Food - Drink
The Birthday Feast Korean Royals Ate During The Joseon Dynasty
Royalty and nobility have a history of partaking in extravagant celebrations that commoners can only dream of, including Korean nobles of the Joseon dynasty. According to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Courier, Korean royals celebrated birthdays with grand banquets that cost around $980,000 in today’s money.
Per the Journal of Ethnic Foods, these 1392 to 1910-era banquets featured noodle and dumpling dishes, soups, pancakes, sashimi, and more. One surprise from the journal's research was the number of desserts present; the wide range of rice cakes and traditional sweets served show that sweets were viewed as an important luxury.
Desserts included steamed rice cakes, oil and honey pastries, gangjeong (rice puffs), tea confectionery, fruits, and more. Visitors to Seoul today can take part in reenactments of royal banquets in the famed Gyeongbokgung Palace, so if you’re a foodie, travel enthusiast, or history buff, this might be worth the trip.