Happy Thanksgiving! In Korea, the national festival of Chuseok, or autumn thanksgiving, kicked off today. The three-day festival is a time for paying respect to your ancestors, visiting your hometown and eating your way through a groaning tableful of seasonal foods.
Songpyeon, traditional rice cakes, are a staple dish of the Chuseok feast. They have a variety of fillings such as sesame seeds, honey or black beans, and they’re formed into a half-moon shape. The half-moon is said to symbolize a bright future or victory, thanks to a legend dating back to the Three Kingdoms era of Korean history. Family members traditionally make songpyeon together on the first evening of Chuseok. The secret to making the authentic flavour of songpyeon is to use pine needles in the cooking process. If you don’t have a pine tree handy in the garden, don’t worry, some wild pine needles designed for tea brewing will do the job, like these from Amazon.