Friday, June 20, 2014

Food of Korea

Bulk Fish at a Supermarket

It has been a phenomenal time in Korea so far! Seoul is much larger than I thought it would be and the people here are absolutely amazing and so hospitable. All of us have learned so much and already have an abundant amount of new knowledge; though honestly, we haven't even scratched the surface.

Octopus and Vegetables

One of the greatest things that we have experienced so far is the numerous food dishes that we have tried here in Korea. Personally, I can be a very picky eater. Though I am from and live in Florida, which like Korea is a peninsula, I hate seafood! Blah!!! Just the thought of it makes me cringe! I have had to become quite accustomed to the many dishes served with either seafood or seafood products.

Though I'm not a fan of seafood, the food that I have tried has been quite good! We were all served a very delicious beef bowl one night this week that was like a stir fry served in a steaming hot cast iron bowl with a medley of freshly seared vegetables. It was amazing!

This pizza had a great margarita taste!
On another occasion we were served pizza, fried chicken, and hot wings. I have to admit, even coming from the south, I have never had fried chicken as great as what we've tried here! The chicken was fried without the skin and battered with a slight sweetness. The chicken tasted like a margarita drink. Both the chicken and pizza was heavenly.

One thing that I have been have been trying to deal with is stepping out of my comfort zone to try new food and drinks here in Korea. In the US, we are so used to being in a safe situation when it comes to our food. We know that our food has been graded and inspected to keep the citizens completely safe from food born illnesses or any other dangers. In Korea, I don't really know how that system works or if there even is a system.

Seafood anyone???
Just a couple of days ago, several of us were walking in one of the downtown districts and found several carts with raw seafood laying on the table in the sun and not on ice or refrigerated. As agriculturalists, we learn the many hazards of leaving meat out in temperatures above 40 degrees which causes it to be at risk of contamination with bacteria. Though the thought of eating this seafood might make many of you sick, as it did myself at first, there comes a point where you have to understand that this is their livelihood and this is what they eat on a daily basis. They have become accustomed to these foods and the way they are handled. With that being said, it is that very thought that encourages me to take that leap of faith and try these new foods. As I said though, I am SLOWLY coming out of my comfort zone, one dish at a time. :)
Seafood Selection at a Restaurant

Bread made from Squid Ink
One of the neat things that we got to see downtown is a restaurant that allowed you to choose a live sea creature and have them cook it right in front of you. It was pretty neat seeing the oysters, squid, octopus, sea urchins and many others for their selection...and we thought it was cool to select a lobster at Red Lobster!

To wrap this blog up, I would have to say that the Korean food is what has really taught me an appreciation for other cultures. It has truly taken a lot to get me to come as far as I have from my comfort zone to trying new things. Not only does it make you appreciative for what you have, but it also introduces one to limitless opportunities and new world wonders! I mean, honestly, squid ink being used as a food coloring for bread!?!

I guess it's true...The way to a man's heart is through food!

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