Ask most any Korean and they will tell you the same thing: Jeollanam-do is superior when it comes to food. It is the “rice basket” of the country providing a great deal of Korea’s food. Traveling through this province you are greeted with plots and plots of rice fields, gardens right in the center of a major apartment complexes and the most women permanantly bent over at the waist after years and years of hard labor. Their commitment to food production is hard to miss when you are in Jeollanam-do.
It seems that the people that grow the food in Korea also prepare it better than anyone else. Almost every time we travel outside our province we are met with inferior, and oftentimes, more expensive food. Whenever we travel outside of Jeollanam-do we find ourselves anxious to return home to the carefully prepared, delicious and local food. It is much easier on the wallet and much, much better than anything you can find in any other province.
Green tea from Boseong, octopus in Mokpo, fish stews from Gwangju, kimchi in Suncheon, seafood in Yeosu, pears from Naju, seafood on the southern islands. Unbelievable.
One Korean said of Jeollanam-do food: “The food of Jeollanam-do was famous for it’s ‘art of taste’ from long time ago. There’s a saying that good sound comes from good food. It’s the motive power of pansori culture of Jeonnam. The taste is brought by the blessed natural conditions and generious mind of people of Jeonnam.”
I’d say that’s right.