Chuseok gift sets are big business in Korea, and whether you end up with a haul of flavored seaweed or off-brand SPAM, you can typically be assured that your treasures came with an upped price tag. We browsed GMarket for some of the most over-the-top gift sets available to up your Chuseok gift-giving game. Here are the results:
*Some of these are actually for bulk orders (though still overpriced!). However, some are for single, lavishly priced gift sets*
10. FISH. A lot of fish.
Original Price: ₩800,000
If you want to make a rich and pungent impression, what could be better than a set full of floppy, wide-eyed mackerel wrapped up all tidy with a bow on it. Nothing really does say love like more than almost a thousand dollars of uncooked fish, does it?
Original Price: ₩128,000
Show your special someone you really, REALLY want them to avoid iron deficiency. Better yet, do it with nearly $150 worth of tiny non-environmentally friendly packages inside a cardboard gift box that somehow warrants exponentially increasing the price!
8. RAW BEEF. ALL the Raw Beef.
Original Price: ₩450,000
When it comes to outlandish gift sets, if it bleeds, it leads. Nevermind that this is really only 3 kg of beef for 450 dollars (or 300 dollars on sale… very generous of them). Nevermind that it costs not even half this much at the supermarket. This is a GIFT, and cardboard boxes matter. You’re paying for sheer carnivore envy.
Original Price: ₩350,000
Those few overpriced ginseng roots you’re paying for may look like weird alien embryos, but these are hot-ticket health items. Plus, it’s good for “stamina.” One-hundred-and-eight-thousand won worth of glorious, straight-up stamina.
6. Jeju Mangoes
Original price: ₩180,000 FOR FOUR TO EIGHT
Yes, you read that right: 180,000 for FOUR to EIGHT mangoes. This is almost 45,000 won per mango in some cases, but hey, it’s from Jeju, right? This is homegrown, mango-y, living-the-high-life goodness. Presumably the fruits are warranted in their price somehow: perhaps perfectly symmetrical and blessed by a mango goddess rather than just placed in a fancy box. In any case, at least you didn’t cheap out and buy an 80-dollar box of pears.
5. Personal Care Products
Original price: ₩113,000
Last year, maybe you just gave an overpriced gift, but THIS year you can easily up your game by buying an overpriced gift that hints at the need for increased personal hygiene! Giving 100 dollars worth of toothpaste and shampoo is sure to bring white smiles all around the Chuseok dinner table.
4. THOUSAND-DOLLAR CHOCOLATE
Original Price: ₩1,000,000
Don’t take that week away in Thailand, dude. That’s just straight-up selfish when you could be using those funds to buy your mother-in-law a million won worth of authentic. Jeju. Orange. Chocolate. Ohhh yeaahhhh…
Original Price: ₩326,560
A box full of mushrooms, as a gift set, can go for what’s almost half a mil. And no, these very special (yet essentially just shiitake) mushrooms won’t make you hallucinate. But hey, considering they’re packaged in a sweet octagonal Korean-style box, it’s all good, right?
2. Kopi Luwak
Original Price: ₩250,000
For those who don’t know, Kopi Luwak is a mostly Indonesian delicacy that requires a luwak (kind of like a ferret) to eat the coffee beans and poop them out before the roasting. And for 250,000 won, even if you only get 80 grams of coffee, rest assured that the certificate confirms they were indeed pooped out of a small furry animal. Aw. That’s love.
No discussion of Chuseok gift sets would be complete without mentioning the pricey treasure that is Spam. You could go cheaper, sure, and get your relative only 40 dollars’ worth of spam. You could even be so audacious as to buy the off-brand canned luncheon meat set (how vulgar!). But c’mon. This is Chuseok. If you’re going Spam, go big or go home.
What other over-the-top Chuseok gift sets have you seen around the local department stores or on the web? Let us know in the comments as you finish (or stealthily avoid) that last-minute Chuseok gift buying.