I keep hearing that most of my entries are centered around food. Josanna: "All you talk about on your website is food. 'I discovered this new place to eat. Look at this special dessert. This food is so cheap here!'" This really shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me..I love food, especially Korean food..
Anyway, this week is special. I believe that in the course of this past week I've actually eaten more Korean food than I have in any other week of my life. This is pretty serious, and I believe that my achievement deserves its own entry.
Let's start with Tuesday. I went to the DMZ with a couple other Yalies and administrators associated with the scholarship that I am on in Korea.
Ha, so my first photo is not of food. Actually, it's the Peace Bell, dedicated to Korean war victims.
LOOK AT THESE! Silkworm larvae.
And snails. Yum. I didn't eat those either... I know, I'm a coward.
In this scene, the people of Korea are pushing the two sides (North and South) together. Korean unity! Another non-comestible (no, it's not made out of chocolate or something)
^ THIS IS ACTUALLY NORTH KOREA. Haha, doesn't look too different from South Korea, does it? If you look through the binoculars, you'll see a place that North Korea tells us is one of its "towns". However, this is actually a fake town. Nobody lives there, and the buildings are actually structures with the windows and doors painted on..
South Korea built a train station that says that it goes to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. Of course, no train actually exists, but I guess South Korea figures that once North Korea allows such a train to be built, it'll already have a station made.
Okay, now that all the cultural stuff is done with, onto the food!!!
Traditional Korean meal-- you get tons of dishes with "banchan", different types of food, inside of them. The dishwashing afterwards must be terrible.. Basically, there's a lot of kimchi dishes (cucumber, turnip, cabbage, oyster), a type of fish fried in soy sauce which was especially delicious (daegu something), bulgogi (barbecued marinated beef), tofu, fresh lettuce and cucumber, sauces, stews, and much more. This restaurant (actually it seemed more like someone's house) was located in Insa-dong, a traditional Korean artsy kind of place.
DRAGON BEARD CANDY. It is as fine as hair, and looks just like it. The guy was showing us how he made it... he takes a cold, hard block of honey and pokes a hole in it. He then coats it with cornstarch powder and makes it into a loop... then he doubles the loop... 2 fibers... doubles again... 4 fibers... again and again until there are 3920840392843092 (or so) fibers and the candy's ready!! Watch the video to see him go!
Insa-dong also sells a lot of yummy traditional Korean snacks on the street: - shik-hye, or sweet rice drink - yak-gwa, oily Korean honey cookie
- hodduk, a sweet fried Korean pancake with honey and sugar in the middle (my favorite)
- caramelized sugar candy on a stick with hearts and stars imprinted onto it. If you manage to get a heart out of the candy without breaking the outside, you get another candy for free! This is actually impossible...
- PATBINGSOO: I absolutely love this. It's shaved ice with toppings. Sweet red bean syrup, vanilla frozen yogurt, strawberries, kiwis, rice cake pieces, pineapple. Perfect for hot, humid Korean summers.
Insa-dong also has a good jjajangmyun (Chinese noodles) place where apparently the guy makes his own noodles, so I've gotta go back and try it!
WEDNESDAY, another day, more food.
KALBI. Possibly the most well known Korean food, after kimchi. Marinated, fatty, delicious BEEF.
Roast on your own personal fire, dip in spicy pepper paste and bean paste, transfer to a waiting leaf of red-leaf lettuce, add rice and kimchi, and stuff the resulting huge pocket of lettuce into your face. Bliss that everyone needs to experience at least once in his or her life.
This kalbi place is next to the train tracks in Sinchon, and had the best kalbi that I've ever had in my life. It's called Chulgi wang-kalbisal.
^ We ate that for dessert.
Just playing =p... not ready to eat bo-shin-tang (dog meat stew) yet...probably ever.
Here we had SOJU COCKTAILS. Yes, alcohol counts as food... So many flavors, but yogurt is the best! Although it sounds gross, it's something you've gotta try.
We went from this:
It's making Kaila crazy.
It's norehbang time...
Friday. The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! Not too bad, although pretty Disney-fied. And the Johnny Depp-Keira Knightley kiss at the end......hot! Seriously, I'm in favor of Keira ditching Orlando Bloom (who makes a stupid bet and dooms his father to lifelong imprisonment... and did he ever stab the heart of Davie Jones like he promised to?? No!) for Captain Jack Sparrow (ahahaha, see this article Knightley begs for Depp Kiss).
Anyway, went to Hilton Millennium Hotel's casino-- only foreigners are allowed in, so bring your passport..
All gyopo =p There were actually tons of Japanese inside... The bar was free, and so was the food ^_^ got shrimp curry, and numerous cocktails
The bathrooms....scary Kaila was inside and I heard her SCREAM Apparently the toilets have special jets that shoot water at different parts of your rear.. hahaha, you can even choose "pulsating" water flow...
full and happy (if a few bucks poorer)
Saturday Party for my Sogang writing class... the email containing the directions was 4 pages long =// Me, forlornly trying to figure out which way to go..
Once we got there there were hot dogs, hamburgers (for the first time since I've been here), soju, juice, Krispy Kreme ;)
This class is so adorable!
Nighttime view of Itaewon
RAIN (monsoon season)
All this food has a consequence though... We went back to the gym today and got retested for body fat, muscle mass, weight, the works. I had the EXACT SAME stats as I did a month ago before I started working out! Haha, oh well... But our poor trainer was pretty disappointed.
Seriously, if I had to choose between Korean food and losing weight... let's just say it's no competition.