Rain boosts demand for pancake stuff, instant ramen

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Rain boosts demand for pancake stuff, instant ramen

What do Koreans like to eat in the rainy season? First and foremost buchimgae, the pancake-like dish fried with varied ingredients such as meat, seafood and veggies.

According to the eBay-owned domestic online shopping mall Auction on Monday, sales of ready-to-serve buchimgae increased by a whopping 169 percent between June 23 and July 6 compared to the two weeks before. The average daily rainfall during that period was 17 millimeters (.67 inches), and some days saw more than 100 millimeters of heavy rain.

Consumers also bought more buchimgae-related ingredients. Sales of flour and frying mix rose 13 and 24 percent each, while cooking and olive oil increased by 62 and 35 percent. Sales of green onions and chives, which are popular vegetable for buchimgae, increased by 21 percent.

The weather also affected sales of instant noodles such as ramen, which rose 15 percent. Snacks including fish cake bars, called hot bars in Konglish, and nachos rose 16 percent. Chilly rainy days apparently drove customers to long for hot chocolate and coffee, whose sales rose 17 and 56 percent.

“Customers ordered foodstuffs from online malls even though they need to wait for delivery,” said Hong Sang-hoon, a manager of Auction. “The number of online shoppers increased due to the inconvenience of shopping during the rainy season.”

There are theories as to why Koreans eat pancakes when it rains. Some say that the sound of raindrops falling on roofs reminds them of buchimgae dough sizzling in oil. Others believe the amino acids and vitamin B in the flour combat the melancholy of such days.

BY LEE SO-AH [lee.dongeun@joongang.co.kr]
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