Thursday, July 22, 2021

[Food] Hodugwaja (Walnut Cake, 호두과자)


[Food] Hodugwaja (Walnut Cake, 호두과자)

Hodugwaja is a very popular and friendly snack (and cake) in Korea today that you can find at every express highway rest area. It has a hard and crispy outside, but soft and sweet red bean paste with crunchy walnut.

Walnut originates from Iran. It was imported to China by Zhang Qian (China's famous traveler) and passed to Korea in 1320. Mr. Cheong-Shin Yoo, who was a royal trading officer in the Goryeo dynasty, brought walnut to Korea and planted it in today's Cheonan city. That is how Cheonan became so famous for walnut cake.

The couple Mr. Gui-Geum Joh and Mrs. Bok-Soon Shim, who opened a bakery in Cheonan, wanted to invent bread that used Cheonan city's special product for customers who visited their bakery for a cup of tea. That's how hodugwaja was birthed in Korea.

Freshly baked hodugwaja

Hodugwaja gift box

Bakers usually fill hodugwaja with sweet and red/white paste from red bean, with a piece of walnut. But today, they use  variety of fillings such as custard cream, chocolate, cream cheese, fruit paste/cream etc.

Anyway, hodugwaja has become a very common sweet snack that you can find on the express highway, which people still love for its sweet, savory and crunchy taste.

A hodugwaja shop in the express highway rest area

So, if you have the chance to go to any express highway in Korea, visit any rest area and try hodugwaja :) It will 'sweeten up' the boredom spent in the car.

Bon Appétit! 

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