Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eating Bugs in Korea

It's been an interesting couple of days in Seoul with the other early arrivals. So far, everyone I've met is fascinating, friendly, and just plain nice. I'd like to thank Epik for the thoroughness of their screening process; they've managed to pick some great future amigos for me. Top notch.

And with these friends, I've gone to a bunch of nice restaurants (or street vendors) and have eaten some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted. I've watched friends cut meat with scissors for a barbecue. I've torn pork ribs to bits and dipped them in a sort of wasabi sauce, and snacked on crunchy chilis. I've had hangover soup, with congealed blood in it, fried things that taste like vetkoek, samgak gimbap (or "Sushi Burger Samoosa") and a whole lot of kimchi. I've loved all of it.

So, to add to our culinary adventures, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring home some of these little guys:



They're silkworm pupae that have been steamed and boiled, and seasoned. I tried one. According to my friends, most of them were squishy, but I got one that wasn't. I put it in my mouth, and thought 'Hey, this isn't so bad.' So I chewed, and tasted it more. It had an earthy sort of taste, not unlike Andouillette. The segments flaked a bit, and the flakes hit the back of my throat. I tried to swallow. I tried again. I considered spitting but the room was too full for me to get to the bin and things were starting to look a bit desperate in the vomit department.



Finally I got it down, and rinsed my mouth with water to try and get the taste to go away. The taste wasn't that bad though. And the texture wasn't bad either. The combination of that taste and that texture was revolting.

So now that box is ticked and I don't ever have to do that again. I do think it's worth trying, if only to see how brave you are.


I think some flakes of it are still stuck in my throat.


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