It occured to me over Lunch today, as I sat looking at my tray of food, that whilst many people have commented to me how brave I am with the food I've been eating (as evidenced on this very blog), there are actually a few things out here that I just cannot eat. Things that are not good, nice, or in any way appealing.
School lunches are generally ok. There is usually at least 1 thing I can eat, and there are so many snacks available in the 6th grade office that even if there was nothing, I'd be ok gobbling up bisuits, cakes and crisps there! Anyway, what follows is a selection of the things here that are not good...
Rice and red bean.
This was lunch today. Now I must point out that on a wednesday all schools in Korea have a 'special' lunch day where they offer a proper meal. The other days are rice, soup and a couple of side dishes. Past Wednesday lunches have included; spag bol (Oriental version), curry (Korean but nice), bibimbap, noodle soup and once something resembling Stew, today's was this (see above). Rice in a red bean sauce. It was as gloopy as dodgy porridge and also had surprise bits of rice cake-esque gloop in it too. It was not good. I feel this is a good opportunity to get my dislike and distain for red bean out in the open. Red bean I don't like you, ever since the early days of induction in China, a day hot as the sahara my new friends and I wandered into a small shop to buy an ice cream and I picked up a chocolate one (i was thinking Feast) It was a red bean icicle. Terrible, and things have not improved in our relationship. Red beans swan around masquerading as chocolate left right and centre over here in the East, cakes, ice lollies, rice cakes (and yes I know I don't like them either). I really can't bear to eat them, they remind me of the kidney beans that always fill my mum's chilli. That in a cake? Are you mad? Dreadful
Rice cake in the spiciest sauce you've ever tasted. This is sold all over Seoul and I think safe to say Korea, cheap street food, although I'm sure there are proper versions of this in fancy restaurant and homemade varieties. I hazzard a guess I would dislike these too. The worst thing about this dish; another actor. Looking all pasta like! When I came to Korea as a tourist I was delighted to see this everywhere, finally something nice (and cheap) to eat, better stock up before I return to wokky China. Ohhhh how i was wrong.
Now I realise this is fairly controversial, But I'm not a lover of Kimchi. It's Korea's national dish, and they go mad over it. In fact at the speech contest at least 3 students did their presentations on it (and the rest were either about G20, Park JiSung or hanguel). I'm afraid they lost points in the interesting content section from me for boring me with the details of how it's made and how healthy it is for you, and one cheeky little monkey had the audacity to tell me how 'the foreigner likes it too'. Ermmm no love I don't think so. Anyway back to Kimchi. Don't get me wrong, I can eat a little of the cabbage one (chinese leaf in case you're wondering) but the raddish one can take a hike. Awful, truely. The other bloody annoying thing about Kimchi is that it creeps up everywhere. A couple of weeks ago we had kimchi fried rice at school, at my local kimbap shop they have kimchi kimbap, kimchi mandu (dumplings), kimchi soup, kimchi stew. It. is. everywhere. If anyone tells you they LOVE kimchi, they are either Korean, or lying.
Haha only joking, not tried that yet. Although I don't like dogs so I'm not saying I wouldn't...