Welcome to week 233 (06/18/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. This week we are enjoying over-the-top delicious pies from Seoul’s Tartine Bakery & Pie. Before I share the luscious photos, let me tell you a little story.
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Arriving in Korea in early 2001, I quickly realized that baked goods of any kind were difficult to come by, and what was available was not great. Eating out one day, the Korean waiter proudly asked me, in English, if I would like dessert. I perked up really fast, and with a smile that could have lit up six city blocks, I asked…”What do you have”? “Coke, orange, or copi, he answers.” Imagine my disappointment. My smile was like a balloon that had been pricked with a pin…totally deflated. BTW…copi is how many Koreans pronounce coffee. Not wanting to disappoint the poor waiter I chose the coffee, but what a let down. I was expecting cake and pie, not coke, fanta, or coffee!
Fast forward to 2008, and I’m in Itaewan (the section of Seoul that caters to the foreign crowd) having lunch with friends. They’re raving about a new pie cafe (the first in Korea) tucked away in a small alley two minutes away that we definitely had to try. I was game, although a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed with Korean baked goods on more than one occasion. Not so this time. The pies were amazing, and I don’t think I have ever eaten a piece of pie so fast!
Tartine quickly became popular with both foreigners and Koreans. In November 2012 they sold there ONE MILLIONTH retail pie, and that amazing number was doubled August 2014. Who would have thought that Koreans would ever have such a love affair with pie! With roots in Oregon and Korea you can read all about the owners on their website.
Last weekend I was in Seoul, and decided to pick up some pie to take to a friends place. Making pie choices is not an easy decision, but someone has to step up!
How could I walk by???
I oooed and ahhhed over these beauties for a minute, and they were strong contenders!
Then I spotted the pecan pie, and all was lost. I once traveled back from Laurentians in Quebec carrying not one but two full size pecan pies onto a crowded plane! My second choice was also in the case, but didn’t get picked up in this photo. I love cranberry, and when I saw the cranberry cheesecake pies I almost cried!
My choices, just before the lovely staff boxed them up to take away. The staff here are awesome! They didn’t mind me oooing and ahhing in front of the case for 10 minutes 🙂
The great thing about sharing is we each took half…win win…
And…with the first bite I was launched into heaven!
If you find yourself craving some western dessert while you’re in Seoul, I highly recommend that you hop on the subway…line 6. Give off at Itaewan Station, head out Exit 1. You’ll find Tartine in the second alley on the right. You can choose either the cafe pictured here, or directly across you can enjoy brunch, and of course the same awesome pies.
The hours listed on their website are Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. However, I was there on a Saturday afternoon around 1pm, and they were definitely open.
You can always phone: 02-462-9001
I love sampling traditional desserts when I travel, but when the options are limited I won’t turn down a good western style pie or cake. How about you?
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