Fastidious Choice of Smart Consumers, Oriental Natural Chips
Nowadays consumers feel uneasy about processed foods that contain a lot of chemical additives, artificial colors, and food preservatives. In addition, the demand for reliable healthy snacks for children is increasing among young mothers. Here is a reliable snack for smart and fastidious consumers. Oh Hee-sook’s traditional bugak embodies the concept of a traditional food recreated for the tastes of modern people.
Bugak is a traditional Korean food made of mountain herbs or seaweed. The process of making bugak is as follows: natural ingredients are covered with glutinous rice starch and left to dry. Then, they are fried in oil. Whenever there are family events such as holidays or weddings, bugak is served as a side dish or accompaniment to alcoholic drinks.
Traditional Bugak Made by a Famous Master of Traditional Korean Food
The President of Sky Bio Co., Ltd. and traditional Korean food expert Oh Hee-sook has turned bugak into a commercial product and is actively selling it at home and abroad. Oh Hee-sook was designated as the Korean Food Master No.25 by the Korean government in 2004.
Knitted a Bond with Bugak by Tying the Knot with a Man from Papyeong Yoon Clan
Bugak became an important part of Mrs. Oh’s life when she got married into the head family of the Papyeong Yoon clan (in South Gyeongsang Province) in 1977. She learned how to cook gourmet meals for the noble family from her mother-in-law, who was renowned for her excellent cooking skills. Mrs. Oh recollects, “We had a lot of household events because we were the head family. Naturally, our house was always full of guests. We served bugak made of in-season ingredients and they liked it a lot.”
Efforts to Commercialize Bugak since 1992
Many people who fell in love with Mrs. Oh’s bugak recommended that she start selling it. Finally, she launched the bugak-producing company Sanejayeon in 1992. At that time, her husband, who worked in a trading company, often gave bugak made by Ms. Oh to foreign buyers as a gift. Their praise also served as encouragement for her endeavor. Mrs. Oh concentrated her efforts on unearthing and recreating from old books the traditional methods of making bugak.
She currently holds 14 patents related to bugak and sells 25 bugak products. Seaweed bugak, for example, is made with different kinds of seaweed (laver, sea mustard, and kelp). There are also other bugak products made of natural ingredients such as ginseng, codonopsis lanceolata, burdock, carrot, red pepper, pumpkin and so on. In spite of the high price, the products are selling well in the department stores and big supermarkets of Korea. On the wings of skyrocketing recognition, Oh Hee-sook’s bugak is now supplied for school food service and actively sold through the internet.
Gaining Popularity in Other Countries Including the US
The traditional bugak products made by food master Oh Hee-sook are getting popular overseas.
They are actively exported to Japan, the US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mongolia, Canada, and many other countries. That is a result of her efforts to promote the product. Every year she participates in over ten international food fairs. At the 40th LA Korean American Festival and Korean Agri-Products Expo held last September, she signed an export contract for over USD$10 million worth of bugak products with JAYONE FOODS, Inc.
The deal will offer a good opportunity for Oh Hee-sook’s bugak to enter the mainstream food distributors in the US such as Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Food Market.
Overseas Buyers Praise Bugak as a Healthy Snack
Mrs. Oh says, “Many foreign buyers give a favorable response to our bugak products. They say there is no snack like bugak anywhere else in the world. They praise bugak because it keeps the natural shape, taste, and nutrition of the ingredients and does not use any food additives.”
Mrs. Oh has a longtime dream of making bugak a worldwide snack by restoring and continuing the tradition of this once-endangered Korean food. We hope her dream will come true soon.
The Secrets of the Taste of Bugak Made by Master Oh Hee-s00k
1. The Best Ingredients
To produce a good product one needs to use good ingredients. Sky Bio Co., Ltd. has built its processing facilities in major agri-product production areas: Gokseong of South Jeolla Province (a major producer of seaweed, famous for Goheung laver and Wando kelp) and Jinju of South Gyeongsang Province (a major producer of fresh agricultural foods such as Milyang sesame leaves and Jinju persimmons).
2.Use of Glutinous Rice Starch Made with Natural Stock
The glutinous rice starch is made from natural stock that contains anchovy, kelp, shrimp powder, garlic, onion, and several other ingredients. Glutinous rice is then added to the stock and the glutinous rice starch is ready. The ratio of the ingredients in the stock depends on the main ingredient of the product - seaweed, kelp, sea mustard, and so on.
3. Patented Ultra-Thin Coating Technology
The secret of the crispiness of Sky Bio’s bugak is the usage of the patented ultra-thin coating technique. Oh Hee-sook’s bugak doesn’t get soggy easily at a room temperature because the invisible layer protects it from the moisture in the air.
What Does “Traditional Korean Food Master” Mean?
The Korean government directly authenticates the experts who possess manufacturing techniques of Korean traditional food. These masters only use 100 percent Korean ingredients and have to have been using an original traditional food making technique (production, processing, and/or cooking) for over 20 years. Currently, there are 44 Korean traditional food masters in Korea.
Inquiries Sky Bio Co., Ltd.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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