An American’s Thoughts about Korean Cuisine
An American’s Thoughts about Korean Cuisine
  • Observer
  • 승인 2007.08.07 15:29
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   IT WAS 1993 WHEN I FIRST CAME  TO Korea. When I arrived, many sights and sounds awaited me. I don’t think I was prepared for what I was about to experience. I grew up in a rural area in southern Illinois. Illinois is known for its corn and cows. I was used to eating some sort of meat (beef, pork or chicken), potatoes and a vegetable for dinner. I was overwhelmed with all the different things people in Korea ate. I was a bit nervous and not very adventurous. During my stay I ate fried rice and Mandu, but I was afraid to try other things.
   In 2001 we found ourselves headed back to Korea again, this time for two years. On my first stay I was only there for 9 months, but two years was much longer. I was determined to learn more about Korean foods and also try to at least taste more things. It was very fun. Bulgogi and Kalbi became two of our favorites and I learned to LOVE spicy Kimchi. I also liked Kimbop. It is so pretty. 
    It was hard to get used to eating with chopsticks, but the challenge to learn made it even more fun. 
    I tried different kinds of soups; some were good some were not. In America we do not eat cold soup. That was something I could not get used to in Korea. One of the soups even had a hard boiled egg in it!!!
    Another thing that was very different was all the seafood. I like crabs, but most of the others I didn’t like. Squid was also not good. It was hard to get used to the dried fish with their eyes still in them. I had never seen anything like that before I was in Korea.

It was amazing all the different side dishes Korean people serve with their food. Another really wonderful thing was all the fresh fruit.  Strawberries, grapes, apples, small oranges and watermelon. In the United States these things can be very expensive and often don't taste very good.  Since coming back to the United States. I really miss those small oranges. I remember eating them in the middle of winter. They were so sweet and juicy.
    We also enjoyed going to the small stores and buying snacks. The little bags of cookies were so delicious. We also liked the popsicles that tasted like melons. One thing we did not think was so good was Bundiggy (I’m not sure how you spell it). We were told it was silk worm larva. Once when we were visiting the market, we saw a couple children fighting over it. We laughed when we saw that. At the market our children used to like getting “fish cakes.” That is what we called them.  They were cakes shaped like fish with some kind of bean-like filling. They really liked them very much.
Korean food was very different from American, but it was also SO exciting. There were so many different things to try and the people were always giving us food to try. I will never forget the opportunity to learn about Korean cuisine.  Sometimes, I really miss it.

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