Farmers' Market Fetish: Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market, Korea

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Farmers' Market Fetish: Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market, Korea

Seogwipo is a beautiful city perched on the south coast of Jeju Island, South Korea’s answer to Hawaii. Famous for its black pig cooked over open charcoal, sweet citrus fruits and waterfalls, Seogwipo is also home to an enchanting indoor farmers’ market that stretches down city block after city block with produce, meat, fish and prepared foods.

The largest market in Seogwipo, Olle was started in the early 1960s and expanded in 2001 to be over 2,000 feet long. It is a major source of economy for locals.

Protected by a series of arcades that allow light to filter in, the Olle Market is on all day, rain or shine. Here you will find vendors gamely hawking their popcorn chicken, grandmas chopping fresh vegetables for kimchi, children running behind their mothers, scooters delivering shipments, and dogs chasing the scent of food. There is a free delivery service of certain goods, and a stage for entertainment during big festivals.

Dakota Kim is a food writer, gardener, mushroom hunter and burlesque producer living in Brooklyn. She likes to brew strange Korean medicinal teas and bake vegan desserts. She is currently working on a cookbook featuring burlesque performers called Bombshell Bakers. Tweet her @dakotakim1.