Insam Festival

After our tour of Wine Korea, we stopped at the Geumsan Insam Festival.  Insam is the Korean word for ginseng.  Ginseng is a popular herb available in many different forms such as liquid extracts, powders, and capsules.  White Ginseng is ginseng that has been peeled and dried.  Red Ginseng is the same ginseng but left unpeeled and steamed before drying.

Ginseng is reported to have many physical and mental benefits.  It is typically used to improve such things as athletic performance, mental sharpness, and life span.  It is also used to prevent diseases and to treat various ailments such as headache, fever, asthma, and even cancer.

To read more about ginseng, visit a website such as

There were buildings of vendors selling ginseng products including supplements, teas, and candies.  Some bottles of red ginseng extract were hundreds of dollars!  We were handed samples at many of the booths we walked past.  I personally think that ginseng tastes like dirt but it's supposed to have amazing health benefits.  Johnnie and I must have consumed enough ginseng at the festival to add years to our life :)

Red ginseng foot baths...

Ginseng candy making and ginseng seed planting...

Singers and dancers performing on stage...

A somewhat disturbing street performer...

There were food vendors selling Korean food and snacks throughout the festival.  We tried some ginseng tea (yuck) and we ate some fried ginseng which was surprisingly tasty.  The thin parts of the root tasted like ginseng but the thick part tasted more like a potato.

Whole ginseng roots are often kept in jars or bottles of soju liquor or rice wine, infusing the alcohol with ginseng.  We've seen this at restaurants and bars and we tried it once... it's not an enjoyable drink.

Peeled white ginseng...

Yay for ginseng!!

"I'm not sure that ginseng is any better for you or me than a carrot,
but just in case the Chinese are right, I grow it in my garden.  I stick
a root in a jug of gin and call it Old Duke's Gin and Ginseng."
~James Duke, USDA botanist

No comments:

Post a Comment