Are you wondering about the names of 과일 (Gwa il) or fruits in Korean? If you are, then you landed on the right post! In today’s blog, we will walk you through the standard translations for some of the most popular fruits in Korea. If you are ready for that, then continue reading below!
South Korea is indeed an incredible place to visit. Aside from the rich culture, delicious Korean food, and high-quality products, it is also a home for delicious fruits like berries, citrus, and other seasonal fruits. You mostly see these fruits incorporated in their desserts like cakes, bingsu, and even their famous omelet bread.
What Is The Most Abundant Fruit In Korea?
Apples (사과 – Sagwa) are the most abundant, widespread, and widely consumed fruits in Korea. The first thing that most often springs to mind when thinking about fruits during fall is those delicious, bright, red apples, which you can harvest yourself if you join tours in the countryside.
South Korea has a unique climate that people enjoy. But, in terms of fruits, having this kind of climate is challenging for fruit growers and farmers. This is why fruits in the country are expensive even though they have an abundant supply. Despite the difficulty in growing, fruits found in this country are still as delicious and high-quality as ever. This makes Korean fruits expensive when sold overseas.
Fun fact: many fruits grown in Korea are hybrids, meaning they were created by crossing two different fruit kinds. Because of this, fruits have unique tastes and textures that is why they are expensive when they are in high-end stores. But, if you’re really into Korean fruits, then you can go to the markets found in every city where they sell them in large quantities.
Like in most countries, the availability of fruits depends on the season. Of course, there are fruits available year-round, but it’s nice to know what fruits you can specifically find during different seasons.
Spring To Summer (March To August)
During this time, the locals eat fruits before, during, and after meals to beat the heat. When these seasons are approaching South Korea, cherries, cherry tomatoes, clementines, and kiwis are the typical fruits you’ll see. Watermelon and Kyoho grapes are also abundant, but they are more expensive.
From Fall To Winter (September To February)
This season is full of Korean pears that are perfect to partner with Korean BBQ meat and raw fish. If you take a walk in the wet markets, you’ll see a lot of locals selling fresh fruit juices like pomegranates and fruit-ades. Whole strawberries are also in-demand during these seasons.
Availability Of Korean Fruits Per Month
|July||Campbell Early Grapes|
Common Fruits In Korean Language
Fruits have a lot of health benefits and are way more delicious than vegetables that’s why people, even kids, love fruits. The Korean word for fruit is 과일 (Gwa il), but that is just one of the vocabulary about fruits in the Korean language that we will learn. Below is a vocabulary list of fruits in the Korean language. You will also learn about these fruits and their significance in Korean society.
English Translation: Apple
Of course, when we talk about fruits in Korean, we need to start with apples! How do you say apple in Korean? It’s pretty easy: 사과 (Sagwa).
Apples are indeed one of the most important fruits in Korean culture. You can see them on important Korean occasions and holidays, such as Chuseok. In fact, during these times, you can see apples in fancy boxes because they actually give them as gifts. Because of the demands, apples have varying prices. One of the reasons apples are expensive in South Korea is that they are domestically grown.
English Translation: Korean Melon
The Korean Melon 참외 (Chamoe) is also known as the oriental melon. It is one of the most valued fruits in Korean society. Korean Melon is bright yellow, and striped melon is mainly grown in South Korea. This fruit is exceptionally cheap in South Korea.
If you’re interested in tasting this Korean fruit, locals describe it to taste like a mix of cucumber and honeydew melon. Some also say that it tastes like a pear. But, you know what’s a great idea? Try it yourself and see who got it right.
English Translation: Korean Pear
Korean Pear 배 (Bae) is a large round fruit that grows across Asia. It is also known as the Japanese, Asiatic, and Chinese Pair. Frequently, people refer to this fruit as “apple-pear” because of its crunchy, crisp, juicy texture and flavor. Did you know that In South Korea, there’s this city named Naju where people famously grow pears? In fact, they have the Naju Pear Museum and pear orchard that are open to tourists.
Korean pear tastes like a mix of pear and apple. These are served freshly sliced. In Korea, they use this fruit in Bulgogi as a sweetener and softening agent.
English Translation: Korean Blackberry / Korean Bramble
Korean blackberry or 복분자 (Bokbunja) is a kind of blackberry that can grow in South Korea, Japan, and China. This fruit is usually fermented to produce Korean fruit wine called bokbunja ju.
English Translation: Magnolia Berry
Have you ever heard about the magnolia vine plant? It is a plant native to Southern China, the Korean peninsula, and the far eastern part of Russia. This is important because it is an essential part of our lesson about fruits in Korean. In both China and Korea, this plant produces a berry known as the ‘five flavor fruit.’ This name came from the five different flavors possessed by berries – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and pungency. If you have ever gotten a chance to see this fruit, it has a bright red color. Koreans also use this to make a tea called omija cha.
English Translation: Tangerine
Another popular Korean fruit is the Tangerine or 귤 (Gyul). This fruit can be found in almost many parts of the world, but the tangerines are grown in Jeju Island, South Korea. The most common variety of tangerines that grows on this island is the Noji variety which doesn’t need too much cultivation and care. It just grows naturally. Did you know that Korean experts said that the weather in this location is perfect to grow sweet and tender tangerines that you can’t find in any grocery outside South Korea?
English Translation: Persimmon
Persimmon or 감 (Gam) is a fruit grown in East Asian countries. It is a bright orange fruit and has a honey-like flavor that is sweet and rich. It is usually cultivated during the Fall season. Koreans also have different ways to enjoy this fruit. They use this to make traditional teas, and they also eat it after preserving it for 3-5 days.
English Translation: Green Plums
Korean green plums or 매실 (Maesil) is a fruit used in a variety of traditional and ethnic culinary methods. You might have heard it with its other name, Chinese plums or Japanese apricots. This fruit grows on a variety of East Asian plum flowering trees. Koreans also used this to make honey plum tea and Korean plum syrup.
English Translation: Dekopon (A Citrus Hybrid/Jeju Citrus)
The Dekopon or 한라봉 (Hallabong) is a citrus hybrid that tastes like Mandarin. It began growing in Jeju Island in 1998. What’s interesting about this fruit is that its flavor is versatile and it goes with many other flavors. South Koreans enjoy this in sweet desserts and fancy cafe drinks.
English Translation: Yuzu
The Yuzu fruit or 유자 (Yuja) is a citrus fruit that grows in South Korea. It looks like a small grapefruit and it has a distinctive flavor of lemon mixed with grapefruit and lime. The skin of this fruit is uneven and yellow when it is ripe. This fruit can’t be found in the US because importing this is actually illegal.
Other Fruits In The Korean Language
Now that you have learned about the basic fruits in Korean, here are more fruits in Korean that you can add to your vocabulary.
Other Related Words To Fruits In Korean
|Hangul (Korean)||Romanization||English Translation|
|과일 주스||gwail juseu||fruit juice|
|열대 과일||yeoldae gwail||tropical fruit|
|재배하다||jaebaehada||to cultivate, to grow crops|
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