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The Whole Family Enjoys the Picnic Food Milssam

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Starting in early summer in June, many Koreans go on a picnic to the hills and green fields. When Koreans in former times went on a picnic, they never left out Milssam, a well known traditional Korean food. Milssam is also the most delicious seasonal food in the summer. It is made by rolling up meats, cucumber, and mushroom garnished with egg yellow/white in thin wheat flour pancakes and then cut into round pieces.

Gujeolpan (a platter of nine delicacies), a kind of Milssam, is a good picnic dish as it serves several foods at the same time. Gujeolpan was originally the name of platter, but it later became the name of the food itself. Gujeolpan is the name of the nine sectioned platter which has eight different vegetables and meats placed in each section, and wheat flour pancake is in the center.     

Milssam is a very nutritious food. In it there are five essential nutrients: the wheat flour pancake contains carbohydrate, the meats and egg garnish are rich in protein, the vegetable oil for stir-frying the foods has fats, and the various vegetables and mushroom contain vitamins and minerals. So Milssam is the best healthy food regarding taste, nutrition, and visual effects.

From olden times, the Korean ancestors often prayed for the mercy of a simple meal with no frills. So they enjoyed eating Ssam (rice and condiments wrapped in leaves of lettuce, cabbage, sesame, or other greens) such as ‘Bokssam (wrap Bok - good fortune in English)’ and ‘Myeongssam (wrap Myeong - life in English - for good health and a long life).’

Milssam means julienne foods such as vegetables and meats rolled up in wheat flour pancake and eaten wrapped tasting of the freshness of early summer. Especially, the wheat flour tastes good in summer because the smell of the wheat is not so good in winter when it is cold and chilly wind blow all about. Sauces such as mustard or Chojang (red chili-pepper paste with vinegar) added to the mixed crispy vegetables and meats of Milssam stimulate the appetite and make the mouth water.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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