Han-Gwa – Korea Traditional Confectionary (Part 2)


Hangwa is a general term for Korean traditional confectionery. Common ingredients in hangwa are grain flour, honey, yeot, sugar, fruit or edible root.

Types of hangwa

  • Yumilgwa(유과): made by frying and kneading.
  • Yakgwa, literally “medicinal confectionery” is a flower shape biscuit made of honey, sesame oil and wheat flour.
  • Suksilgwa (숙실과), made by boiling fruits, ginger, or nuts in water and then reformed into the original fruit’s shape, or other shapes.
  • Gwapyeon (과편), jelly-like confection made by boiling sour fruits, starch, and sugar.
  • Dasik (다식), literally “tea snack.” It is made by kneading rice flour, honey, and various types of flour from nuts, herbs, sesame, or jujube.
  • Yeot (엿): a Korean traditional candy in liquid or solid form made from steamed normal rice, glutinous rice, glutinous kaoliang, corn, sweet potatoes or mixed grains. The steamed ingredients are lightly fermented and boiled in a large pot called sot (솥) for a long time.
  • Yeot gangjeong (엿강정) : Pine nuts, peanuts, popped rice, walnuts, roasted beans or sesame seeds rolled in yeot mixture
  • Jeonggwa (정과) : Sugarized fruit, ginger, lotus root, carrot or ginseng
  • Mandugwa (만두과) : stuffed with a sweetened filling and coated with jocheong, or liquid candy.

Etymology

The word has two components: han and gwa. Gwa means “confectionery”. Sources disagree in their interpretation of han in this word, that is, whether it means “Korean” and whose hanja is or the one that means “Chinese” and whose hanja is . Most sources, such as several major commercial online dictionaries and encyclopedias, interpret hangwa as “韓菓” (“Korean confectionery”), counterpart of yanggwa (洋果), Western confectionery.[1][2] Contrariwise, the internet edition of a standard dictionary by the National Institute of the Korean Language, South Korea‘s official language regulating body, has “漢菓”[3] (literally “Chinese confectionery”) with a definition that differs from the one given in other sources and this article, calling it a kind of yumilgwa, which is also variety of Korean confectionery, instead of the other way around. This dictionary makes no mention of “韓菓”, whether as an alternative hanja spelling or in a separate entry.[4]

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