Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anheung Jjinbbang (Anheung)

It all started outside of the village, quite far beyond the bridge, on road 42 in the direction of Hoengseong : a house facing a vast plain covered with fields.

"Anheung Jjinbbang" opened another shop in front of the Myeon Office (Township), probably to maintain a presence in a "maeul" transformed in Jjinbbang Land : about every other house in Anheung sells steamed buns.

But people are only queuing for the original one, which made the place famous... and I guess the family rich, judging by their parking lot on route 42 and the line at the Myeon Office, like in front of a Village theater in NYC. But the movie marquee keeps advertising the same blockbuster : Route 42, Bun To Be Wild, a.k.a. your classic jjinbbang filled with red bean.

It goes in a few bites and it's only for the pick-up, but Seoulites stay in line for over one hour on Sunday afternoons, on they way back to the Capital.

The staff keeps preparing 6 large plates every 20 mn, each plate the equivalent of 3 boxes tops, because here you buy it by boxes of 20 (KRW 7,000). And one single customer can leave with a 5-storey tower in his arms : two boxes for the family, one for the neighbor, another as a trophy for collegues stuck in the city... and one for the road.

The same guy probably never purchases more than one jjinbbang in a week (heck, more likely than not not more than 3 during a whole year), but nobody seems to complain. This "jjinbbang village" is a touristic attraction and this very place an institution.

I gave up after the 4th one on the way back, but I went that far only because the traffic made the trip last for 4 hours.

Anheung Jjinbbang / 안흥찐빵 (snack)
Anheung-ri, Anheung-myeon, Hoengseong-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea 225-821
342.4570

Seoul Village 2009

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