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Why Tteok (Rice Cake) for a Conventional Korean First Birthday Celebration?

Tteok (rice cake) is one of the most important components of a traditional Korean first birthday celebration. Korean rice cakes come in many shapes and forms and are eaten as a hearty meal or dessert. For a traditional Korean first birthday, tteok is made from rice flour that’s crushed, shaped, and steamed into candy.

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Tteok can range from elaborate versions in many different colors and shapes with fruits, bean paste, fruits, and nuts. Other popular ingredients that we’ve seen are sesame seeds and honey.

Today we like to focus on the aesthetics and taste of tteok, forgetting the origin of why we served tteok at a Korean first birthday celebration. In Korean culture, tteok is a food that is meant to be shared with family and friends during celebrations. It is also placed on the Dolsang table, which symbolizes a sacrifice to the spirits that bring good luck and blessings.

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