Another important lessons is learned. Hopefully Yeonsaeng is soaking in as much knowledge as Janggeum is.
Suro and Dongi had a lot of bad showing this episode. They did stand up for Ihwa when they were needed, but otherwise their attitude seems forced. The bean planting part I suppose I can understand, as well as the leaf, but it still seems like the writers went out of their way to make the two look bored with the very thing Janggeum and Yeonsaeng enjoy the most.
Even though the two soldiers both care for Janggeum, Suro seems to be less and less “lovestruck” over time.
The focus of this episode was on all the work which goes into making a dish, starting from the very beginning: planting the seeds. This is something Kim Yu knows well, but Janggeum only now is learning it. If you’re buying ingredients, your food will only be as good as the worth put into growing it. If you grow your own crops, you’re in complete control over how much attention they get. You’re able to experiment, and find out what works to bring out the flavor of the dishes when you cook them. A farmer growing crops to sell, not to cook oneself, may not know how to improve the crops.
Surprisingly, Suro recognized the Sun Bean House’s dish as tasting the same as the Meju Man’s. He knew the soybean paste tasted the same without even hearing Janggeum say so. Even Yeonsaeng thought it was simply “similar”. Either Suro has more refined taste than he lets on, or he thinks all soybean paste tastes the same.
Yeonsaeng noticed the sour taste in the meju, but it’s unknown if she knew what made the flavor. Janggeum did know, which is to be expected: she’s the one able to drink five bowls of water and name the source of each one. Those apprentice court ladies must go through a lot of taste training.
Court Lady Han told Janggeum to think about what she has lost, and what she must find. Janggeum is finding things she never would have found had she remained in the palace without getting into trouble, and especially had she been forgiven for breaking the law and destroying the important book. With four episodes left, I foresee Jeolla-do being visited in the next episode or the following. But, what’s happening back at the palace, and what progress is Geum-young making with restoring the Gungjungmiseo book? Does having the book and its secrets even mean anything if you don’t learn the secrets on your own? Geum-young’s Pot dish and Janggeum’s salty dessert apples both showed what happens when you don’t fully understand what you’re working with.