Jeju's status as one of the New7Wonders of Nature has led to a branding drive by provincial officials which late last year kicked off with a selection of Jeju's top architectural wonders. This has now been extended to specialty foods after surveys were conducted with both tourists and Korean citizens. The selection of Jeju's seven most representative foods will be used for branding and marketing.
1 Jeju horsemeat (malgogi)
▲ Jeju's New7Wonders of food.
Horses have been raised in Jeju since Goryeo times and the meat is not eaten elsewhere in Korea. It is said that it is high in protein and contains essential fatty acids and iron that are good for the skin, male 'stamina' and arthritis and osteoporosis in the elderly.
2 Bracken (gosari)
Jeju bracken grows in humid upland areas and is thick and bulky, yet tender and soft. Jeju bracken was traditionally served to the king and used for traditional medicine. It contains plenty of protein, iron and minerals that clean the blood and speed up diuresis.
3 Jeju hairtail (galchi)
Hairtail fish is found throughout Korea but Jeju hairtail is regarded as the best, being the largest variety. Some of the Jeju specialties include galchiguk (hairtail soup) and galchihobakguk (boiled soup with fresh hairtail and pumpkin).
4 Jeju red tilefish (okdom)
Red tilefish live in deep water around the Jeju coast and were regarded as a luxury by the Joseon royal family. It is popular for its high level of protein and minerals while being extremely lean. It is widely used for ancestral rites after being grilled or used in soups.
5 Jeju damselfish (jaridom)
Jaridom is rich in calcium and high in protein and is used to help patients recover from illness. Prominent dishes include jarimulhoe (raw in a chilled broth), jarigui (grilled) and jarijeotgal (pickled).
6 Jeju black pork (heukdwaeji)
Jeju native black pork is a typical Jeju specialty. The pigs are black-haired and resistant to disease and having been reared here for generations, are an essential part of the traditional culture. The meat is a favorite for Korean bbq.
7 Tangerine (gamgyul)
Tangerine is an alkaline food which speeds up metabolism, prevents colds and is good for the skin, arteries and recovering from fatigue. They were so precious in the Joseon era that only the royal family and public officers were able to eat them.
[This article was amended on April 11 as it originally referred to dishes in the subheading. This has been changed to foodstuffs. - Ed.]
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