So many things I’m going to miss when I hang up my teaching hat for good in 2 months. The gorgeous mountaineous scenery I get to see every day when I leave my apartment, the kind smiling faces of my co-teachers every morning, the copious high-fives my students give me on a daily basis. High up on that list will be some of the mouth-watering Korean cuisine I have grown to love. It was a different story when I first got here 2 years ago. To my eyes Korean food isn’t the most appetizing in its appearance and I’m all about the aesthetics when it comes to food. I very quickly learned however that in most cases it will taste far better than it looks. I’ve also grown very attached to the communal experience of korean dining. At barbeque restaurants the cooking, sharing and eating of the meat is a joined effort. Rather than having your eyes down on one plate you are all sharing from the oodles of side dishes that litter the table. It is customary to pour drinks for eachother and plenty shots of soju is a must if you have a Korean at your table. This style of dining encourages input, eye contact, conversation and a shared eating experience which I will miss sorely when I’m gone.
Me eating delicious Korean Pa Jeon (파전) or pancake
Saying all that, there are certain foods that turn up on the menu over here that I won’t be sorry to leave behind at all! Here’s my top 4 Korean foods that I love to hate~
Sharing a cheese dalkabi at Tudari (fried spicy chicken)
1. Mook (무ㄱ) or Acorn Jelly
brown slime? I'll pass thanks
As I’m writing it acorn jelly actually sounds like it could be pretty nice. Not for me it aint. It’s cold, it’s wet, it wobbles. And it it don’t taste nuthin like acorns.
- It’s a tasty meat treat. Apparantly.
Yep, you read that right. Spam. And I’m not talking about slapping your friendon the forehead, I’m talking about the processed meat in a can. They’re crazy for it here and apparantly it’s too nice to buy for yourself. Spam can usually be found in marts in the form of gift packs bound by a large ribbon.
- The persimmon. A tricky fruit.
I’ve tried to love persimmon. Honest to God I have. I’ve given it chance after chance. My pal Mary hit the nail on the head when she said “it’s always presented to you like your getting such a treat”. After politely swallowing down its fleshy, slimy blandness a million times I’m afraid it’s officially over between me and the persimmon now.
4. Rice cakes
- Isn’t there enough rice in the main meal or what??
I have a huge sweet tooth which mainly demands chocolate and not dessert sweets made of rice with red bean paste inside. Enough said!