The pojangmacha (street vendor) is one of the best places to grab a quick snack or pass the night away drinking with friends. The types of food they serve can usually be eaten quickly while standing up (although someplaces have cheap chairs or benches) or take with you. They have many types of food on sticks or “finger foods.” Other specialize in seafood and are geared more towards people who want to sit and have some drinks as well. Smaller stands can be easily carried or rolled from place. Larger, more elaborate ones have plastic tarps to protect patrons from the rain and cold.
Pojang Macha began in 1950 with a few rear-cars selling small snacks around Cheonggyecheon, Seoul. After several years passed, in 1970, the rear-car began to form its shape by covering itself with orange plastic wrap and people started to sell small appetizers. The rear-car is the earlier form of Pojang Pojang Macha we have all around us today. Rear-car started to improve during the 70’s because the lower class people liked having a drink and food for little money and the first place they went to was Pojang.
The Pojang Macha that seemed to end all together thrived once again in 1997.
Looking back to the past 10 years, we can all see that there is a clear difference in styles and forms of individual Pojang Machas. The change is not about the alteration of the look but on its full attraction of all the people including foreigners and success in the effort to bring comfort to their customers. The food in Pojang Macha also have enhanced in providing newer, better food that needed to taste good to people from other countries, where the favor in taste might be different. Morover, the environment turned very clean and started to give a good image for all to remember.
Pojang Macha has come a long way to become one of the aspects of Korea. It contains a different look that can be interesting for many others and teaches them of Korea’s tradition of eating a food when everyone is gathered around. Not only the food is great but also there is a particular feeling emitted from the environment, so try it! I recommend you to try one cup of fishcake soup (odeng gukmul) on a freezing cold winter day in Korea, the feeling it gives is unexplainable but I am sure about one thing, the feeling is sensational!