Hwagwaja - 화과자 by Paris Baguette

My memory card reader broke last week and not until yesterday that a very kind man from Yongin (Nandida's friend) bought it for me along with a pack of 화과자. I once told him that I love eating Korean rice cake but he couldn't get hold of one yesterday and gave me 화과자 instead.

This was my first time eating 화과자 and it reminded me so much of Japanese desserts - wagashi.

These are some excerpts taken from Arirang about 화과자 :

Hwagwaja is a delicious dessert made from rice in Korea. Hwagwajas have been one of Korea's favorite desserts since the 1960's and has become a popular Chuseok (Korea's Thanksgiving Holiday) gift. The luxurious desserts were served in palaces and enjoyed by royalty.

According to Lee Hee-gyeong, L Department Store] ''Hwagwaja are soft rice cakes made from glutinous rice. There are 6~7 different types of fillings. The four seasons are the theme of the decorations.''

Hwagwaja originated in Japan and were first introduced to Korea in 1910. The colorful decorations are based on the four seasons. The beautiful desserts have become popular gifts for the holidays once again. The delicate decorations are done by hand.

''There are chestnut and peach shapes. Hwagwaja are decorated differently according to the season and can be made into different shapes.''
Hwagwaja must be delivered the day they are made. They're delivered in half a day to southern provinces and in 3 hours in Seoul.

Freshness is the number one rule. Making fast deliveries is just as important as making the hwagwaja.
''It tastes like pumpkin and it's very chewy.''

For me, sweet desserts are like blessing here in Jinbu because we rarely consume sugar. I'm becoming sugarless but never will I be slimmer. ^^

Paris Baguette sells 20 pieces for 16,000 won.