Just as there is a wide range of breads, there is a rich culture of diverse rice as well. Head to Icheon for some of the best rice in Korea.
How to get to Icheon:
Buses to Icheon Terminal depart every 20-30 minutes from Seoul Express Bus Terminal every day. Travel time is 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The 14th Icheon Rice Festival will be held at Seolbong Park from Nov 3 to 6 to celebrate the region’s long history of rice cultivation. The four-day event will be marked with a regular schedule of interactive games for kids and a rotating schedule of performances and entertainment.
Daily events and activities will bring festivalgoers together. On opening day, a larger-than-life, 600 m tteok (glutinous rice cake) will be made. The traditional Mujigae rice cake, a variety of which is characterized by its event, a massive version of the traditional Gamasot (a pot made of cast iron) will be used to cook enough rice to feed 2,000 people for only 2,000 won (US$ 1.71) a head.
Entertainment will be held for familiesm such as a nonverbal Nanta performance, traditional mask dances and fusion music concerts. Tourists are encouraged to try their hand at making songpyeon, a traditional rice cake shaped by hand that is eaten in fall.
Icheon, a small city of 200,000, is located southeast of Seoul in Gyeonggi-do Province. The region is famous for its pottery and rice, the latter of which is known to have been served to the king during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Today, rice from the region is marketed under the name “King’s Brand”.
Though there are several varieties of Icheon rice, they are all typically known for their lustrous sheen and rich nutrients. The combination of fresh groundwater and fertile soil lend to rice that is low in calories and high in thiamine, essential amino acids, vitamin and iron content.
Source: KOREA People & Culture Magazine, November 2011