This is the question I probably had the most before I left the States. My typical response was, “Um, food.” Fortunately, I am not a terribly picky eater and will try most anything at least once. 🙂 My mom kept teasing me that I was going to have to learn to live on what the locals eat, “monkey brains and fish heads.” (yes, she was just joking!) (and btw, don’t google image search either of those two things.)
Unfortunately, I have only started taking pix of my food since last night, so I don’t have anything very Korean to show you right now – but I will.
I’ll start by telling you about the types of food I eat at school. The director’s mom cooks for my school and the neighboring kindergarten – and it’s pretty tasty stuff.
The meals run a basic pattern: main dish, kimchi, side dish, steamed rice, soup. Last week, we had various kinds of kimchi (it’s not all just cabbage!), miso-based soups (mushroom, leafy green vegetable, fish, tofu), all sorts of side dishes (from vegetables to whole dried tiny anchovies), and main dishes of fish, beef, chicken, potato and curry.
I can now tell my mom that I have indeed eaten fish heads.
When I’m at home, I eat really boring stuff. I haven’t tried cooking here yet and I can’t read hangeul, so I don’t even make ready-meals. I have been eating the same things here as in the States, for the most part.
This is last night’s dinner – cheese sandwich (dry – I need to buy condiments), “shrimp meat chips” and (nearly flat) Coke in a coffee mug (it’s the only drinking receptacle I have other than my water bottle). This was actually kind of a “fancy” at-home meal for me – I usually have just a sandwich or something. I bought the chips yesterday because they were on offer and I need to try more Korean-type foods. I, of course, ate this on my bed.
I’m sure you really care about the boring cheese sandwich – the only thing I’ll say is that the cheese selection at LotteMart is teh suck. It’s mostly individually wrapped “cheddar” cheese. The package I bought was 6600₩ – the same package back in KC would have been upwards of $3.50 ($1 = 1075₩, as of last week). Cream cheese, shredded pizza cheese, Laughing Cow, brie and string cheeses were also available, but even more ridiculously priced. I’ll need to find a good cheese shop or something.
I know you’re dying to know about those “Shrimp Meat Chips,” aren’t you? Here’s the package:
These savory snack items are kind of weird. They aren’t completely unlike little wafers of styrofoam in texture. There isn’t much flavor to them, but maybe that’s because I have a cold and my sinuses are all messed up. I don’t know that I would buy them again, but for like 640 ₩, I’m not mad about it. They add a nice texture to my super boring cheese sandwich.
I was prescient enough at LotteMart yesterday to grab a Korean sweet thing too, so I could have afters. I’m not sure if there is an equivalent to this anywhere else, nor am I sure that there should be.
That lovely pink outside? It was like styrofoam – lovely pink styrofoam. There was not really any flavor to it at all. The inside, however, tasted, to me in my cold-ridden state, a lot like that red bean paste stuff you get in mochi or those donuts at the Chinese buffet. I actually really like the red bean paste, so that was a rather pleasant surprise.
For breakfast this morning, I didn’t have anything too weird – Hallabong Citron Yogurt mixed with Dr Oetker KnusperSchoko Vitalis and a mug of OJ.
I can’t find Greek yogurt here, which is what I really like, but this stuff isn’t half bad. It’s in a bottle instead of a cup (they do have cups here too) and has a more liquid-like consistency, but not quite like drinking yogurt – which is what I thought it was at first. Heck, maybe it is – but whatever kind of yogurt it is, it’s yummy.
I must admit that I didn’t get the Vitalis because I especially wanted it (though I do enjoy it) – I got it because I could read it. The box has German all over it and it made me feel safe and comfortable. You really can take for granted little things like being able to read food packages. When I’m at LotteMart, I still scour the packages of everything I buy – looking for something familiar. It’s funny though, because often, the words I can read on the packages are mostly nonsense types of words that have nothing to do with the product, like, “Remember when we went into the nature and it was beautiful.”
Man, I already ate my cheese and styrofoam sandwich tonight, but writing up this post made me rather peckish.
I promise y’all that I will eat some more interesting foods soon – with pictures!