Journey to The Land of S(e)oul (Part III) : Let's Eat

I had often tasted Korean food, even before my trip to the land of Korea. Mostly, I love the taste of kimchi and also most of Korean spicy soups.  As I planned my trip, I promised myself to experience as many authentic Korean food as I can while on the land of their origin.

I squealed internally as I saw Korean sujeo on the table. Sutgarak was different than other spoon I had seen around the world. Even in Malaysia, I love eating my food using Korean spoon, because it seems to always gives me just the right amount of food to fit into my mouth. And the jeotgarak was different from the Chinese or Japanese chopsticks. I heard a tourist guide explained that Korean chopsticks were designed that way to avoid it from rolling and falling. I think whoever designed the chopsticks was very thoughtful.

As I let myself tried the food and savoured the taste again, this time with authentic Korean dining ambience, it had become a whole new gourmet experience for me.

When I was younger, I had always entertained myself with food movies or drama. To this day, I can simply tell people the story of Dae Jang Geum or Sung Chan from Le Grand Chef. These kind of entertainment was what hooked me to Korean food culture in the first place.

The great Jang Geum was known for being particular about medical properties of ingredients used to make food. Emphasizing on self-healing through healthy eating, I did feel healthy with the sheer amount of vegetables in the free flow banchan. Or was it placebo?  And Sung Chan got me thinking in details of every ingredient of my kimchi jjigae every time I put it into my mouth - about how the composition of Korean agricultural product represents the roots and shoots of this country. And these are all in a single bowl.

Sung Chan might only be a fictional character and Dae Jang Geum might only be a legend whose name was mentioned a few times in historical script, but these characters made I appreciate every single Korean food that I had the chance to try. To have people putting a lot of thinking and effort to create one single dish was definitely a whole new experience for me, if not all of us.

Eumsig square scarf displaying the Korean dishes
...more in...(Part IV)


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