One of the specialties of Daejeon is dotoli muk (acorn jelly), a dish created when times were hard and people were forced to collect acorns in the mountains to feed themselves and their families. A brown-colored gelatin, dotoli muk doesn't offer much flavor but is not bad when served with yangnyeom ganjang (a seasoned soy sauce) on top.

Another famous dish from the region is samgyetang, a chicken soup made with a whole young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, dates, and ginseng. It's a traditional dish that is supposed to be healthy for you (and was eaten to fight the heat in the summer). The people of Daejeon say that theirs has a unique flavor because of the insam gathered from Geumsan. You can try this tasty dish at Daehung Samgyetang, 27-7 Jung-ang-dong, Dong-gu (tel. 042/255-4148), where the broth is infused with the usual ingredients and deer horn for 5 to 6 hours to create the subtle but complex flavors of their soup.

A special favorite of the region is seolleongtang, a milky white soup made from boiling beef bone forever. It is usually served with kkakdugi (cubed daikon kimchi) and enjoyed year-round. Head to Bonga Gamasot Seolleongtang, 452-2 Gayang-dong, Dong-gu (tel. 042/673-8826), where they cook the broth for 48 hours in a gamasot (a special traditional pot). Sinchon Seolleongtang, 291 Mannyeon-dong, Seo-gu (tel. 042/489-2322), also makes a mean bowl of this soup, and their kimchi is so good that the owner won't divulge their secret recipes.

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