Jong Beom Cho
During the Korean thanks giving holiday, Chusuk, every region in Korea has its special dishes to celebrate the season's greeting. However, there is one food that every Korean share during the holiday and it is a rice cake called song-pyeon. Song-pyeon requires many people's hand in order to be made at home. Song-pyeon not only delights our tongue but it also brings everyone together making the holiday much more festive.
Song-pyeon is great with its taste but the making process is also a pleasurable experience. Song-pyeon is a tasty rice cake filled with various sweet stuffing it can be stuffed with honey, nuts, sesame seeds, and any other ingredients one wants to put into it. Depending on the stuffing one put into, song-pyeon can have many tastes. During Chusuk all sorts of song-pyeons are made because everyone has their own taste. Trying other families' song-pyeon is one of the fun experiences that Chusuk provides. In addition to the inside, the outer shell of song-pyeon which is very soft and somewhat spongy looks like a half moon can have many colors depending on the dying materials one use to make the dough. Song-pyeon can be white, green, pink, orange, and so many other colors, which makes the song-pyeon making so delightful.
Song-pyeon making is fun but it is also a laborious task. Therefore, it requires family gathering. In these days, everyone in the family is so busy that it is hard for everyone to meet and have a quality time together. But once in a year during Chusuk, everyone get together and make song-pyeon together, talking about what is going on in our lives and many other stories to catch up on. Song-pyeon is loved by Koreans because it has not only good taste but it bonds family members together. Its emotional value is priceless.
I have my own memories of song-pyeon, too. Last year my family made song-pyeon together. We did not made song-pyeon together at home since my grandmother passed away. It was my grandmother who used to supervise and lead the whole process. Also with her touch every food tasted so much better. I do not know what hit me but I suddenly wanted to make the song-pyeon at home again. Since I led the song-pyeon making this time, everything was so unprepared. It did not taste as good as my grandmother's song-pyeon but it brought back a lot of good memories. I was very happy that I could remember my grandmother in such a meaningful way. Like my own, song-pyeon bring back a lot of good memories for many Koreans.
Song-pyeon making is interesting and offers a great treat for our hungry stomach. It also brings family together and allows us to have a great time with our families. Korean lifestyle is changing from family bond to individualism. Nowadays everyone is so busy that they are unconcerned about people around them. But song-pyeon brings love toward families and friend as well as good memories back to us. It is why song-pyeon is my favorite holiday food.