The Joy of Baking in Daegu

baking title

Before coming to South Korea, I spent a wonderful year and a half working at a waterpark resort in Guam. I lived at the resort and ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the buffet restaurant with hotel guests. It was a great job and, of course, the food was great. The only problem, though, was after a year and a half of living in a hotel room and having no kitchen, I was itching to get back to doing *some* form of cooking.

I’m not a great cook, but I do enjoy putting together my own meals from time to time. Same goes with baking. There’s a simple pleasure in spending a Sunday morning baking. So, after about a year in Korea, a friend of mine sold me his toaster oven. My days of baking had returned!

Early on, however, when I tried making my first batch of Brian’s World Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies (ok, not really, just the first link that came up on a Google search of recipes…so, probably Martha Stewart’s World Famous Cookies or something), I needed some vanilla flavoring. However, in all the supermarkets I checked, I could only find vanilla flavoring powder. I tried that, but it just wasn’t the same.

To get vanilla flavoring, I ended up buying a large bottle when I was in Thailand for summer vacation and smuggling, er, I mean bringing it back with my luggage. Did Korea not have liquid vanilla flavoring?

Well, it’s the holiday season now, and I wanted to try making Christmas cookies for my office co-workers. In my childhood, my father always made frosted Christmas cookies and as an adult I had never gotten the urge to do it, until this year.

So, to achieve this, I had to get some supplies, but I was worried that I would have to order cookie cutters, rolling pins, vanilla flavoring, food coloring, and sprinkles all from the internet. So, I started asking around and eventually found a nice little spot just outside Daegu Station subway Exit #4 called Samwon.

Samwon sign

Samwon is essentially a warehouse with a retail shop on the second floor. Inside is a baker’s wonderland! Everything, and I mean everything I needed was there. All kinds of baking goods, supplies, appliances, imported items…really everything! It was great!

Samwon shelves

So, I gathered everything I needed, paid the good woman at the counter, rushed home, and made up my cookies. Here’s my progress thus far:

rolling pin

finished cookies


Still have to do the frosting.

Samwon also had parchment paper (greased paper) for baking. Everything was reasonably priced and I look forward to going back soon!

Samwon (삼원상사): Daegu Station, Exit #4. When you come up the steps, turn right and you will see this:

Exit 4 view

Samwon is the blue building. Remember, go up the steps to the second floor retail shop. Oh, and just ignore that creepy, red tent with all the jugs of gasoline around it. Harmless, I’m sure.

Addendum: Daegu Insider’s Tip!

If you walk out Exit #4 and see this guy selling fans, paintings, earmuffs, binoculars, spatulas, mufflers, wooden chairs, rubber tires, hankerchiefs, glass bottles, mannequin heads, mis-matched gloves, lampshades, dog tags, shoe polish, bottled water, and tarps…you’ve gone too far.


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