Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Daegu K-Food Expo

The Daegu K-Food Expo

By Jared Hatch
November 2019

The Daegu K-Food Expo just wrapped up a busy four days, held at the Daegu EXCO.   It was my first time visiting this Expo, as well as the EXCO center, and I left looking forward to attending next year’s event.  The Expo celebrated many different aspects of food culture and business at the EXCO, with a wide variety of different foods and drinks to sample and buy.😋🍴  The show ran from 10 am to 6 pm Thursday through Sunday, giving people a wide range of time to visit the different areas.  The show had different live cooking demonstrations👍 in one section of the hall, as well as a food court area, with different chefs showcasing the foods that they cook at their restaurants.😊

One of the most interesting things I tried at the food court was a special form of Dosirak🍱 (Korean box lunch with a variety of different foods included).  The main dish was a special mix of cooked rice and extra ingredients steamed inside of a water lily leaf that gave the dish an aromatic tea-like flavor and aroma.  It also had a special form of pickled seaweed that almost had a meaty flavor and texture, a Korean bulgogi patty, as well as two other side dishes.  My Korean friend I ate the meal with had never eaten this dish before, so it felt like I was eating something really unique that I would never have experienced if I didn’t attend the event.😁

There is a lot to see while you are walking around the different exhibitions, so if you are in need of some liquid energy, there are plenty of coffee shops in the EXCO, as well as in the food court area. The prices for the coffee was very reasonable, 2,000 won for an Americano, and 3,000 won, with a choice between two different blends of coffee beans, which I always appreciate. 

If you are still feeling peckish after your meal and coffee, the baked goods exhibition area is right next to the food court area and was providing free samples whenever I walked by.  The baked goods that were on display were truly works of art👍, with rows upon rows of different confections of all shapes and colors.  Different fresh breads and desserts were being continually baked during the Expo, with special ovens brought in special for the event.  I was impressed👀 with the logistical planning that took place to provide so many cool experiences for the patrons visiting the Expo.

Also in this section of the Expo were different tables set up featuring the plastic molds of foods from different countries, as well as a stage set up for televised food demonstrations.  When you walk out of the baking and food court section of the hall, you are surrounded by stall upon stall of different vendors featuring local foods, the latest trends in food technology, as well as specialty drinks of all different forms.

One of the great things about the Food Expo was that you are able to meet the people who are producing the food that you are tasting.   I find that when you meet people who are so passionate about the food that they make, it is bound to taste good.  I had some of the best tofu of my life💯 served to me by a very kind lady who was working at one of the stalls

Although you have the option to buy foods and drinks being sold at the Expo, I observed most people taking advantage of the free samples being given out, while the booth vendors used that opportunity to raise awareness with consumers about their business, using it as a marketing opportunity👍. 

In addition to the different foods you could sample, there was a wide variety of beverages available to sample, both alcoholic and alcohol-free.  There were several stalls of different Makgeolli breweries, giving you an opportunity to meet people who make this traditional alcoholic drink in small batches.  I have found that hand made makgeolli has some really unique and enticing depth of flavor lacking in the mass-produced bottles.

In addition to the makgeolli, soju, and goryangju (Chinese rice liquor), a stall featuring local craft breweries in the area was serving samples of their beer, with the brewers pouring the beer and answering questions for the consumers. 

The Expo will be held again next year if you are interested in attending.  There is a paid parking area underneath the EXCO center if you choose to drive.  Taking a taxi or a bus is also a good option, with the bus stop being right next to the EXCO building.  If you are a foodie I highly suggest putting this on your calendar for next year.

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