Mobility then and now

Een blogbericht in het Engels deze keer:   Yugwa_2 I lived in Pusan, South Korea in the 1980’s and once a year our neighborhood sounded like a canon was going off every three minutes or so. Ka-Booom! Outside lots of people gathered around an old rusty looking thing on wheels that resembled some sort of mini-tank.  It was a mobile rice popper. Quite a contraption. Women and children would flock around it  bringing their portions of rice or corn to be popped. It was, what I remember, around Chusok, a Korean harvest festival, in september when (among many other things) the airy and sweet popped rice snacks called yugwa were made. The popped rice would be crushed and a layer of this  would cover an airy, sweet, honey tasting inside.   Very nice and festive. (On Wikipedia I just read that the proces of making them was very complicated). The enormous explosion each time was one of the great attractions for many of the kids around. After all the neighborhood ladies had their grains popped, the adjessi’s would move on to the next place, all around town. With their machines on hand drawn carts. A mobile machine, but with a lot of manpower on the side. I found a nice description of the working of the equipment by a Chinese man from Taiwan who revisited his hometown. The picture is his as well.

When I was a little boy, we used to gather around a vendor who came to our small community once every few weeks, set up this machine and a stand and began popping rice. The machine looked primitive and it was. A small amount of rice goes into the opening. The lid was closed air tight. The cast iron drum was then rotated over fire (from burning coal) for about 10 minutes which increased the temperature and pressure inside the drum. The drum was then removed from the fire and the seal was forced opened using a wrench. The sudden release of pressure generated a very loud boom to the amazement of the kids. It also released a cloud of gas and steam and popped the rice grains to about 10 to 15 times of its original size into a bag or some kind of container. It was puffy, slightly sweet and had the smell and taste of slightly burned rice at the bottom of a rice cooker. ricepopper

The reason I remember this, is a ‘novelty’ that was shown on Dutch TV recently. Instead of bringing the fruit harvest of pears and apples to a press far away, there is now this truck coming to the people. It tours the orchard areas where apples are harvested. It carries a state-of -the- art apple pressing machine. In go dozens of kilo’s of apples and out comes clear applejuice. No banging booms. Just a smooth running machine. No novelty this mobile convenience. It takes a little less manpower. But just like in Korea in the old days,  it attracts many people which makes it just as social as the ancient popper in the ’80’s!

Auteur: Margreet

Ik vind het heerlijk om te peinzen over de dingen van alledag, de grote en de kleine. Mijn interesses? Lezen, gesprekken met vrienden en kinderen, koken, tweedehands spulletjes zoeken, films kijken, mijn kleinkinderen, mijn Amerikaanse en Franse familie, te veel om op te noemen. Het volle, rijke, soms moeilijke leven met zijn ups en downs, daarover schrijf ik, met plezier.

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