- Mandarin Picking in Jeju
Winter season in Jeju is nothing like cold, windy and snowy. In winter Jeju bears its biggest mandarin harvest time and an image of a sunny orange tree though unusual still is the best imaginary to describe Jeju during this time of the year.
Jeju has been famous for its mandarin oranges for quite some time. Even from several hundred years ago there are still royal records remaining about mandarin tributes from Jeju for the king. No wonder that Jeju mandarins have such an old history when the oldest mandarin tree in Jeju still bearing fruit is 300 years old!
In the past, Jeju mandarins were considered to be a royal food and even though locals did grew a lot, but rarely a commoner could have a taste of it. Nowadays the situation has changed and everyone can taste what Jeju gyul (mandarin) are like. And there is quite a lot of tasting to be done because in the island there are more than 40 different types of mandarins being produced.
There is a whole museum dedicated to Jeju mandarin history in Seogwipo. In the museum you can also see all those 40 types of gyul that are being grown in the Island. From the ones that were popular in Joseon to the ones developed to be even tastier now.
Despite the tasting there is one more experience related to mandarins everyone has to try. It’s not so common to find so many orange trees elsewhere so coming to Jeju and spending several hours in a gyul farm might be your type of vacation experience.
Experiencing what mandarin farming is like is getting trendier and trendier every year with farm owners offering not only picking up the fruits, but also sorting it, making juice or jams, using mandarins in different dishes or making an art piece from the fruit itself! It might seem like an easy task at first but as every other craft mandarin farming has its own special traits and skills needed. Spending a day at a mandarin farm will definitely not be a tiresome or boring activity. And just think about all the mandarins you can eat freely during that day!