Archive for the Korea Category

And she’s back!

Posted in Century Egg, Korea, Korean food, Nattou on November 25, 2008 by Skuties

Mel: So I’m back.

Tati: YEAH!

Mel: The Rescue squad TATI sent, broke the air conditioner in the Imperial Palace hotel [“European style Imperial Palace Hotel with dignity”] so that it was always 25.6 C and took care of the Zerg that were guarding me, trying to convert me to their kekekekerushing ways.

Not that they would ever have managed based on past Strategy game experience I’ve never been good at the might build up rush, I prefer the slow and steady civilization growth and am a sucker for AoE magic spells.

Tati: Oh dear, first of all, welcome back! It was hard without you here. I had to eat all the cookies by myself and Elvis kept trying to kill me, because without you he is always cranky!

Ok, so, back to business. Don’t get me started on those strategy games. I think I should work on that, but I’m not good on building things. I like them ready, so THEN I can go and change everything and make people angry. Or if you are talking about games, I like to pay for the finished product; I don’t like building the games myself. And I’m not really medieval. I don’t even like horses. But overall I am really happy that Team TATI kicked those evil Koreans in the butt (What What?)!

Mel: While in the land of Zerg I managed to avoid eating any dogs, although had it been served I probably wouldn’t have recognized or known it as they often serve it as a soup. I was served traditional Korean beef soup one day with beef, shimeji, caramelized onions & Tang noodles (also called glass or cellophane noodles). It was served with a variety of side dishes which I have no idea what they were one was spinach and garlic, one was some sweet egg salad something or other, one was lotus root (yum) and there was the must have kimchi and the Hot pepper paste. You all know I like my pepper, I want it so hot you cry and it burns on the way out, but I don’t exactly eat it on a spoon like mashed potatoes. Well I didn’t. Korea changes a person.

Tati: You are brave! I don’t know if I would have eaten any meat over there. You never know man. I know that for the vegetarians, eating a dog or a cow is all the same and evil. But let’s face it: cows are only cute in cartoons, and dogs, even the ugly ones, are always cute.

OF COURSE I don’t support animal cruelty, but I wish I was stronger; I really like ugly animal’s meat. Sorry dudes.

Mel: I did not sample the “poo poo bread” but I did however eat what must have been a mild version of the century egg [puke]. I say mild because the yolk of my egg was still yellow and had not yet turned green and it was only a small slice (thank god) and it didn’t kill me, or make me puke at the elegant catered dinner party with the president of the company and top employees either.

Tati: Well if you can eat Nattō, you can eat old Korean eggs (dog eggs?). It’s the same distress I would think. Thanks to some sadistic friends (you know who you are) those gave me the headache of the century (they tasted good though, nasty, but good). And I remember the joke was that the Nattō was from “yesterday”, haha you guys are hysterical!

Mel: According to reports on century eggs they taste like ammonia & sulfur but eggs already go the sulfur way as it is. Perhaps due to the fact that mine was just rimmed in green and still had some yellow in the center – it tasted like egg yolk but had the consistency of gelatin & egg yolk & something kind of crispy all at once. It was the consistency that killed on that one. However, if dared to eat it, it is certainly the harmless option on a table of bizarre and different.

Tati: OK! Let’s stop this madness. I can understand the tradition and also that a looooong time ago, when everything was difficult, we had to eat old nasty fermented food. But now we have fridges, colorants, preservants, antioxidants. All that effort to make old nasty food look fresh and beautiful. Must we eat ugly and smelly food? I REFUSE!

Mel: There were a variety of culinary delights that I have already looked for the recipes for as well in particular a Korean tea-like dessert called Sujeonggwa which is served cold. It consists principally of a tea made from boiling fresh ginger and cinnamon. While looking for the recipe I found this site full of how to videos by crazy Korean lady and recipes. The version I had did not have dried persimmons (khaki) in it and it had cardamom seeds instead of pine nuts, but I guess that’s what fancy parties will do to your traditional desserts.

Tati: Not even the Korean crazy lady can say Jjamppong with a straight face. But she is kinda cute. “I am justa cooking japon!”, “It is originated in Japan…or China, but definitely Korean!”

Jjamppong from Maangchi on Vimeo.

I WILL make this!

Mel: The other Brazilians that were with me liked a “Korean Junk Food” a lot, however much like mochi, it didn’t taste of much except the honey you dipped it into. We ate it while having tea in a tea house. It was certainly a highlight of the Zerg experience, as the tea place was decorated as though you were on a train and while it doesn’t sound like it would be attractive it was actually cozy and endearing with the graffiti walls and the old train seats around big wooden tables. The tea they served was also very nice, I opted for a traditional Chrysanthemum tea, which was basically the dried flowers steeped in water, but the tea I liked best was the Jujube tea. Who would have thought that Jujube`s weren’t just the fruit gummies. Apparently jujubes are a type of red date. I wanted to buy some to take home, however along with the ginseng bottles their plane ride threshold was not very high.

Tati: haha Jujube!

Mel: It`s kind of funny about the Jujubes because while there are many things that I could use to some up my trip to the land of zerg and back, Dates are not one that I would have expected however, in Dubai where I was stuck for over 11 hours (total) they also had lots of dates. I bought some of the gourmet godiva dates and have been sampling them at leisure. I never had anything against Cockroach fruit, but would never have thought to enjoy them in the variety of ways I did on the trip. The tea still wins- sliced jujubes in honey and ginseng boiled in hot water and served in a clay cup. The Korean guides seemed to imply that Japanese HATE the drink and that it is not popular with foreigners at all, however I really enjoyed it, go figure – maybe it was something of the Zerg that managed to rub off.

The majority of food adventures in Zergland were mild and consisted of breads and fruits and random drinks from vending machines or the 7-Eleven. I tried whenever possible to choose the unknown, but admit that choosing tea on occasion doesn’t really count. There was only 1 thing I was unable to drink – the strawberry yogurt, it tasted sour and made me gag. I saved the bottle though; it had a bee on it.

Tati: What a surprise! Why have yummy strawberry yogurt if you can have it old and nasty?