K-drama for Foodies: Dae Jang Geum
Sunnie and I met and started dating in grad school. Dae Jang Geum (aka the Jewel in the Palace) was my first introduction to Korean dramas, and it totally grabbed me, and I mean in a big way. We now refer to that month as the lost month, as we watched all 54 episodes in about three weeks.
Dae Jang Geum was hugely popular in Korea as well as much of Asia. The story follows the title character, Jang Geum, in her quest to be a royal cook in the palace of King Jungjong during the Joseon era. It’s loosely based on an actual historical figure.
Dae Jang Geum really showcases the tradition of historical Korea, particularly the food. A large theme is the connection between food and health, a message we firmly embrace here!
Great acting, good music, drool-inducing food, nefarious villains, and the ultimate determination of the Jang Geum to persevere in the face of injustice. This is still firmly entrenched in my top 5 kdramas of all time ( Coffee Prince, Dae Jang Geum, Autumn Tale, Brilliant Legacy, You’re Beautiful, more on this list in a later post) and you’ll still hear mention in current kdramas or reality shows of someone being called a Dae Jang Geum.
Check out the opening credits:
And you can watch the whole series at Drama Fever: http://www.dramafever.com/drama/19/1/Jewel_in_the_Palace/
We’re such Dae Jang Geum fans that we even visited one of the sets during our honeymoon in Jeju:
Notice the pre-vegan belly on me in the above picture. More evidence of the positives of a vegan diet! 😉