The gamgyul is s favorite of all ages. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
The gamgyul, or tangerine, is back!
If you are feeling down because the summer sun has faded, then you can lift your spirits by going for a walk through some of Jeju’s tangerine fields. The bright orange glow is glorious in the autumn sunshine, and their sweet fragrance is unmist-akable.
The gamgyul is one of Jeju’s most famous pro-ducts so this time of year is the best to get your hands on this bountiful crop.
From the business side of things, the 2014 Seogwipo International Citrus Pre-Exhibit opened Nov. 14 to 20 and there were various programs and exhibitions across 200 booths to promote the industry. Visitors learned about the industry through the video showing of “Seogwipo's future, the international brand of Jeju citrus,” and the high-tech presentation of 250 types of citrus.
Many of these types are grown on Jeju, and each season has a specialty. While the “noji gamgyul” is grown in open fields, others like the “Hallabong,” a fat and juicy citrus created especially for Jeju, and “cheonhaehyang,” fragrant and sweet, are grown in greenhouses.
Although these varieties are geared toward the tourism market, and are accordingly priced, they are sweeter tasting and more fragrant than regular tangerines.
The benefits of tangerines for Jeju people aren’t limited to taste. The industry has been a mainstay of the local economy for generations and fruit sales helped many rural families pay for their children’s education from the 1970s to the 1990s, and even today. Local people even say that people in their 30s and 50s have the crop to thank for their education.
However, after prices dropped greatly in 2002, farmers had to diversify. The province even provided subsidies for farmers to reduce the number of acres of the crop to stabilize prices, and many entered the tourism industry with “experience” programs.
If you can get the sweetest gamgyul in supermarkets or you can just pick them up for free from friends. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Gamgyul picking With such an important role in the island’s economy and culture, it is no surprise that more and more tourists want to get out and experience tangerine picking themselves, and there are many places to do so, often at a low price.
If you go, you not only get to eat as much as you want, but you take home whatever you pick. The basic price normally includes 1 or 2 kilograms to take home, with any more being of additional cost.
While you might not get enough to pay for your children’s edu-cation, you will at least leave with a full stomach and a bagful of vitamin C to get you through the winter.
*All buses from Jeju City
557, Beonyeong-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
3,500 won per kilogram
Get bus #720 or 730 to Bonggae-dong and get off at the “Bonggae Water Park” bus stop. Walk back north and cross the road, and the farm is next to Bonggae Church.
Odeung Gamgyul Farm 8-15, Odeung 14-gil, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
5,000 won per 2 kilograms
Get bus #5 to Odeung-dong bus stop and access the farm through the Haneulchae Garden restaurant.
Gyulhyanggi Agricultural Association
3118, 1100-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
5,000 won per kilogram
Get bus #740, 95 or 46 to Halla Arboretum (Shin Jeju) and walk half a kilometer south to the farm.
Seogwipo City *All buses from Seogwipo City
VIP Hallabong Farm
8342, Iljudong-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
2,000 won per kilogram (noji gamgyul) 7,000 won per kilogram (Hallabong)
Get off bus #730 at Sanghyo Ipgu bus stop and the entrance is right opposite.
285, Jungmungwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
5,000 won per kilogram (noji gamgyul)
Get off the #600 bus at ICC Jeju and walk half a kilometer northeast to the farm.
441, Hyodonsunhwan-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (7 p.m. July - Sept.)
Covering 4,786 square meters of land and three stories, this is more than just gamgyul picking. Facilities include a themed exhibition room, a 3D video and seminar room, a folklore exhibit, a subtropical garden and more. This is also where the 2014 Seogwipo International Citrus Pre-Exhibit is held.
Get off the #730 bus at Sinhyo bus stop and walk around 850 meters north to the museum entrance.
Entry fee: 1,500 won (adults 25 to 64), 1,000 won (youths 13 to 24), 800 won (children 7 to 12)
Citrus Museum programs
6,000 won per person per kilogram
No limitation on tasting and includes museum entrance
No reservation necessary
3,000 won per person to make cookies or muffins
Weekdays only / reservation needed.
Nutritious and scrumptious
The health benefits of gamgyul are also not to be scoffed at. It is reported that although 86.5 percent of the fruit is water, each 100 grams provides 36 m.g. of vitamin C, 8.2 m.g.of vitamin B1, and 8.2 m.g. of vitamin U, all at just 47 calories.
This makes the fruit great for your skin, lethargy, immune system, and even cold prevention. It also helps to prevent hardening of the arteries and hypertension due to its vitamin P content.
A young girl picks tangerines from the tree. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
There is a use for everything in a tangerine according to oriental medicinal tradition. If you burn the peel a blue flame should rise. This is the terebinth oil which reduces cholesterol and prevents artery hardening.
Dried peels can also be used for reducing phlegm and coughing, while fresh peel is useful in improving blood circulation and reducing stress. It is recommended that any peel is thoroughly washed in salt water, however, to remove any residual pesticides.
Teas are also popular, and are easily prepared by boiling peel in water with some sugar. This is particularly popular for preventing colds in winter.
There are endless other recipes using tangerines such as marmalades, jams, and even alcoholic drinks. Tangerines are also added to traditional Korean rice cakes and breads, pancakes, cookies and much more.
Not wanting to miss out on all this marketing potential, the province has thus developed a number of souvenir products such as chocolates, teas, soaps, perfumes, etc, all available at gift shops and at the airport.
Gamgyul picking is the perfect activity for children to get a day out in the fresh air. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Gamgyul and pumpkin jam
Ingredients 300g of pumpkin
Half a cup of gamgyul juice
100g of sugar
One cup of water
A splash of ginger juice
1. Peel pumpkin and remove seeds
2. Blend the pumpkin
3. Add pumpkin to the pot with gamgyul juice, ginger juice, water and sugar.
4. Stir regularly at a low heat until congealed and “jammy”
Gamgyul alcoholic beverage
Five unripe gamgyul
1.8 liters of soju
1. Select unripe gamgyul and wash several times in water, drying thoroughly
2. Remove pith and peel of three gamgyul, and cut the remaining two into 1 c.m. round shapes
3. Place all the gamgyul in a jar with the soju
4. Seal the jar and store in a shaded, aerated place
Tip: The more peel you use the bitterer the taste so increase or decrease to taste.
A spoon of baking powder
One cup of milk
A knob of butter
One cup of sugar
A pinch of cinnamon
1. Whisk egg whites, and whisk yolk with sugar and milk
2. Mix all together with the flour
3. Heat the butter in the pan and add the flour mix, making a round shape
4. Cut the gamgyul into chunks and boil down with sugar and cinnamon
5. Place boiled gamgyul on the pancake
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