We are celebrating the Chuseok holiday this year from September 14th to 16th, Wednesday to Friday. The actual Chuseok day falls on September 15th or Thursday. This is my 13th “Korean thanksgiving holiday” and I’ve mastered my chores ~ cooking the “jeon” or friend food the day before, preparing the table for meals and arranging the food on wooden containers for the ancestral table. I have two elder sisters-in-law who do most of the cooking. My mother-in-law supervises or watches TV with my father-in-law. The men in the family wash the dishes after every meal and they make “songpyeon” or the rice cake goodies prepared for this holiday.
This Chuseok is marked with unbelievably higher food prices ~ imagine a bunch of spinach now goes for 6,900 won (294 php or 6.21 usd)?! That’s ridiculous when it’s usually only 3,500 won during the holidays and even cheaper on ordinary days. Our food budget for the holiday has almost doubled ~ and that means less money for gifts.
One of the things I enjoy during Chuseok is “eye shopping” for gifts ~ I’m astounded at the prices of some of these most expensive gifts. A few years ago, I posted about a 500,000 won box of 5 “gulbi” or yellow corvina. “Gulbi” is delicious but I wonder how delicious a 100,000 won (4,278 php or 90 usd) piece could be.
The last time I was at the supermarket, “eye shopping” for Chuseok gifts is what I did ~
and here are some of the most expensive gifts for Chuseok!
A box of various dried anchovies or “dilis” – mostly used for making stock and side dish – 66,000 KRW or 2,820 PHP
Price on the box is discounted for certain credit cards. In the Philippines, we call this “dilis” and it is regarded as food for the masses but not here in Korea.
A box of dried persimmon – 99,000 KRW or 89.13 USD or 4,229 PHP
The price may be a shocker but dried persimmons are truly pricey but the ones in this box has the perfect texture.
A box of 4 Korean pears and 6 apples for 100,000 won or 4,272 PHP or 90 USD
The shape, texture and the size of the fruits in this box will explain the high price. They are perfect for the ancestral table.
A box of traditional Korean snacks and dried fruits for 100,000 won or 4,272 PHP or 90 USD
This box contains four boxes of tea, dried lotus root, dried kiwi, dried pear and traditional Korean snacks ~ a total of 20 boxes of Korean goodies.
Korean medicinal mushrooms for 158,000 KRW or 6,750 PHP or 142 USD
They are called “ìƒí™©ë²„ì„¯” or medicinal mushroom and half-a-kilo usually costs 100,000 won. It is used as an alternative medicine against cancer ~
Three pieces of yellow corvina for 350,000 KRW or 14,952 PHP or 315 USD
Yellow corvina is delicious but I find it needs to be cooked for just the right time. Overcooking makes the flesh chewy. A 20,000 won piece is already tasty so I wonder how delicious a piece for 100,000+ won could be.
3kg of Korean beef for 515,000 KRW or 22,001 PHP or 463 USD
Korean beef is expensive ~ and that’s why we only have it on special occasions or we go to Pyeongchang or Yeongwol to buy them. The package below has 3 kilograms of sirloin ~