WARNING: There are graphic images in this post. If you are sensitive to said images (Mom, I’m talking to you), I do not recommend reading this post while eating or right before you plan on eating.
Before I embarked on this trip, I accepted the fact that my diet would drastically change. No more green smoothies, protein shakes, spinach/kale salads, or Greek yogurt. Goodbye carrots and hummus. Goodbye oatmeal. Goodbye regular bowel movements.
Instead, I’ve been eating rice, noodles, and what feels like all of the kimchi that’s been in existence in all of Korea, past, present, and future. Seriously. I’ve eaten more kimchi in a week here than I’ve eaten in my entire life.
And the kimchi supply never seems to run out. It’s like Jesus feeding 5,000 people with bread and fish. Except instead of bread and fish, it’s kimchi. And instead of 5,000 people, it’s me.
The other night, my birthmom gave me (what appeared to be) a salad. It was iceberg lettuce, carrots, apples, and grapes… coated with what appeared to be salad dressing.
I thought “yay! It’s salad(ish)”. It has some fresh vegetables and fruit, and even though it’s covered in dressing, it’s better than nothing, right?
I grabbed my chopsticks and picked up a piece of lettuce. I put it in my mouth and chewed slowly. Ahhh. That’s not salad dressing. It’s yogurt.
She looked at me expectantly, hope glimmering in her eyes.
I smiled and nodded my head enthusiastically. While it didn’t taste good, I really appreciated the effort she made to prepare a dish that she thought I would like. I ate the whole “salad” to show her how much I appreciated it.
She made the same “salad” for breakfast the next day.
At least it’s not beondegi 번데기 (silkworm pupae). I tried this a few days ago and was surprised at how soft it was. I was expecting it to be very crunchy. The flavor wasn’t bad but the texture was not my favorite. It was like eating a soft grape; the inside was really soft and squishy and the skin was chewy.
After eating the beondegi, I was presented with this plate of food. The food on the left side is fish and the food on the right side is gaebul 개불. I tried a few pieces; unlike the beondegi, the texture was harder and kinda crunchy, similar to what you think cartilage would feel like.
I couldn’t find a translation for gaebul with the dictionary on my phone so I had to wait until I could Google it.
Wikipedia tells me that gaebul is urechis unicinctus, otherwise known as the “penis fish” or “inkeeper worm”. Here’s a picture of those little guys before they were cooked (at least I hope they were cooked):
What’s the weirdest or most interesting food that you’ve eaten? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!