteristics. The contemporary interior decor and beautifully decorated tteok reacquaint the young generation with the once fading food culture. Furthermore, it is also a great opportunity for foreigners to discover Korean food with less reluctance. Indeed, Tteok cafes have introduced fusion tteok by using chocolate or strawberry flavors. At Tteok cafes in Insadong, which is a tourist attraction, it is not hard to find foreigners curiously tasting a variety of tteok and taking pictures. In addition, with the rise in popularity of slow food, people are more and more interested in tteok which is healthy and nutritious.
Now are you ready to venture into tasty fusion food? Let me introduce you to a world of sweet and unique snacks and desserts.

   
 
   
 

Tteok of different shapes and flavors
1-Rice Sandwich: Rice Sandwiches is not very different from usual sandwiches except the fact that the two pieces of bread are replaced by two layers of white tteok. The tteok replacing the bread is soft and chewy and adds a more savory taste to the sandwich.  
2-Rice Cake: There are numerous kinds of rice cakes with diverse ingredients. They are colorful, nutritious, and tasty at the same time, and not fattening like traditional bakery cakes.
3-Sweet pumpkin red bean sherbet: People are very much into healthful food, and this is a perfect dessert for those who want to cool off and get away from the summer heat. Not only does the sherbet contain delicious chewy tteok, it also contains walnuts and almonds that gives it an overall rich taste.
4-Different types of tteok: They can be enjoyed without burden and are popular among young people because they are small and of diverse shapes and colors. This reminds us about the old Korean saying “Good looking tteok tastes much better.”
5-Fusion tteok cuisine: tteok is no longer served only as dessert after a meal but also as a main dish. In Tteok cafes, you can find simple fusion cuisine such as seafood tteok spaghetti or palace tteokbokki.

Tteok cafes not only serve tteok but also drinks such as coffee, assorted traditional tea, and fusion drinks such as tofu latte, black bean latte, and ripe persimmon shake

Tteok cafes worth visiting:
-Jilsiru 
-Tteokbo’s day

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Through its metamorphosis, tteok is no longer a food only for the old generation but is settling down as a popular dessert and snack among the young generation as well. Its diversity of shapes and colors show the beauty and flexibility of Korean traditional food. Nothing stays in its original form. Everything changes with time, just like tteok has. 

Tteok: Korean cake made by steaming glutinous rice flour.
 

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