Ddeok is Korean traditional rice cakes. Rice cakes have naturally woven themselves into many important Korean traditions and customs. It is known as the food of the gods. Ddeok is eaten many times throughout the year. It can be eaten just plain or served as soups and appetizers. Ddeok can also be categorized in a number of ways: ceremonial, everyday traditional, contemporary, cookie ddeoks. It can be cooked in different ways: steamed, fried, boiled, and pounded.
Ddeok is created through everyday cooking processes in the Korean culture. It begins through the process of making porridge and boiled rice. Ddeok is recorded to have first been eaten by the people of Korea in 5th and 6th century during the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Rice steamers were made and people started to steam rice grains, leading to the creation of ddeok. More than three hundred different types of ddeok were made.
There are many ways ddeok is associated with the Korean culture. Long ago, ddeok was used to expel bad luck on children when villagers thought that a child was possessed by an evil spirit. It was also used as a tool to look into the future. Fortunetellers used to forecast the future by looking at the shapes of the rice cake. For example, if the fillings of a rice cake were not fully cooked, then a couple would have a girl and if they were fully cooked, they would have a boy. Ddeok is eaten either in ordinary meals or on special occasions. Ddeok is well thought out to be a celebratory food. In Korea, it is a custom to eat ddeok guk, or ddeok in soup on Lunar New Years (Sol nal). Sweet ddeok (injulmi, gaksakpyun, and julpyun) is eaten at weddings and on birthdays, especially the 100th day of a baby’s birth, a child’s first birthday, a person’s 60th birthday and during ancestor offerings. Ddeok is used mostly at Korean banquets (janchi). It is also eaten during graduations. Each rice cake has its own significance. Huinmuri represents purity and songpyeon represents assurance....
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