Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Korean cooking quests!

Three years back I did a post on real life influences on WoW locations. In the post I mentioned the asian influence of Darnassus, noting that the main gate of Darnassus was inspired by a historic gate in Seoul, Korea. Here's some more proof that the night elves are Korean!

So I know that the new cooking and fishing quests in Darnassus and Ironforge have been out a while. But I really have no need to do them anymore, so while I knew that they were there, I hadn't picked them up yet. Well this past weekend I was on when an alt of Buns' was doing the daily cooking quest on Darnassus. And OMG there was kimchi involved! So I had to research further.

There are five new cooking quests from Darnassus. Here is a link from the PTR that lists the quests since achievements will be added for them in 4.2. So let me break these quests down to give you in the down-low on the Korean bit.

The first one is the most obvious, The Secret to the Perfect Kimchi. I was so excited to get and do this quest!

Here's a screenshot from the kimchi jars you have to dig up:

The jars that kimchi are stored in are called onggi (which can also store other condiments). They are also not quite as small as in the quest. They are actually quite large. Here are a couple of pictures where I hope you can get a sense of their scale:

The next two quests are sort of related, Back to Basics and Remembering the Ancestors. They both deal with rice cakes, called duk in Korean, which are my absolute fave.

Now there are hundreds of different kinds of rice cakes. They are traditionally eaten on New Years Day, as well as celebrations such as weddings, birthdays, and Korean thanksgiving. Now in Back to Basics, the quest asks you to go help pound rice flour. Here's a pic of how it's really done:

In Remembering the Ancestors, the quest asks you to get some rice cakes then present them to the ancestors. Korean Jesa is a ceremony where you honor your ancestors. I actually grew up doing this regularly for my grandparents. There is more than just rice cakes on a jesa table. In the first pic, the rice cakes are on the upper right corner:

Ribs for the Sentinels, may not seem overtly Korean. But kalbi, Korean ribs, are a staple in Korean cooking. They are also very often eaten by cooking them yourself at the table. This is why when the quest asks you to cook them over an open fire, I was like OMG! Kalbi!

This leaves the last quest, Spice Bread Aplenty. This quest totally doesn't go with the others! It's not Korean! Where can I protest? I would like to suggest the quest be changed to gathering vegetables for japchae or bibimbap. But still, 4 out of the 5 Darnassus cooking quests scream Korean to me!

I think I'm going to try to hang out in Darnassus more. I forgot how much I love it there. Maybe its just that I feel at home with my Korean night elf brothers and sisters.


  1. The fancy hanboks you can buy in Moonglade are another example of Korean influences on Night Elf culture.

    Regarding the Spice Bread cooking daily -- Ironforge and Thunder Bluff also have one of those. I haven't seen one for Undercity yet, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. The grinding rice quest has an analogous grinding corn quest in Thunder Bluff.

  2. thanks for sharing about the Korean culture.

  3. so... I was doing research on this EXACT thing and came across this. Haha, seems not point in writing my article! Good job on this :)

    Question: I am beating my head against the wall trying to find a screen shot of a Korean flag-based necklace or trinket. There are a few of them out there and I just don't know the names of them. It's a simple icon showing the red and blue yingyang. Any ideas? summerdwalker@yahoo.com or www.theycallmesal.com