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About Yeongdeok Snowcrab

Origin of Yeongdeok Snowcrab, World-renowned Attraction

Origin of Yeongdeok Snowcrab, World-renowned Attraction From the antecedents surrounding Yeongdeok Snowcrab, there is a historical record where Yeongdeok Snowcrab with exceptional flavor and scent was served at a royal table for Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo when he went on his first patrol in the region of Yeju (current Yeonghae-myeon) in the 14th year of Taejo’s reign (the year of 931 AD)...

Antecedent
01
Yeongdeok Snowcrab with a Thousand Years of History Ever since Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo had the first taste of Yeongdeok Snowcrab at current Chayu Village, Gyeongjeong-ri, Chuksan-myeon in the year 930, Yeongdeok Snowcrab had been the official gift for king for a royal table throughout the Joseon Dynasty period...

“Yang Chon Jib” authored by Gwon Geun (a scholar and politician in the late Goryeo Dynasty) offers the following story: “In 930, Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo decidedly defeated the Gyeonhwon’s army at Seowon, Byeongsan near the Hahoe Folk Village, Andong, and community leaders in the Andong region at the time as well as the Park families of Yeonghae overseeing Yeonghae-bu helped Wang Geon winning the battle. In return for their assistance, Wang Geon stopped by Yeonghae and Yeongdeok on his way to Gyeongju, and such route made by Wang Geon has long been well documented in the region of Yeju, the current Yeonghae region. It is believed that Wang Geon had his first taste of Yeongdeok Snowcrab at the current Chayu Village, Gyeongjeong-ri, Chuksan-myeon. Recognized of its unparalleled flavor and quality, Yeongdeok Snowcrab solidified its place at the royal table for king from the Goryeo Dynasty throughout the Joseon Dynasty

Antecedent
02
Chayu Village, Original Town of Snowcrab While patrolling through the jurisdiction of Gyeongjeong-ri, Chuksan-myeon in the 2nd year of the reign of King Chungmok, the 29th throne of Goryeo, Jeong Bang Pil, the first Yeonghae Busa (governor of Yeonghae), had an opportunity to taste Yeongdeok Snowcrab from the dish presented by the village folks and immediately fell in love with its flavor...

Chayu Village located at Gyeongjeong 2-ri, Chuksan-myeon, Gyeongsangbuk-do is well known as the “Birthplace of Yeongdeok Snowcrab.” The history behind how Chayu-ri became the birthplace of Yeongdeok Snowcrab unfolds as follows: Jeong Bang Pil, the first Yeonghae Busa (governor of Yeonghae), took the office and went on a tour of examination over his jurisdiction, including this very town producing snowcrab, a natural community at today’s Gyeongjeong-ri, Chuksan-myeon. Ever since his visit, the town was named ‘Chayu (‘Cha’ stands for wagon, and ‘Yu’ means ‘passs.’)’ because the delegates of Yeonghae Busa came over the hill riding on wagons. Another story claims that the town was name ‘Chayu (In this case, ‘Yu’ means ‘stay’ while ‘Cha’ stands for the same.)’ because the Yeonghae Busa stayed one more day at this town after falling in love with the special flavor of Yeongdeok Snowcrab. A signage stone, declaring ‘Birthplace Village of Snowcrab,’ was built at the hill of the small Gyeongjeong-ri Port in April, 1999.

Antecedent
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Snowcrab at Royal Table for King A king in the early years of Joseon Dynasty was unable to refrain himself from the unique taste of snowcrab and ordered his subject to find and bring them over; subsequently, the subject travelled down to Jukdo Island at current Chuksan-myeon, Yeongdeok-gun in the East Sea region to locate snowcrabs...

In the early years of Joseon Dynasty, when local special products were brought to the central government as an official tribute, snowcrab was served at the royal dining table for a taste. But at the time, as the appearance of Kings eating snowcrab was perceived to damage the king’s solemn posture, snowcrabs were banned from the royal table for a while. But a king found himself craving for the special flavor of snowcrab and ordered his subjects to bring them back. The subject under the royal order left the palace to find the crab but had a difficult time locating them. Finally, the subject saw a fisherman with the crab at Jukdo Island at current Chuksan-myeon, Yeongdeok-gun in the East Sea region. The subject asked the fisherman what the name of the crab was, but the fisherman didn’t have an answer. Hence, the subject named the crab ‘Ungi (彦基),’ meaning a big insect looking odd. After returning to the palace, the subject showed the crab to scholars, and the scholars suggested naming the crab ‘Juk-chim-eon-gi-eo (竹針彦基魚) for looking like a bamboo with needles or ‘Juk-yuk-chon-eo (竹六寸魚)’ for having 6 joints on its legs straight as bamboo stems; however, the crab was eventually named ‘Juk-hae (竹蟹).’ As evidenced from this story, the name of snowcrab, ‘Daegae’ in Korean, was coined not because it is a big crab but because it has legs looking straight and long like bamboo stems.