For the Nakwon Ddeokjip granny, ddeok (rice cake) was something she made every time something good happened in her life. She would share the ddeok with the entire neighborhood and share the good news—and humble bragging—along with the ddeok. It’s no stretch to imagine that the congratulations and laughter that passed from neighbor to neighbor strengthened their neighborly bonds. I purchase ddeok from this shop quite frequently, and know the difficulty of finding a ddeok store in Seoul that can match the taste. The famous Nakwon Ddeokjip, now approaching its 100th year, opened in 1919, with the ddeok-making technique and knowledge passed onto the founder by a court lady who had been a ddeok-maker in the royal palace. Perhaps it’s because of the beautiful hues of the ddeok, or perhaps it’s the elegant shapes. When I admire and taste the various types of ddeok, it almost feels as though good news will follow. There’s no need to get into detail about the taste; the shop’s century of patronage from the city’s ddeok connoisseurs, to say nothing of the patronage of prominent figures in politics and finance, speaks for itself. Along with the pleasingly chewy texture, the natural taste of the ingredients, whatever the shape or components, also contribute to the superior taste.