Refined Colors, Sweet Tastes – Han Gwa (Korean Sweets)
The history of traditional Korean sweets, or Hangwa, is deelply related to the cultural practice of ancestral rites. In seasons when no fresh fruits were available, fruit-shaped sweets were made from powdered grain and honey. The branches from these fruits were added to the dish before it was placed on ancestral rite table. During the Joseon Dynasty, whenever a banquet was held at the royal court, confectioneries such as Yakgwa (deep-fried honey cookies), Dasik (tea confectionary), or Gangjeong (deep-fried sweet rice puffs) were piled high on the banquet table. This practice was called ‘Goinda’ (verb, meaning ‘stack up high’ (noun: Goim) and an average of 24 different kinds of Hangwa were piled as tall as 55 centimeters to create an imposing banquet table.