What Can I Eat in South Korea?

   I was told that the food is outstanding in South Korea but I'm far from being a food connoisseur. So definitely don't go by me! If you really want to experience the pleasures of Korean food I suggest either going with someone who really knows or joining a food tasting tour while you're here! The good news is that it's all VERY affordable.

  I can't say for sure but it seems to me that there is a great love for seafood. I was told, and now have seen, the live sea creatures encased and on display in front of the restaurants, much like we see live lobsters in the supermarkets in America. If you like this sort of food then you will love it here! It's definitely not kosher.

   So what else is there to eat? I admit that I have only been here for one week and I have been very careful about experimenting with the food. Why? Mainly because I am happy staying close to my new dietary choices. These days the hot weather leaves me with less of an appetite. Instead I have a desire for lighter food choices. Next, I want to be sure there is a decent restroom nearby in case the food doesn't sit right. We seventh-decade sages tend to think that way. Hee hee hee

   There are literally hundreds of places to eat on every street, corner, nook and cranny (yup, used that term correctly!). There are very few with menus written in English. Perhaps if you can afford the higher end restaurants it might be different? What this simply means is that it's anyone's guess what the heck is being served. Then again I could risk choosing a restaurant with one of the K-Drama actors advertised. Maybe that's a safe bet? Ha ha ha

   So far I have ventured only once into a nearby restaurant. I pointed to a photo hanging on the wall. I know how to say "beef" so asked if it was beef. The manager knew how to say "pork" and told me it was pork. I knew how to say "no" and asked again for beef. He pointed to two choices - all written in Korean. Fortunately a student was sitting nearby. She was able to act as our interpreter. I ended up with a decent beef fried rice with a few tasty sides. Not bad at all for a first try. Not yet acclimated to the food it was nice that my airbnb with private restroom was nearby.

   My next choice was a safe one: Pizza! I was yearning for a pizza because I hadn't had one for a long time. It made for a good lunch and supper that day.

   I tried the Coffee Bene (Bean) cafe one day when I got lost. The standard cafe mango drink was delicious. It also cost more than the beef stir fry. I won't do that again!

   I was eager to try the tasty looking fried pancake the street vendor was selling. It's made right there on the spot. Kind of like the food truck trend in the USA. Fried food is a bit greasy and probably not the best choice for my diet, but YUM. It was delicious.

   I've noticed many restaurants offering Japanese and Chinese cuisine. I even noticed a place selling Falafel! Speaking of which... I was very grateful for the Shabbat meal at the Chabad center. I gobbled up all the traditional and familiar foods that were offered; beef & potatoes, kugel, couscous, chumous and many delightful sides including Korean Kimchi. Loved the halvah too!

   There are many groceries, convenience stores and open market stalls where you can shop for what you like and cook it at home. This is my first choice at this point. That's one of the reasons why I rent the airbnb's after all!

   Don't get me wrong. I'm not especially a finicky eater. I was treated to a few nice samplings with explanation at one of the airbnb "experiences" I attended. I was glad for the explanation because two of the yummy looking choices were fried squid and shrimp and one choice included bits of ham/pork. I would not have known. I'm just not fond of seafood and clearly pork and certain ocean creatures are not on the Jewish menu. I chose the others!

   We were also served a particular kind of tea that was a special blend of five tastes; sweet, salty, bitter... hmmmm... can't remember the other two. It was interesting to see that each person reacted differently when tasting it. I thought the tea was very sweet. Another guest tasted it as bitter. I wondered if what we were tasting might match our moods?

   I do intend to be more adventurous about tasting the Korean cuisine. I am going to wait until I can go with someone who knows and can advise. Just the same I will be sure there is a decent restroom nearby! Ha ha ha

   Meantime let's see if you can guess what the foods advertised below are!


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