If you’re going to live in South Korea, you might as well reap the fruits of this beautiful country. And yes, I mean that quite literally.
There are several delicious fruits to buy in South Korea that will make perfect additions to your daily meal plan.
And while the cost of living in Korea is high, if you know the correct season to buy these fruits, you can get them at very affordable prices.
Some of these fruit varieties like the Chamoe and Korean pear are native to this country and are used extensively in many traditional Korean dishes.
So with these yummy fruits, you can try your hands at new Korean recipes too!
|Best Fruits To Buy In South Korea||Average Price (Per Kg)||Best Months To Buy|
|Mandarin||₩6,000-9,000||December – January|
|Korean Melon||₩5,000-8,000||June – July|
|Persimmons||₩2,000-4,000||Late October/Early November|
|Shine Muscat Grapes||₩26640||December|
Fruits To Buy In South Korea 2021
I have listed out some of the best fruits to buy in South Korea and what are the best seasons to buy them. Read on to know!
Best Season To Buy – December, January
Average Price – ₩6,000-9,000 per Kg
Mandarins are one of the best fruits to buy in South Korea as the ones in country are grown in Jeju island.
The soil of this island is rich in volcanic ash and minerals. The temperature is also very temperate, and all of this makes Korean mandarins very very tasty!
You’ll find that the mandarins from Jeju island have a lower acidic pH than others. They are also juicier, plumper, and sweeter than mandarins from around the world.
The best time to buy Korean mandarins is winter. This means the freshest fruits are available during the December and January months.
You can get two types of mandarin oranges varieties in Korea – Cheonhyehyang and Redhyang. Both of which are really yummy and sweet!
Mandarin oranges can stay fresh upto 14 days under refrigeration. So you can buy a whole bunch of it for your home without a worry.
Best Season To Buy – April
Average Price – ₩4,000-6,000 per month
Yes, yes, we know know it’s surprising to see tomatoes on here. But techically, tomato IS a fruit. And what’s more Koreans eat it like a fruit and not a vegetable.
Confused? Well, Korean cuisine doesn’t always include tomatoes in it’s cooked form like other cuisines do.
Here, tomatoes are either juiced like fruits, or eaten raw with a sprinkling of sugar. Now, don’t wrinkle your nose just yet!
These tomato snacks actually taste delicious. Koreans usually add honey or sugar to their tomato juice and it’s surprising yummy, not to mention healthy too.
You can find many varieties of tomatoes in South Korea – red, green, orange, etc.
These fruits are low on carbs and have an amazing amount of antioxidants, especially lycopene that is great for your skin. Now here’s another Korean skincare secret!
Best Season To Buy – March
Average Price – ₩20,000-25,000 per Kg
Strawberries are a bit on the pricey side in South Korea. If you’re going to buy one kilogram of strawberries at any time of the year, it might set you back anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 Korean won.
So if you’re craving some homemade strawberry jam, I suggest going to strawberry farms in the spring season.
These farms have strawberry picking activities where you can have fun and take home the bounty you’ve picked.
Some of the popular strawberry picking farms include Yangsu-ri farm, which is located in a place called Yangpyeong-gun at a 30 minutes distance from Seoul.
If you don’t want to do the travelling, try buying strawberries from local farmers who set up shops along the roads instead of supermarkets.
These will cost less and likely be fresher as they’ve come straight from farms.
Best Season To Buy – February
Average Price – ₩10,000-13,000 per Kg
If you’re from the US or Canada and are living in South Korea, pomegranates might give you a taste of home!
A bulk of the pomegranates in Korea are actually exported from North America. So you might end up paying 10,000 Korean won for a fruit that wouldn’t have cost you that much back home.
But hey, the nostalgia is worth it!
Also, pomegranates are super healthy as they are filled with antioxidants. If you ask Korean women the secret to their beauty, they’ll swear by pomegranate juice!
Related: Why Are Korean Girls So Pretty
Best Season To Buy – Late October/Early November
Average Price – ₩2,000-4,000 per Kg
In the west, fall is associated with pumpkins and spices, in South Korea, you’ll find this season is all about persimmons.
There are two types of persimmon varieties in Korea – red persimmons and orange persimmons.
The red ones are almost shaped like an acorn and are not as astringent on maturing. This means they are softer, pulpier and sweeter than the light orange ones which have a tart flavor.
Persimmons are very common in South Korea, and if you live in the countryside, you can simply pick the fallen ones off the ground.
There are also persimmon picking farms that are a major tourist attraction in the fall, similar to how strawberry farms are in the spring.
You can eat both varieties of persimmons freshly-picked or remove the skin to let them air dry.
Some traditional Korean recipes involve leaving persimmons to mature for 5-7 days before eating them.
Korean Melon (Chamoe)
Best Season To Buy – June/July
Average Price – ₩5,000-8,000 per week
Now here’s one of the most popular Korean fruits of summer! If you’re living in South Korea or vacationing there in the summer, do not forget to try the Chamoe or Korean melon.
Most of these melons are grown in the North Gyeongsang province located in the east end of Korea.
You can find the greenhouse-grown versions of these fruits all year round. But for the sweet, authentic taste, I definitely recommend buying it in the summer months of June and July.
These fruits are rich in minerals like potassium and taste naturally sweet. So they are often used as dessert substitutes by health-conscious people.
Best Season To Buy – October
Average Price – ₩3,000-5,000 per Kg
Like persimmons, the Korean pears are the top autumn fruits in Korea. If you are brushed up on your knowledge of Korean traditions, you’ll know that these fruits are a major part of the Chuseok ceremony.
In this festival, a table full of traditional foods are laid out to honor the ancestors, and Korean pears are an important part of this picture.
Korean pears are also used in several local hangover remedies. So if you’re planning to binge on the Soju at night, it’s best to keep some pears handy for the morning!
Grapes (Shine Muscat and Campbell Early Varieties)
Best Season To Buy –
Average Price – ₩26640 per Kg (Shine Muscat)
Grapes are among the top winter fruits in Korea. There are two types of grapes that are popular here – the Shine Muscat and Campbell Early.
If you like Instagram pictures of food, then you might have seen the large, globular green grapes which are the Shine Muscat variety.
They are super expensive and are grown in the North Gyeongsang Province in Korea. Shine Muscat grapes are known for having a musky flavor to them.
But these are not the only grapes that are available in this country. The Campbell Early is a type of sweet, black grape variety that is very popular.
These are rich in antioxidants, minerals like potassium, and vitamins. What’s intriguing about these grapes is that they contain very few seeds.
Campbell Early grapes also make the ingredients list of many beauty products.
Best Season To Buy – March-May
Average Price – ₩10,000-15,000
Is this an orange? Is this a mandarin? Is there a difference between the two? And the answer to all these questions is yes, yes, and yes.
The Hallabong as it’s known in South Korea is actually a fruit called dekopon, which is a hybrid between a variety of mandarin and oranges.
Its name is derived from the Hallasan mountain in the Jeju island where it is traditionally grown.
You can easily identify a Hallabong orange from regular oranges and mandarins by the bulky, top knot-like portion on this fruit.
It’s very sweet to taste and rich in vitamin C.
Best Season To Buy – Late Summer (August)
Average Price – ₩15,000-20,000
Best Season To Buy – September
Average Price – ₩4,000-6,000
Best Season To Buy – May
Average Price – ₩5,000-7,000
Fruits not only add flavor to different Korean recipes, they are also packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
If you’re planning to live in South Korea, it’s best to know what fruits and vegetables are available in what season, so you can get them without burning a hole through your pockets.
With this list of fruits to buy in South Korea, you can get your yummy fruits that are common favorites and special Korean delicacies to add to your recipes.
Plus, you can get them guilt-free as they are super healthy too!