CONTRIBUTED BY JANVIKA SHAH
Luckily for Daegu residents, produce is not as expensive as it is in Seoul. Therefore, everybody should consume at least 3-5 servings of this food group on a daily basis for natural fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Althoug, fruits and vegetables are available in convenience stores and larger grocery stores such as the on-base commissary, Home Plus or E-mart, I recommend going to the local markets for fresh produce (some off-base stores even sell imported produce such as oranges from the U.S or bananas from the Philippines.)
First of all, your produce will usually come straight from farms to the local sellers. Secondly, almost every big neighborhood in Daegu has a local produce, meat and fish market. Third, it’s an opportunity to practice your Korean and get to know a local. Fourth, you can get discounts or ‘service’ (free food) if you become a loyal customer to the vendor. Lastly, you are supporting the local farmers instead of large corporations.
If you are concerned about pesticides and wish to purchase organic produce only, visit the two sites below to learn how to recognize organic labels in larger stores and how to get organic produce delivered to your home.
And more about WWOOFing here on Korea Ye
If organic produce isn’t in your budget (or scope of interests), you can easily make a homemade solution that removes pesticides for healthier and cleaner food. Fill up a large bowl or your kitchen sink with 1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water. Let the produce soak for up to an hour, and rinse them after with fresh water. This particular mixture also extends the life of your fruits and vegetable so they last longer without going rotten!
I also recommend that you bring a large reusable bag to reduce your plastic consumption, though the vendors will hand out several black plastic bags if you forget.
Pro Tip: Apples peak in early fall, persimmons in the winter, strawberries in early spring and watermelon in the summertime. If you have a large enough fridge, you can wash and freeze your produce to enjoy it year round!
Here are some basic fruit and vegetable vocabulary words as well as a couple of useful phrases to know:
Apple – Sagwa
Strawberry – Ttalgi or Dalgi
Pear – Bae
Peach – Boksunga
Persimmon – Gam
Watermelon – Subak
Spinach – Sigeumchi
Garlic – Maneul
Cucumber – Oi
Mushroom – Beosot
Potato – Gamja
Sweet Potato – Goguma
Bean – Kong
Onion – Yangpa
How much is this? — I-ge- eol- ma-ye-yo?
I would like this — I-ge-chu-se-yo
It looks delicious! — Ma-shi-seo- Bo-im-ni-da