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Odorless Kimchi?

Is it even possible? 

Kim Soon-ja, 56 of Seoul thinks she has the answer. Always mindful of the smell when she packed kimchi for trips to Europe and elsewhere in the world, she wanted to find a solution that would be less odoriferous. Per the LAT, Ms. Kim has apparently developed a freeze-dried kimchi that has no smell, even when water is added! She is applying for a patent.

Per the article:

Yet in a nation that has set a goal of establishing its cuisine as among the world’s five most popular by 2017, kimchi’s odor has always been a stumbling block…

Kim, who has run her own kimchi factory since 1986, isn’t stopping with freeze-dried cabbage. She says the concept can be used in beer and wine, and for making such snacks as dried kimchi dipped in chocolate.

Good grief, why does the above article read like a Yangpa posting?  Anyways, kimchi flavored beer and wine? Perhaps some things are not meant to be made (or even contemplated).

  • seouliva

    I’m sure she meant the concept of removing odor from beer and wine, not adding kimchi to beer and wine, non?
    I’m sure I’ve already seen the kimchi chocolates in duty-free…

  • sulperman

    I’m no expert, but aren’t taste and smell pretty closely related? Can you remove the smell from something and leave the taste? How does that work?

  • tmc1233

    Chocolate covered kimchi?!?!?! 쀍!

  • tmc1233

    On another note– fifth most popular cuisine by 2017? How does anyone a.) measure that b.) induce others to try a cuisine they know nothing about? I wish Korea and Koreans would relax and not be so overly concerned about such trivia. While I like Korean food, it will never be among the five most popular, for the simple reason that it is relatively monotonous when compared to say, French, Italian, or Thai cuisine.

  • http://www.smokehard.com chiamattt

    Monotonous? that is by far the stupidest thing I have heard in weeks. It’s the last thing I would say about Korean cuisine.

  • foobat

    #4

    how does anyone measure that? simple: one hangs around on a busy corner and nags the first five foreigners that they see to rank the top five cuisines they want to eat. if just two of them say “Korean”, goal met, and itll be in all the papers the very next day.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    why do white people like Thai food?

    never understood.
    please elaborate.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    a Japanese scientist from Japan concurred with me.

    he didn’t understand why US whites went bonkers for Thai food.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    until a white guy from Texas explained to me, the hidden meaning behind the Pet Shop Boys’s

    One night in Bangkok,

    I thought it was just a song about Bangkok, Thailand.

    So, it breaks down to
    1/ bang
    2/ cock
    3/ one night there, break your innocence or some shit like that.

    i suppose it’s a play or derision of how high HIV is there being an Asian country and all, and a lot of gays.

    Pet shop boys should be ashamed. It’s a very ethnic and racist and derogatory song. But, if people from Thailand like it, I can’t help them.

  • http://www.1man1jar.com/ KrZ

    “why do white people like Thai food?”

    People in general like Thai food because it is delicious.

  • vince

    The idea of odorless kimchi makes me think of wjk without the stupid, racist (occasionally humorous) rants… there’s not much left to appreciate.

  • Maximus2008

    “i’m sure she meant the concept of removing odor from beer and wine, not adding kimchi to beer and wine, non?”

    I understood the same. Why one would do that, it’s another story…

    “for the simple reason that it is relatively monotonous when compared to say, French, Italian, or Thai cuisine”

    For some people, Korean food may not be monotonous, however, when compared to the above (and add to that Japanese, Chinese, Mediterranean and Middle East food), yes, it is monotonous, mainly because the taste is almost always around gochujang and doendjang.

    “People in general like Thai food because it is delicious”

    A simple answer to a simple question. Beautiful.

  • red sparrow

    “My tour guide asked me not to take out my kimchi in public because it can be distasteful to foreigners,” Kim, 56, says of a trip to Europe several years ago.

    Sweetheart, if you are in Europe, YOU are the foreigner. Get a clue. Gawd, that f*cking mentality makes me furious.

  • seouldout

    Could Ms. Kim apply her technology on those who eat her kimchi?

    Some of them are quite ripe. If so I urge Korea to establish yet another national goal (with the banners hung everywhere, of course) to deodorize India and overseas Indians by 2017.

    And best wishes to you Korea on your goal to win the tastiest food Olympics by 2017. I remember well when you won the dental hygienist Olympics in 1994. Thrilling.

  • StevieBee

    I think the major difference between Thai food and Korean food (to use the example cited), and which may be hugely revelatory for any Koreans still scratching their heads over this, is as so:

    The essence of Thai food is freshness. Excepting fish sauce, Thai ingredients rely on being freshly harvested to capture the perfect moment of intensity of flavour, and are cooked as quickly as possible, so that the complex nuances are not broken down.

    The essence of Korean food is that it is rotting, and it stinks, and most of it tastes like licking an old person’s armpit. It goes against untrained instincts to eat food that has degraded so heavily.

  • NetizenKim

    #15
    …and most of it tastes like licking an old person’s armpit.

    I’m not even gonna ask…

  • colontos

    @13

    We’ve been over this. Assuming that she was speaking Korean and said “waegukin,” what she really said was “non-Koreans” and not “foreigners.” The problem is mistranslation.

    @11, 14

    seouldout says shit like this every day, but it’s wjk who’s the racist, right? Fuck off, vince.

    @15

    It’s okay to know absolutely nothing about Korean food or about processes like fermentation as distinct from rotting. It’s not critical knowledge. But if you don’t know anything about these subjects, then keep your fucking mouth shut and don’t pretend to an expert, dipshit.

    Thai is the new Japanese for Westerners that love “Asia” but hate Korea.

  • http://www.1man1jar.com/ KrZ

    “The essence of Korean food is that it is rotting”

    What about 산낙지? Doesn’t get any fresher than that ;)

  • Sonagi

    Blessed with a warm year-round climate, Thais have always been able to cook freshly harvested produce. Not so for countries with cold winters. Traditional pickling is an outstanding way to preserve the fall harvest through the winter. Fermented foods help maintain a large colony of beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria, too.

  • seouldout

    Without it’s smell how is it to scare away vampires?

  • aaronm

    WJK @ #9,

    The song you are referring to is from the musical “Chess” and was sung by Murray Head and not the Pet Shop Boys. It is about a Chess tournament in Bangkok. You as an adjoshi and a septic are doubly fucking clueless about everything, especially Asia.

    Re the Thai food, try things like subtle flavors, true heat, texture and balance as to why it has been a hit worldwide. The cuisine introduced ingredients like lemongrass and coriander (cilantro for you NA types), showing us how awesome they could make a dish. I like my Korean food, but the cuisine shares almost none of these attributes.

    Trying to make X the hub of Y or A the most popular B in the world would seem the be the national obsession in Korea. When will someone there finally realize that doing this will just set them up for an endless cycle of ridicule?

  • StevieBee

    @15 – It’s okay to know nothing about satire either.

    @18 – Good point. But good luck trying to globalize that dish…

    @19 – Back in Middle Ages, we used to salt meat to preserve it. Now, however, what with the advent of refrigeration and freezing and such, we no longer bother. That’s not to say that there isn’t some harmless eccentric somewhere still doing it and assuring his worried dinner guests that it’s ‘very, very traditional’. Of course, in such terms, bubonic plague is very, very traditional too.

  • StevieBee

    Sorry, just noticed this one, too: “Thai is the new Japanese for Westerners that love “Asia” but hate Korea.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! HaAAARRGHH! That is an absolute classic! Did I say you knew nothing about satire? I take it back!

  • colontos

    Satire my ass. A favorite tactic of assholes caught with their foot in their mouth is to throw their hands up and shout “satire!”

    So we shouldn’t pickle anything any more? How about drying; do you ever eat beef jerky? Your anti-Korean sentiments are about to lead you to a bizarre place.

  • red sparrow

    @24:

    Likewise with people trying to defend a nation of xenophobes by throwing up their hands and shouting “mistranslation!”.

  • dry

    #21: The technical aspects you list is not from the cuisine, it’s done by the skill of the chef. Certainly I’ve tried plenty of Thai food that was lacking in those areas.

    The cuisine introduced lemongrass and coriander? I know at least the Indians would disagree.

    A lot of traditional Thai restaurants I knew of years ago are bankrupt and the ones around serve very Westernized dishes, along with many Chinese dishes that have gone through the same process (doesn’t mean I don’t like it though, I do enjoy Thai food, though I think Vietnamese can offer better). So essentially, the mindset of what you get is cleaner, less oily Chinese/Asian food and without the possibility of unfamiliar ingredients (ie. No brains, eyes, etc…chicken is just breast, beef is just tenderloin or something like that). Also, I’ve yet to see any restaurants serve maengda.

  • colontos

    @25

    It is a mistranslation. Koreans consistently use the Korean word to which I am referring to mean anyone who is not Korean, regardless of where they are. If you know that, and still translate the word as foreigner, especially when used outside of Korea, then you are translating badly. And if you are a monoglot (and I suspect you are), but are calling out someone speaking a different language for their word choice in that language (which you do not speak and know nothing about), then you are a jackass.

    Nice touch with “nation of xenophobes.” This is the kind of casual racism and anti-Koreanism that is the currency of discussion on this site. No one will ever call you out on it. But when wjk mentions that Chinese shower less frequently than Westerners or Koreans, then he is a horrible racist. Do I have this right?

  • Koreansentry

    Seouldout July 24, 2009 at 11:09 am
    Could Ms. Kim apply her technology on those who eat her kimchi?

    Are you Chinese or something? technology? wow couldn’t you think of the right word like “recipes”?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Wjk,

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but your buddy is a moron. One Night in Bangkok was written by two members of ABBA and was first appeared on Murray Head’s concept album, Chess, in 1984. The whole album is about the Cold War (a game of chess, get it?).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnqj31VPNoE

  • red sparrow

    You make a lot of assumptions. I will leave it at that.

    And using wjk to make a point? Well, that’s just… sad.

  • keith

    Korean food is generally nasty. You see the filthy unsanitary conditions most of it is prepared in, the fact that many of the restaurant owners see nothing wrong with recycling side dishes, the fact it is pretty boring and lacks variety. Any Korean who believes Korea will become some sort of global food giant is deluded. Kimchi Chocolate, OMFG! The crime of it.

    French, German, Italian, Beligian, British, Thai, Jamaican, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and just about any other country I can think of has superior food to Korea. Korean food lacks variety, doesn’t taste very good, is often poorly prepared with second rate ingredients, lacks sophistication and any country where people think that a pizza is ‘improved’ by adding sweetcorn and sweet potato obviously has a population with very poorly developed sense of taste.

    Check this out!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZfeIEZMGf4

    It’s not a sick joke, it’s Korean FoodCrime in action.

  • colontos

    @30

    Right, sorry, I can’t use wjk to make a point because he’s Korean and therefore worthy of scorn. My bad!

    @31

    I think you’re just a pussy white boy that can’t handle Korean food, so you whine like a bitch on the internet and make “objective” statements about how all food is superior. I say fucking grow a pair, and some hair on your chest while you’re at it. Until then, untwist your pretty little panties and go cry somewhere else, cunt.

  • Maximus2008

    @32

    “I think you’re just a p**** white boy that can’t handle Korean food”

    Not trying to defend the guy, but is it about “being able to handle it” or “liking it because of its taste”? One doesn’t need to “handle” Thai/Vietnamese/Egyptian/etc. food. Just enjoy because it tastes good.

    If we are talking about “being able to handle” (because of pepper? Don’t think so, since we know that pepper is not that strong in Korea), it becomes another discussion…

  • keith

    @32. Quieten down there sonny, and get back to your bowl of weeds, tortured dogs, swine fed on excement, animal feed the other joys of you world class cuisine.

  • mkaplan

    The whole Thai food question is an interesting one. It has its merits and tasty dishes, like virtually all cuisines do in some form or other.

    Another reason it’s popular and was trendy recently is simply that trendy Westerners ate it. It kind of followed sushi and Japanese cuisine. For a while sushi was a trendy food that the more hip and wealthy Westerners ate regularly and enjoyed. But it became more and more commonplace, to the point where average middle class Westerners would eat it regularly, instead of avoiding it as being too exotic and “weird”. So sushi and Japanese cuisine lost it’s cachet to a certain degree. Thai cuisine kind of got picked up as the next, cool trendy cuisine. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the rise in Thai cuisine as cool and trendy coincided with Thailand and its beach resorts becoming a cool place for trendy Westerners to visit.

    This doesn’t mean that Thai food’s rise has nothing to do with its taste, of course. Just that there are other considerations as well.

  • vince

    Man, this thread got hostile. Let me try to sum this up and see if we can resume a kind hearted, gentler approach.

    (dripping with sarcasm) I agree Korean food can be monotonous, I can’t tell Paris Baguette from Lepidor’s.
    (seriously) Koreans are obsessed with food and have a deep appreciation for how food is harvested and prepared. It’s one of the main reasons I love this place. But just like many Koreans feel, there’s plenty here to drive you nuts… such as the racist , xenophobes who are clueless about how their approach of describing the world as “foreigner” versus “Korean” retards them, and have no self perceptive ability to evaluate their own poor judgement, narrow-mindedness and ineptitude.

    Uh, I guess I blew it… sorry man.

  • mkaplan

    Keith,

    Well, as they say, there’s no accounting for taste. So it’s pointless to try to argue with you over such a subjective thing like taste.

    Though the fact that you cite German, British, Jamaican, Japanese cuisines as being less boring, more varied, and generally better than Korean food leads one to seriously doubt your judgment.

    “Any Korean who believes Korea will become some sort of global food giant is deluded.”

    I can’t really disagree with this. Although for Koreans, as far as cultural preservation is concerned, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Globalization” fetishizing neo-liberal types may champion particular national cuisines being globalized and new strains and fusion cuisines being developed, but the flip side of all this is dilution. Keeping the cuisine localized, and scarce throughout the world, can only maintain and preserve its uniqueness.

  • mkaplan

    Well if this whole odorless kimchi thing is legit, maybe then they can do us guys a favor and finally develop some (fish)odorless vagina.

  • NetizenKim

    Food racism aside (a new expat psychosis I will have to study in more depth later), some Southeast Asian cuisine, such as Thai and Viet, are better suited for hot humid summers than Korean, such as spring rolls dipped in fish sauce and papaya salad. I’ve never been a big fan of naengmyun and the idea of putting pieces of fruit like watermelon and pear into it always struck me as odd. The idea of consuming hot, steamy chigae in the middle of summer is also fubar. But it’s ideal in cold weather.

    #15 StevieBee
    The essence of Korean food is that it is rotting, and it stinks…

    You aped this “rotting Korean food” line from Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” South Korea episode, didn’t you? I like Andrew Zimmern and his show but I winced at his choice of words.

  • StevieBee

    NetizenKim,

    No, I haven’t seen that show.

    Colontos,

    “So we shouldn’t pickle anything any more? How about drying; do you ever eat beef jerky? Your anti-Korean sentiments are about to lead you to a bizarre place.”

    Why do you think I’m anti-Korean, just because I think that Korean food is generally dire, backward, subsistence-level peasant muck? Could you imagine how ridiculous it would be, for example, if I were to make a statement such as: “What do you mean you don’t like jugged hare?! Why are you so anti-British?!”

    Of course, I would never make such a statement because I’m sensible enough to separate a remote distaste for the distant food heritage of the island I was born on from, say, the absolute totality of my being.

    You can’t make people like Korean food, nor can you force it on people, as it was forced upon you, with the command that ‘you must enjoy this, it’s very traditional and delicious’. Try it and you will embarrass yourself severely and find your weltanschauung quite troublingly undermined.

  • http://landinglunkers.com Nomad

    Ah, another fine day at the Hole.

    NK,

    Naengmyun, if prepared right, is IMO, one of the best summer time foods ever. The blend of sour, sweet, and spicy each compliment each other and the fruit are the icing on the proverbial cake. Unfortunately, we haven’t found too many restaurants in our town that make good naengmyun; most these days throw a bow of ingredients together in a bland broth – and the broth is what makes the dish what it is.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Now, I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone that naengmyeon was originally a winter dish?

    There’s a place by my work that does a Pyongyang naengmyeon to die for:

    http://boowoon.egloos.com/1267393

    (#2 on the list)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “And using wjk to make a point? Well, that’s just… sad.”

    Looks like you missed his sophomoric interpretation of the song.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Robert,

    I’d figured it was that or that it was a rather modern invention. I can’t imagine how they would have gotten ice in the summer in this heat a few hundred years ago unless it was shipped in from abroad.

  • eggman

    wjk, said:
    why do white people like Thai food?
    never understood.
    please elaborate.

    Simple enough, because it taste good.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Robert, i did not know that. Have you previously posted on naengmyeon’s winter origins? I’d love to know more…

  • eggman

    colontos said:
    seouldout says shit like this every day, but it’s wjk who’s the racist, right? Fuck off, vince

    Because he doesn’t like Korean food he’s a racist? Wow you have some logical thinking skills there bud.

  • vince

    I (heart) Korean food. Especially 홍어희 and 동동주.
    wjk’s angry because he can’t find Lotteria in Jersey.

  • eggman

    The fact is Korean food isn’t popular worldwide. What ever the reason, that’s a fact. If you like Korean food great, if you don’t great. The facts remain the same Korean food is not popular worldwide.

  • eggman

    I once read that Korea was trying to make Kimchi a delicacy, how in the hell can you take fermenting cabbage and chilli paste and call it a delicacy?

  • Brendon Carr

    Objectively, butter and especially cheese are kind of gross in the conception — yet delicious in the execution. “Dry aging” cuts of meat involves the discovery that controlled rotting makes the meat tender and flavorful. And let’s not get to the question of lutefisk.

    Blaming kimchi for being based on some fermented vegetable is dumb, dumb, dumb when you think about all the delicious things we eat that are similarly gross.

  • seouldout

    Are you Chinese or something? technology? wow couldn’t you think of the right word like “recipes”?

    Okay Mr. Smartypants, will this recipe suffice?

    Mrs. Kim’s odorless kimchi for The Foreigner™
    1) 2 large Chinese cabbages, cut into strips
    2) 500 gr red pepper powder
    3) 25 gr sea salt
    4) 50 gr shrimp paste
    5) 1 medium radish, shredded
    6) 2 green onion, cut into long strips
    7) 2 litres water
    8 ) 500 gr minced garlic
    9) 5 gr sugar
    10) 1 freeze dried

    Get large flower pot. Dump out dirt. Pour in water and salt. Toss in cabbage and let sit for a 1/2 day. Pull out cabbage. Throw everything else in brine. Mix a bit. Put cabbage back in. Let sit for week until smelly. Add 1 freeze dried. Smelly go bye bye.

    My goodness, the freeze dried is the secret ingredient to the recipe.

  • Mizar5

    “I’ve never been a big fan of naengmyun and the idea of putting pieces of fruit like watermelon and pear into it always struck me as odd.”

    It’s an interesting and delicious mixture of sweet, sour, spicy and cold with chewy and crisp textures. One problem is that some people tend to put too much kochujang into it to prove their male prowess and end up unable to finish it. Sometimes less is more.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I’ll take your word for it, Mizar. Eating noodles cold always sounded like a recipe for an indigestion to me.

    “wjk’s angry because he can’t find Lotteria in Jersey.”

    Don’t you mean that he’s angry because he has to drive to Cherry Hill to find a White Castle that is open after midnight?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “I think you’re just a pussy white boy that can’t handle Korean food”

    Oh, come off of it. Korean food isn’t that spicy.

  • Mizar5

    Quite the contrary. I’m prone to indigestion and I find that generally Korean food is best for me. While I’ve been critical of baseless triumphalist claims about it, and generally critical of the conditions at restaraunts in Korea, if well prepared it is healthful and excellent.

    That said, good diet is not a matter of culture but individual choices. At home we make certain adjustments or concessions to health and happiness:

    1. We seldom eat white rice. The modern cuckoo style rice steamers allow you to cook up a multigrain mix, which is what usually accompanies our meals at home;
    2. We seldom eat extremely spicy foods. While we enjoy kimchi and kochu jang with our meals, we make it a bit less spicy than it is usually done in Korea;
    3 We use little salt and no MSG;
    4. We eat a greater variety of vegetable sidedishes than is typically found on a Korean table;
    5. We seldom eat noodle dishes, including ramyon – they are empty carbohydrates with a high glycemic index – however, we do eat thin kuksu with wholesome vegetables and occassionally japjae; when we do eat ramyon we eat a more healthful brand supplemented with squash and other vegetables;
    6. We have a balance of fresh vegetables, pickled vegetables and proteins such as meat, fish or steamed egg with every meal.

    Done this way, a Korean diet is just great.

  • StevieBee

    “Done this way, a Korean diet is just great.”

    I’m sorry, but I’m a bit dubious about this. Would you mind talking us through, say, a week’s worth of meals in the Mizar houushold, please? (And preferably without the distinctly postured diction you’ve adopted in the above post, if you wouldn’t mind…)

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Mizar,

    No MSG’s? Little or no salt? Lots of vegetables? Mixed grains? Red pepper used very sparingly? I didn’t know I was having Korean when my mom would serve f0resh carrots and cucumbers with lightly seasoned string beans and corn from our garden. ; )

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Mizar,

    No MSG’s? Little or no salt? Lots of vegetables? Mixed grains? Red pepper used very sparingly? I didn’t know I was having Korean when my mom would serve fresh carrots and cucumbers with lightly seasoned string beans and corn from our garden. ; )

  • wookinponub

    More polarization. Great.

  • Mizar5

    Gladly. To my best recollection:

    Thurs night:broiled fish (Kalchi), a bowl of rice, grains and beans, some leftover Chinese style chicken and vegetables dish, muchim greens from our garden in red sauce), and banchan dishes of: yolmu kinchi, buchu sprinkeled with soy flour, bean sprouts, fresh cuttlefish in red sauce, fried tubu with some soy, scallion, gae shi.

    Wed night: Italian -manicotti, garden salad)

    Tues night: American – grill barbequed chicken with fresh garden salad greens, broiled vegetables in cheese sauce

    Mon night: sam gyup sal with fresh garden greens for sam, including gaenip, lettuce, mustard greens, a variety of banchan, including eggplant, buchu, kimchi

    Sunday night: Kalbi with fresh greens for sam, a variety of banchan, twaenjang chigae.

  • Mizar5

    Sorry about the distinctly postured diction, btw. I make up for it with bad spelling.

  • Mizar5

    I forgot to mention that Tuesay’s grilled chicken was prepared skinned and marinated overnight, then grilled outside it at medium flame with honey BBQ sauce.

    And Monday’s sam gyup sal was fried on a table grill. Last week we had it in red pepper sauce.

    On Saturday we had macarel stew, banchan and rice. I mention this because today is Friday, and I’m not sure what we’ll have yet, but most likely kuksu in fish broth – with onions, soy sauce mix, sliced vegetables including kimchi, kim, squash, sliced ham, egg.

  • StevieBee

    And what about breakfast and lunch?

  • hardyandtiny

    “Can you remove the smell from something and leave the taste?”

    I don’t think so.

  • tinyflowers

    red sparrow,
    colontos is correct. waegukin doesn’t mean what you think it means. Funny how your own ignorance of the language makes you “furious” to hear Koreans saying that word when overseas. I find that hilarious.

  • hardyandtiny

    “wjk’s angry because he can’t find Lotteria in Jersey.”

    LOL

  • Mizar5

    Dining with Mizar continued…

    Breakfast: coffee, honey nut chex with banana and strawberry or cottage cream with fruit.
    Lunch : brown bag
    Snack: nut bar

  • tinyflowers

    I hope to God that Korean food never becomes as popular as, say, Chinese food in the US. If you’ve seen the bastardized garbage that gets passed off as “Chinese food” around here, then you know that some people truly have no taste.

    The thing I like most about Korean food is that it’s uncompromising. You either like it or you don’t. You either get it or you don’t. It’s a cuisine that foodies generally love, but if you have a narrow palate I can certainly understand why you might have a problem with it.

  • StevieBee

    Well, Mizar, I’d say that’s a pretty good Korean diet, though I dare say that it doesn’t really involve enough Korean food to be worthy of that title. However, you are blazing a trail that I hope many will follow.

  • Mizar5

    Depends on how you’d define “enough”. While my Korean colleages didn’t “brown bag” or doshirak lunch, many regularly consumed milk and bread or some such thing for breakfast. In terms of quantity, I’d say I eat a much greater variety of Korean ingredients on a regular basis than many, who will simply wolf down a bowl of rice and some kimchi and call that a meal.

    And of course you make some concessions when you do not live in a major city where you can have easy access to Korean groceries. I traded the city for the country, which is another very non-Korean behavior.

    But enough about me and my diet. Let’s talk about me and my great personal qualities.

  • Mizar5

    “If you’ve seen the bastardized garbage that gets passed off as “Chinese food” around here, then you know that some people truly have no taste.”

    Especially where I live. We took out my neice who is visiting from Korea for Chinese twice, and she said “no more.”

  • NetizenKim

    #51
    Objectively, butter and especially cheese are kind of gross in the conception — yet delicious in the execution.

    The French have a saying their cheese: smells like ze feet of angels!

    I think Koreans similarly need to be unapologetic about the smell of kimchi and stop worrying how it might offend waeguk olfactory senses. Perhaps there is a market for odorless kimchi, who knows? But odorless kimchi is like shaved pussy. I prefer au naturel and in that sense I am a European.

    I do think the kimchi needs to shed some of its old school peasant heritage and be sexed-up for the modern era. Kimchi-flavored liquor is NOT the way to go. If I owned a kimchi plant and had to market the kimchi in Korea, I would use this brand

    Horny Ajumma Kimchi

    with a picture of a MILF-quality ajumma on the label.

    Because kimchi needs some sex appeal and ajumma’s need to feel like a woman.

  • Mizar5

    You’re on the right track, here NK. Pickled though kimchi may be, I think it’s best presentation/introduction is in combination with freshly prepared foods – table grilled meats, etc. It really doesn’t shine in a supermarket.

  • tmc1233

    “For some people, KoTo the person who said that my earlier comment was the stupidest he had “heard”– READ? in weeks, which is more monotonous? Everything flavored with salt and gochujang, or cuisines with various subtle and delicate flavors? Nothing against Korean food, but the flavors tend to be about as subtle as a brick wall.

  • Mizar5

    StevieBee, turns out we had lobster tonight. The kuksu can wait,

  • tmc1233

    until a white guy from Texas explained to me, the hidden meaning behind the Pet Shop Boys’s

    One night in Bangkok,

    I thought it was just a song about Bangkok, Thailand.

    So, it breaks down to
    1/ bang
    2/ cock
    3/ one night there, break your innocence or some shit like that.

    i suppose it’s a play or derision of how high HIV is there being an Asian country and all, and a lot of gays.

    Pet shop boys should be ashamed. It’s a very ethnic and racist and derogatory song. But, if people from Thailand like it, I can’t help them.”

    Eh??? One night in Bangkok is a song from the musical “Chess”. It was sung by Murray Head and was written by Benny and Bjorn from ABBA. Pet Shop Boys had nothing to do with it. BTW, it is about Bobby Fischer playing chess against Boris Spassky.

  • tmc1233

    “Sweetheart, if you are in Europe, YOU are the foreigner. Get a clue. Gawd, that f*cking mentality makes me furious.”

    AMEN! I was once in Saipan with a bunch of Koreans, who referred to me as a ‘foreigner’. Seeing that Saipan is part of a US Commonwealth, I set them straight REALLY fast, and pointed out that we were on US soil and that as an American I was NOT the foreigner.

  • Mizar5

    Well if you buy the bs about “yellow fever” you can believe in all sorts of anti Asian conspiracies.

    BTW, when I was coming of age in NY, no one could fathom that an Asian woman would be the object of desire. When John took up with Yoko everyone was frankly puzzled. While this began to change a bit in the 1970s it didn’t y take root until the internet which, as we know exploits everything.

    So to conjecture, as NK does, that it is some deep-rooted, long-standing caucasian supremecist phenomenon is completely false. That kind of thinking betrays a huge lack of a personal historical perspective.

  • tmc1233

    “We’ve been over this. Assuming that she was speaking Korean and said “waegukin,” what she really said was “non-Koreans” and not “foreigners.” The problem is mistranslation.”

    外國人 외=바깥=outside 국=나라=country 인=사람=person. Yep, that pretty much means foreigner to me and NOT non-Korean.

  • Mizar5

    PS That comment was a response to your Pet Shop Boys comment,tmc123.

  • colontos

    How do you know that 外 means “outside the country”? Why doesn’t it mean “outside our culture” or “outside of our language” or “outside of us”? I went and looked at the hanja, too, believe me. If 外 modifies 國, then that could easily mean “other country,” which is not the same as “foreign country.”

    Aliens, from other planets, are called waegaein, also with 外. Are they from a “foreign” planet, or from “another” planet? If waeguk just means “other country,” then it would apply regardless of where the speaker is.

    I think Koreans similarly need to be unapologetic about the smell of kimchi and stop worrying how it might offend waeguk olfactory senses.

    I agree with this.

    “Food racism” is exactly what it is. Here’s a helpful example for all you dumb-as-rocks folks:

    Not racism: “I don’t like Korean food” “I hate Korean food” “Korean food is not for me”

    Racism: “All food in the world is objectively better than Korean food” “Korean people have a poorly developed sense of taste”

    What do we see more of on this thread, and on this site? The racist variety, very good. Because anti-Korean racism is the coin of the realm here.

  • colontos

    Besides, going with the whole “usage” argument: if Koreans consistently use waegukin to mean all non-Koreans, regardless of the speaker’s location, then who the fuck are you to decide the correct meaning of their word? If all Koreans use it that way all the time (and they do), then that’s what it means!

    Lastly on this subject: let’s give it all away, for the sake of argument, and say, ok, you’re right, Koreans are calling other people foreigners. Does it really bother you that much? Does it really fill you with rage? At worst, it is only thoughtlessness, not racism or “xenophobia.” If you really feel rage, I think that you might have a problem.

  • NetizenKim

    Personally, I think “waeguk-in” is a big step up from “big-nose barbarian” or something like that but that’s just me.

  • Brendon Carr

    Besides, going with the whole “usage” argument: if Koreans consistently use waegukin to mean all non-Koreans, regardless of the speaker’s location, then who the fuck are you to decide the correct meaning of their word? If all Koreans use it that way all the time (and they do), then that’s what it means!

    Then why must the rest of us be forced to stop referring to the Sea of Japan as the “Sea of Japan” in our own, non-Korean languages?

  • ellaydave

    listen it’s simple:

    when koreans are amongst each other, regardless of which country they’re in, the term “waegukin” (sorry no hanja on my mac) is used to talk about all non-koreans. the translation into english should be not always be the same:

    when in korea, the translation of “waegukin” should be, naturally, foreigner.

    when outside of korea, the translation of “waegukin” should be non-korean.

    it’s just the nature of the language and of koreans’ thinking. there might be other languages and cultures that speak the same way; english isn’t and americans don’t.

    as for “waegukin” v. “big-nose barbarian”, i prefer the honesty of the latter cuz then i don’t have to figure out the BS behind the more benign former.

    related story: a cab-driver in donghae, gangwon (on the east coast), once called me, in korean, “big-nosed foreigner” (it’s true, i do have a schnoz). i wasn’t in the mood for such shenanigans, but i wasn’t going to be directly rude, either.

    so i replied, in korean, that in the US, big noses = big dicks. and he laughed knowingly.

    i waited a beat or two, and then dropped the bomb: “and you, sir, have a small nose.”

    he immediately pulled over and bade angrily that me and my 3 homies get out. the only way to fight the madness that is korea (or that is being a foreigner) is to learn the language enough to put people in their place, in their language, on their turf, and in their manner when they pull out stereotypical or perceived racist shit.

    by the way, korean food is bland, but tasty (is that possible?). it ain’t spicy, but it isn’t diverse-tasting, either. i eat it nearly every day, but do grow tired of the omnipresent gojuchang-lacing. what i do hate most about cuisine and living in korea is the lack of good mexican cuisine (i’m an LA boy, after all).

    but that’s one of the vagaries of living abroad. i’m sure if i were living in some small mexican city on the pacific, i’d be lamenting the lack of good korean food there.

  • Mizar5

    Colontos:”What do we see more of on this thread, and on this site? The racist variety, very good. Because anti-Korean racism is the coin of the realm here.”

    You’re full of shit. PS. there is no such thing as “anti-Korean racism.”
    When people say these things about Frenchmen, they are not called racists. The race card is studid.

  • colontos

    Then why must the rest of us be forced to stop referring to the Sea of Japan as the “Sea of Japan” in our own, non-Korean languages?

    Sir, I am in full agreement with you on this point. The English name of the sea is “Sea of Japan.”

    The race card is studid.

    It is studid.

  • seouldout

    by the way, korean food is bland, but tasty (is that possible?). it ain’t spicy, but it isn’t diverse-tasting, either. i eat it nearly every day, but do grow tired of the omnipresent gojuchang-lacing. what i do hate most about cuisine and living in korea is the lack of good mexican cuisine (i’m an LA boy, after all).

    You, sir, obviously haven’t enjoyed the great taste of freeze dried. This ingredient, when added to the kimchi recipe, performs miracles. Imagine fairies tickling your taste buds. Only more deliciously. All the outside our cuisine people foreigners rave about it. Mmmmm…freeze dried.

  • red sparrow

    Ask 100 Koreans what “waeguk” means and 99.97 of them will say “foreigner”. Whether or not that is accurate is unimportant. Intended meaning trumps actual.

    And about the food: Korean is lacking in spices and seasonings. It’s still okay. Except for the octopus. But it will never gain the worldwide appeal of say Italian. The weekly opening in Seoul of 20 mediocre or just plain piss-poor Italian-styled restaurants is proof of that.

    Does any of this make me a food racist? I don’t know and I don’t give a f*ck. I don’t play the racism card every time someone says something I disagree with.

  • tmc1233

    How do you know that 外 means “outside the country”? Why doesn’t it mean “outside our culture” or “outside of our language” or “outside of us”? I went and looked at the hanja, too, believe me. If 外 modifies 國, then that could easily mean “other country,” which is not the same as “foreign country.”

    外 means outside, not outside country. “Outside” is not the same as “other” and DEFINITELY not the same as “non-korean” which is what you initially claimed 외국인 to mean. Don’t even try to be intellectually dishonest here. You will lose. As for 외계인, it means “outside world person” which translates to alien or extra-terrestrial.

  • colontos

    Isn’t it clear that the “outside” means “outside Korea/Koreans” and not “outside whatever country we’re in right now”?

    Real question, not rhetorical: how do Chinese and Japanese compare? Do they use the same etymology and do they use it the same way?

    Ask 100 Koreans what “waeguk” means and 99.97 of them will say “foreigner”. Whether or not that is accurate is unimportant. Intended meaning trumps actual.

    Yes. And despite the mistranslation, the intended meaning here is “non-Korean.” Do get mad about it is childish.

  • ellaydave

    #89: u got me there. can’t say that i’m a freeze-dried xpert.

    #90: again, it depends on where it is you ask a korean. here in korea, yes. outside of korea, they might initially say yes until they’re called on it. then most of the ones i’ve talked to about it realize that translating the term as “foreigner” isn’t accurate when outside of korea. after some deeper thinking, they always seem to accept that there are different ways to translate it because of the way it’s used and where and with whom it’s used.

    of course, i’ve got a long ways to go before i get to the rest of the 50 million koreans who live here, so my findings are admittedly unscientific. as a learned speaker of korean who’s been on several occasions called “waegukin” in my native LA, my initial reaction was to blow up at being called what i thought was “foreigner” in my own country; however, i realized after being called it a few times more that it needed deeper investigation instead of just my constant agitation and shallowness.

  • StevieBee

    @ colontos (God help me…)

    “Racism: “All food in the world is objectively better than Korean food” “Korean people have a poorly developed sense of taste”

    That’s not racism. Let me prove it by walking you through a couple of parallel examples, which I will introduce simultaneously.

    1 ) “Korean guitars are rubbish. Korean companies don’t know how to make good guitars.”

    2) “British food in the 1960s and ’70s was awful. British people had a poorly developed sense of taste back then.”

    Are either of those statements racist? No, because for one thing, neither Koreans nor the British constitute a race. And for another thing, both are perfectly tolerable conjectures. If we are going to talk about culture on a national scale (as Koreans are so often wont to do), then we have to accept wholesale generalizations about that culture, good or bad. So if we can say, for instance, that “Koreans are so friendly to strangers!” is a valid statement, then we have to also be able to claim that, “Korean people are inhumanely cruel to animals” is also acceptable.

    However, instead of you citing racism for any opinion about Korean food that differs from the one so effectively inculcated into you, you might want to think instead about why so many people dislike Korean food quite strongly. I would like to make the following suggestion to you: Korea has absolutely no culture of food criticism whatsoever. There is no Korean food that is not ‘very traditional and delicious!” When yet another witless, predictable, made-for-ship-man-won TV show visits yet another undecorated shack that calls itself a restaurant, the content will consist purely of adulation and orgasmic wonder at the tradionalness and deliciousness of the food on offer. The tone of cookery shows is always one of breathless awe at the always-traditional-Korean food being prepared. (“Wa!” say the audience and hosts as the guest chef knocks out another samgak rice thing. “How DOES he do it?! Waaa!”)

    If only people who were truly interested in Korean food could turn a dry, critical eye upon the mainstays of the diet, then things might start to change. However, to do this, Koreans will need to sever the emotional link between the national cuisine and their secret belief that Koreans should rightfully rule the world. What other culture would be so foolishly prideful as to suspect racism – irrational antipathy towards an ethnic group – when the rest of the world passes on kimchi jjigae and says ‘no thanks’ to sundae?

    It may also soothe you to know, colontos, that no other national cuisine has had an easy passage into the hearts of the Western world (whose approval you appear so keenly to seek). It’s only a small segment of the Thai food spectrum that makes it to Thai restaurants outside of Thailand in London, and the French would never try to make a New Yorker eat horse. Dishes have to be adapted to suit their audience. It’s a taut negotiation, but given time and understanding, it usually works out for the best. Who knows – maybe one day you’ll enjoy a pizza sans corn and sweet potato?

  • Sonagi

    From the Naver online dictionary:

    외국: 자기 나라가 아닌 다른 나라.

    외국인: 다른 나라 사람.

    In terms of spoken usage among Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese, there is a racial (not racist) connotation to the word 외국인 (外國人), which almost always refers to a racially distinct person clearly not from one of those three countries. This makes sense because a person from one country can easily distinguish a person from one of the other two and thus, usually refers to that person by his or her nationality. For example, South Koreans in China are always called hanguoren, never waiguoren. People of other nationalities are not easily distinguished by sight or language, so they’re identified as 외국인.

  • tinyflowers

    If we went to Mars and discovered life underground, would we still not call it alien life? Of course we would, it is alien to us.

    That is the essence of the meaning of waegukin. People from other countries… other than WHAT? It’s a Korean word, used by Koreans, so what is the reference point here? Doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.

  • Mizar5

    Beautifully executed, StevieBee. I’m with you in your apparent belief that hammering away at the logic of things can help to sew seeds of doubt in the self-limiting irrational belief systems that people cling to.

  • Mizar5

    Hey, nobody’s trying to create a mountain out of a molehill here tiny. But you put your finger on the exact point that the other side is trying to make – that the reference point is Koreans. That Koreans measure the entire world in terms of their narrow frame of reference is precisely the point that is being made.

    Please collect your stooge cheque at the door.

  • tinyflowers

    ,

    Are either of those statements racist? No, because for one thing, neither Koreans nor the British constitute a race.

    That’s actually a classic racist rationalization. It’s like saying I hate Mexicans but I’m not racist because Mexican isn’t a race.. or, I hate Chinese people but I’m not racist because Chinese isn’t a race, etc.

    Seeing as how you started your post with a disclaimer that is normally only used by racists, the rest of your screed reads like a thinly veiled racist rant.

    I also noticed that in your four lengthy paragraphs, you didn’t really discuss the qualities of Korean cuisine at all, even though your intention was to make us “think instead about why so many people dislike Korean food”. Instead your criticism centered on the qualities of the Korean people and their promotion of the cuisine – “another witless, predictable, made-for-ship-man-won TV show”, “purely of adulation and orgasmic wonder at the tradionalness and deliciousness”, “their secret belief that Koreans should rightfully rule the world”, etc.

    It is not racist to dislike Korean food. But if your dislike of all things Korean is so obviously rooted in a dislike of Korean people, as you demonstrated in your post, then yes, that is indeed racist.

  • tinyflowers

    98,
    No mizar, the point is that some people are simply ignorant of the Korean language (you, for example, despite your “decades of experience in Korea”), and that their ignorance leads their to furious, self-righteous indignation at the usage of a word that they do not fully understand.

  • Mizar5

    It is not racist to dislike Korean food. But if your dislike of all things Korean is so obviously rooted in a dislike of Korean people, as you demonstrated in your post, then yes, that is indeed racist.

    Sheer nonsense. It is not by racist to be critical of Korea on the basis of a dislike of the people on strictly objective grounds. In fact, if there is any grounds to dislike Korea as a nation, it would almost certainly have to be rooted in the behavior of the people.

    I’ve heard people of numerous nationalities and races say they dislike Koreans. I’ve heard it from Chinese people. This is not racism. It’s much simpler than that – Occam’s razor, remember? Quite simply, Koreans are easy to dislike for a myriad of reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with their race.

  • tinyflowers

    Sheer nonsense. It is not by racist to be critical of Korea on the basis of a dislike of the people on strictly objective grounds

    Mizar, this is clearly NOT what I stated. I know you’re desperate to respond with something, anything, but try to do better next time.

  • Mizar5

    No mizar, the point is that some people are simply ignorant of the Korean language (you, for example, despite your “decades of experience in Korea”), and that their ignorance leads their to furious, self-righteous indignation at the usage of a word that they do not fully understand.

    Why bring me into it? I did not even presume to opine on the subject of the Korean language. And I can assure you, I am no more ignorant of that subject than any Korean.

    OK, now let’s deconstruct your argument.

    Your statement that “their ignorance leads their to furious, self-righteous indignation at the usage of a word that they do not fully understand.” is an example of circular logic.

    assumption a) they are expressing furious, self rigteous indignation.
    assumption b) they do not fully understand the usage of the word.
    conclusion: therefore they are ignorant.

    First of all, neither premise is proven.
    Second, the conclusion is merely an argumentum ad hominem and therefore a strawman.

    The use of the term “outside nation person” can be disected academically, but the fact is, it is simply not a very rigorous term and the use of Chinese characters does not necessarily result in precision. What matters is its usage, not its derivation. And you have not shown that the non-Koreans have exhibited some glaring misunderstanding of the term or its usage. Unless you are privy to some knowlege that the majority of Koreans are not, and even if you are so privy, it’s acceptable to translate it as “foreigner.”

    Why is that so hard to admit? When a person goes to extreme lengths to redefine a term to shore up an argument, it reeks of desperation, don’t you think?

  • Mizar5

    It is precisely what you said. I quote:

    “But if your dislike of all things Korean is so obviously rooted in a dislike of Korean people, as you demonstrated in your post, then yes, that is indeed racist.”

    I countered that dislike of Koreans, so long as it is based on objective criteria, is not racist. The term”racist” is no more than a strawman. What you really mean to say is:

    “My feelings are hurt by your criticism and my ego suffers. Therefore I am striking out by name-calling. “

    Hey, it’s OK to feel that way. We are all merely human. Just be honest about it and call the guy a dork. The race card is just so transparently passe. Nobody is fooled by it anymore.

  • StevieBee

    Tinyflowers,

    “I also noticed that in your four lengthy paragraphs, you didn’t really discuss the qualities of Korean cuisine at all, even though your intention was to make us “think instead about why so many people dislike Korean food”. Instead your criticism centered on the qualities of the Korean people and their promotion of the cuisine – “another witless, predictable, made-for-ship-man-won TV show”, “purely of adulation and orgasmic wonder at the tradionalness and deliciousness”, “their secret belief that Koreans should rightfully rule the world”, etc.”

    What a load of horseshit. For one thing, the example you stated when opening is NOT a classic racist gambit, for attitudes of racism are by their very definition based on assumptions about predispositions and tendencies inherent within the genetic makeup of a group of people (ie what is termed a ‘race’). If you truly accept that a certain group of people are not a race, then an assumption about that group can at best be termed antipathetic, at worst, just plain ignorant. If I make fair and informed criticism of the culture of a group of people, then it is not racism, it is cultural criticism. You can attack the validity of my position and the strength of my argument, but you can’t just dismiss it as racism.

    Secondly, I didn’t examine any of the specific qualities of Korean food because that was not the point I was making, and – for fuck’s sake – there would be hardly be space! The point I was making was that, as I stated without ambiguity but I shall restate now just so that we are clear on the matter, there is no culture of food criticism in Korea. And again, to repeat the example I gave, Korean food shows don’t look to expand or revise or improve Korean food, but just present them in their dubious glory for everyone to whoop and praise on cue.

    I think that both of these points are quite clear, but I dare say that you are just too pigheaded to actually perceive what I’m trying to say. So go ahead and cite racism again, and go on in your strange beliefs, safely protected from any sort of self-analysis or criticism by the certain knowledge that Koreans are all correct and the rest of the world is mistaken, and if they don’t embrace very delicious and traditional Korean food, it’s because they’re less further along the evolutionary trail.

  • tinyflowers

    103,
    Mizar, both “assumptions” have been proven right here in this thread.

    it’s acceptable to translate it as “foreigner.”

    When pressed, most Koreans will translate it as foreigner, out of convenience. But like so many things, the essence of the meaning is lost in translation. I suppose it’s close enough. Where ignorance is on full display, though, is when people like red sparrow profess to becoming “furious” at the usage of the term by Koreans when overseas. He most likely did not realize that the word used was not foreigner, but another word that had a similar but different meaning.

    Ignorance is not a crime. But continued, willful ignorance in the face of new evidence? Going so far as to tell Koreans what their own word means? I don’t know what to make of that.

    When a person goes to extreme lengths to redefine a term to shore up an argument, it reeks of desperation, don’t you think?

    Who’s the one redefining words here? The word has a very clear meaning, in both usage and etymology.

    A mistranlation does not alter the meaning of the original word.

  • Mizar5

    “I also noticed that in your four lengthy paragraphs, you didn’t really discuss the qualities of Korean cuisine at all, even though your intention was to make us “think instead about why so many people dislike Korean food”. Instead your criticism centered on the qualities of the Korean people and their promotion of the cuisine.”

    Precisely. The writer’s expressed purpose was not to examine the qualities of Korean cuisine, but rather to illustrate that “Korea has absolutely no culture of food criticism whatsoever.”

    He stated that one possible explanation of why so many people dislike Korean food is that there is no culture of food criticism. He then illustrated with several concrete examples that Koreans have an excessive emotional link to the national cuisine and conflate it with their self identity, and have therefore not bothered to be objective or creative with it.

    By relying entirely on their subjective link to tradition rather than objective criteria in measuring the qualities of their cuisine, they have effectively shut out the rest of the world. As the rest of the world doesn’t share their subjective frame of reference, they cannot possibly enjoy Korean food to the extent that those who have developed a taste for it over a lifetime of consuming it do.

    Got it?

  • tinyflowers

    Just to belabor the point, Koreans fluent in English don’t go around calling the natives “foreigners” when living abroad.

    The word that is used is “waegukin”, which is totally appopriate. People mistranslate that as “foreigner” and get upset at the ignorant, self-centered Koreans, when in reality, ignorance and self-centeredness is all theirs.

    It is the height of self-centeredness to think that the meaning of the (mis)translated word in English takes precedence over the meaning of the orginal word.

  • tinyflowers

    107,
    I can think of MANY reasons to dislike Korean food, “lack of food criticism” isn’t one of them. And besides, there is plenty of food criticism in Korea. Of course, you would have to be able to read Korean to experience any of it. I guess that leaves you out :)

  • Mizar5

    The key flaw in your argument are you are proceding on the assumption that you have alreadyestablished that waegukin means something completely separate from foreigner. All we really have here is colontos’ conjecture based ona casual look at the hanja and your concurrence. So your argument hinges on a conjecture you cannot prove. And yet you are so shrill and hysterical as to denounce people as ignorant on the basis of such a flimsy supposition.

  • Mizar5

    “tinyflowers :107,I can think of MANY reasons to dislike Korean food, “lack of food criticism” isn’t one of them. And besides, there is plenty of food criticism in Korea. Of course, you would have to be able to read Korean to experience any of it. I guess that leaves you out.

    Then you guess wrong. I have in fact written numerous articles in Korean as a marketing director for Samsung and even published a couple on the subject of wine. But then, that was a pretty cheap, desperate shot, and I’d say you’re the one who feels left out.

  • tinyflowers

    105,

    First, I would have to say that you have a rather archaic, old world definition of racism. By your definition, hating African Americans is not racist since African American does not constitute a “race” (whatever that means).

    Secondly, I did not see any fair or informed “cultural criticism” in your previous post. You say there is no culture of food criticism in Korea? How do you know? Are you fluent in Korean? If not, how is that “informed” criticism? Have you heard of food blogs? I’m guessing you don’t even have the required level of Korean to find them, much less read them.

    In short, your opinions can safely be dismissed, not for being “racist” (though I’ll give you that too), but simply for being ignorant and uninformed.

  • Mizar5

    : )

  • StevieBee

    @tinyflowers

    “I can think of MANY reasons to dislike Korean food, “lack of food criticism” isn’t one of them. And besides, there is plenty of food criticism in Korea. Of course, you would have to be able to read Korean to experience any of it. I guess that leaves you out”

    I strongly doubt that there is. But if there is, and if I’m left out of it, I dare say that I won’t exactly be beside myself with grief.

  • Mizar5

    Let’s say he is ignorant and uninformed. But does that mean his opinions can safely be dismissed? Even a broken clock is right twice a day. But of course you are wont to call anyone who disagrees with you ignorant and uninformed, so I’d say we can safely dismiss your opinions as well.

  • tinyflowers

    110,
    Like I said, the definition is pretty clear. Read the definition provided by Sonagi, in Korean. What do you think 다른 나라 means? 다른 from what?

    And of course, the usage argument seals the deal.

  • Mizar5

    Now I leave the last word to you as I retire. That’s the least courtesy I can pay you considering how soundly I have thrashed you in argument.

  • WeikuBoy

    WeikuBoy’s short takes:

    The use of 외국인 (or waiguoren or gaijin) is an unfortunate anachronism from the 4850 years (give or take) when Northeast Asians happily lived in their own Our Land and (but for the very occasional barbarian or pirate invasion) seldom had to deal with foreigners. It has little place in our modern world, and is offensive. Koreans do need to come up with a better word or phrase.

    I like Korean food. I like it a lot. Even still, it wouldn’t make my own list of top 20 cuisines; and I doubt if I’ll ever eat in again after leaving Korea. It’s farmer’s food, plain and simple. It depends on the freshness of local ingredients, some of which don’t exist outside of Korea, and it depends also on the labor of ajummas, who would have little incentive to work so hard outside of Korea. In short, it’s cheap and filling, unglamorous and unpretentious, ‘down to earth’ like Korea itself. What it’s NOT is lovely, charming, romantic, endearing, or even especially memorable.

    As far as the lack of a culture of food criticism, I have often wondered how, with the archaic laws punishing defamation — under which truth is not a defense and opinions are not protected — food and restaurant critics can even exist. My guess is, they don’t. Does anyone know that for sure?

    Finally, 108 posts and counting, and no one has yet commented on the strangeness of the woman who took kimchi with her to Europe. Koreans really cannot bear to be without kimchi for a week? I find that very, very sad.

  • tinyflowers

    Let me guess, you couldn’t read that?

  • tinyflowers

    115,
    Yeah I would say that someone who does not speak or read Korean, who claims that the reason “so many people dislike Korean food quite strongly” is because “Korea has absolutely no culture of food criticism whatsoever” can safely be dismissed as ignorant and uninformed. Just like you’re ignorant and uninformed on the definition of 외국인.

    The restaurant scene is quite competitive in Korea. The best, most authentic food criticism is word of mouth (the vibrant food blogging scene in Korea being a part of that). If you want glossy magazines with pretty pictures to tell you what’s good and what’s not, well, you can find that as well. But the most honest and informed criticism will be word of mouth. If you can’t speak Korean, and don’t have people taking you out to new places, you probably eat at the same crappy restaurant every day, never knowing what truly great Korean food tastes like.

  • tinyflowers

    118,

    I don’t think 외국인 is offensive. Not yet anyway. Archaic, yes, but not offensive. There’s potential for a negative connotation (as with gaijin). I’m sure you guys would love that.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    Just to belabor the point, Koreans fluent in English don’t go around calling the natives “foreigners” when living abroad.

    The word that is used is “waegukin”, which is totally appopriate.

    Why is it totally appropriate? Why can’t they just use the word 사람? Why use a word that is non-inclusive and can be mis-intepreted? And if 사람 is no good, then if in Canada call them Canadians, in the US call them Americans, in the UK call them British, etc.

    If they are in another country, why use 외국인 at all?

  • keith

    Disliking Korean food has nothing to do with racism, it’s all about taste. I’m not a racist and to say that I am because I like different( better) food is simply absurd.

    I happen to like fresh tastes, and well prepared meals with quality ingredients. Smothering fish which hasn’t even been gutted with nasty gochu sauce does not qualify as fresh and well prepared. Oysters that give you food poisoning such as the ones I had in Yeosu is not fresh and well prepared. The fact that the fishmongers products are largely kept outside, uncovered in the sun and covered in flies isn’t very appetising to me. You might like to see flies buzzing around your lunch, personally I don’t.

    If you like Oysters that make you sick, flies on you seafood, eating badly prepared fish with the guts in, then that is your right. Don’t accuse others of racism just because they call your country’s food crap.

    There are many things I do like about Korea. The food is just about at the bottom of the my list of things to like, and pretty much at the top of things I really don’t like.

    Food nationalism is retarded. I like all good food. Good meaning fresh, well prepared, clean tasting, varied and exciting. Most Korean food exhibits few or non of these qualities.

    It’s funny how the topic of food gets the KoreanFoodCrime apologists frothing.

  • colontos

    Why can’t they just use the word 사람?

    That’s so sweet. Why don’t we refer to all people as beautiful and unique flowers?

    Korea has no food criticism? LOL. Try learning the language, bro.

    Ok, you guys win. All Koreans are idiots and all Korean things are inferior to everything else. But remember, that’s not racism because Koreans are not a race. You guys are fucking pitiful.

    One last question:

    Why does everybody assume I’m Korean? Could a non-Korean never want to defend Koreans from constant baseless, irrational attacks by a bunch of whiny fucks on the internet?

    Y’all need to go dry your fucking pussies off. If you don’t like Korea then leave. And if you don’t like Koreans, then leave and don’t hang around websites that deal with Korea. Are you only here to bash? THAT’S what’s sad, not the fact that Koreans like kimchi.

  • keith

    Not all Koreans are stupid, but many are. And you could say the same about any country.

    Korea and Koreans are good at somethings. Shipbuilding, heavy industry, IT services, LCD production are just four things Koreans are genuine world leaders in. Excellence in cuisine and becoming a tourist hub are ridiculous dreams, and deserve, and get a justified lampooning by expats both offline, in the blogosphere and on internet forums.

    ‘Baseless attacks’, I think not Korean foodcrime is a well documented phenomenon.
    ‘Irrational’, hardly.

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    That’s so sweet. Why don’t we refer to all people as beautiful and unique flowers?

    What’s with the sarcasm that does nothing to answer the points I inquired about? If Koreans are in ANOTHER COUNTRY, why is 외국인 appropriate when other words exist that are (1) not non-inclusive, (2) can’t be mis-interpreted, and (3) are more accurate?

  • babotaengi

    That rice pizza cooking video was hilarious, Keith:

    “We’re putting spaghetti sauce on the pizza base.”

    “If you can’t find spaghetti sauce at the market, is there an easy way to prepare it?”

    “Actually, I brought the recipe in with me. This is ketchup, and this is chilli sauce. Mix them together 1 part each. It makes a good substitute.” o.O

    Hahahahaha.

    Then there are the humorous factoids he gives:

    “Westerners typically use wheat because they have a high body temperature and wheat has a cooling effect. Easterners on the other hand have a low body temperature, so we like to eat rice because it has the opposite effect.” Huh, WTF?

    Was also glad to see him adding generous helpings of the pizza staples sweet potato and corn.

  • Nono

    It seems as if the anti-Korea commentators know only the part of Korea that is exposed on the Internet; would these people please recognize that kimchi has more than one variety, and there are some that are not fermented, too? If you had the pleasure of going to the rural mountains in Korea, you would have found Korean temple foods to actually be pleasing (not pungent nor heavily seasoned).

  • seoulmilk

    wow.

    i don’t think anyone is racists here. perhaps childish? and if you get offended by me calling you childish then think about the topic and what you’re “fighting” about. seriously? and if you say he started it…then please. you are childish. and if you feel so compelled to respond to wjk, colontos or tiny, then what’s wrong with them trying to defend a culture that they love? but seriously, taste is a subjective matter. if you don’t like it, fine. i could be wrong but me thinks you guys are subconsciously trying to burst koreans ego. that’s fine. koreans tend to get big-headed about their culture. but if i’m correct, then say that to a korean. doing it on this blog accomplishes what? getting under the skin of some dude in new jersey? good for you.

    as to the korean word “foreigner,” this is not subjective. how the fuck does a non-native person tell people who speak the language fluently what the word means? context. context. c.o.n.t.e.x.t. it means “non-korean” when used outside of korea. because it means “foreigner” in korea, you think it should be used as such everywhere? then shall we delete the second, third, fourth or whatever number of definitions there are for a word in the dictionary because we should only use the first definition used in a dictionary? when i’m in korea, i call the east sea, east sea. when i’m in the states, i refer to the “east sea” as sea of japan. why? context. now, why can’t you understand that? “foreigner” in korean means non-korean outside of korea. but after this, if you still think i’m wrong and you’re adamant that “foreigner” in no context means non-koreans, then there’s nothing i can do. but when koreans refer to east sea as east sea instead of sea of japan, then you can never call koreans foolish because they are just being same as you.

  • Mizar5

    You have no argument from me. I believe that the original argument was precisely a comment about the use of the word “wae guk in” in a certain context, specifically noting that Koreans use the work waegukin when outside Korea to mean “non-Korean” although the literal definition is in fact “foreigner” (literally “outside country person”). A couple of circular logicians responded “well in that context the word means ‘non-Korean.’ ” No kidding. That’s what the original commenter was stating. So both sides are saying the same thing, and yet manufacturing an argument out of it.

    It was silly to begin with and reached absurdity when the circular logician wrote:

    Like I said, the definition is pretty clear. Read the definition provided by Sonagi, in Korean. What do you think 다른 나라 means? 다른 from what? And of course, the usage argument seals the deal.?

    That is to say, he has begun to argue over whether 다른means 다른from the 나라 from which the statement is made, or from the 다른from the 나라 from which the speaker derives. It has now become an argument over the definition of the definition. Then he mentions a “usage argument” which both sides agree on.

    The coup de grace is that the clincher in the circular logicic is “you’re ignorant.” Precious.

    This is precisely the kind of fertile ground that Mizar delights in interjecting a good dose of logic. It’s silly, it’s fun and it’s farce at it’s rarest. Quite a treat.

    I had a hardy laugh over that one.

  • wookinponub

    The key element in all your worthless, pissant arguments is self centeredness. You all cry out ‘Why, oh why can’t YOU see things MY way???’. Fuck You. I see Korean hubris because I’m in Korea. When I go back to the states (when I’M fucking ready, SHUT UP!), I will be subjected to american selfishness. It’s not a LOCAL problem, it’s a HUMAN problem. The sooner all you pseudo-genii get that, and recognize it in your precious selves, the sooner the human “race” can begin to progress.

  • seoulmilk

    “It was silly to begin with and reached absurdity…”

    well said.

    as to keith’s comment: “French, German, Italian, Beligian, British, Thai, Jamaican, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and just about any other country I can think of has superior food to Korea. Korean food lacks variety, doesn’t taste very good, is often poorly prepared with second rate ingredients, lacks sophistication and any country where people think that a pizza is ‘improved’ by adding sweetcorn and sweet potato obviously has a population with very poorly developed sense of taste.”

    fuck. i’ve been eating inferior food for most of my life. fml! i’ve wasted so much of my time reading newspaper food critics raving about korean food. now it turns out those bastards were not even qualified to talk about food. korean food lack sophistication, doesn’t taste good, and is often poorly prepared but these bastards talked about how awesome korean food is. this also applies to you andrew zimmern and anthony bourdain. you bastards know nothing about food. you guys said it was good. but in reality, the food sucks. and lacks variety. all those side dishes, rice dishes, meat dishes, seafood dishes, soups, etc. were an illusion. there is no variety. you guys tricked me into korean food. how much is the korean government paying you “critics”? and dumb koreans, why are they creating food that caters to their taste buds? stick with the original ingredients. otherwise, you have “poorly developed sense of taste.” so don’t be stupid and add pineapples. no american pizza joint has pineapple on their pizza because americans have a well-developed sense of taste and stick with only what the italians eat.

    yes, i’m being sarcastic. was i offended by his comments. hardly. those are his opinions. if you don’t like korean food, so be it. but if you argue that one’s taste buds are better than…well, that’s just funny.

  • Mizar5

    wookinponub, excellent. Pick up your stooge cheque on the way out.

  • WeikuBoy

    Korean food doesn’t suck. Far from it. I enjoy it every day. But these are better:

    Italian, Spanish, French, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Philippine, Thai, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Brazilian. Divide “Chinese” and “Indian” into their rightful components (Beijing, Canton, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, Hakka, etc.) and that’s more than 20 world cuisines that are each, sorry to say, better than Korean. And those are just the ones I can vouch for. Oh, I neglected to mention the best of all: American. Home cooking; not McDo’s.

    So Korea is going to make Korean food one of the top 5 world cuisines? Good luck with that. If I were you, I’d start working on my excuses for the inevitable failure. (“외국인 have smaller taste buds that simply aren’t as developed as Ours have become in 5000 years of glorious history.”)

  • Mizar5

    Fascinating. You know the food on my planet beats them all. A single bite contains more nourishment and less carboydrates, salts and fats than an entire earth meal, plus it’s orgasmic.

    What you’re arguing about are from my pespective differences as negligible as which end of the egg to crack.

    Johnathan Swift would smile.

  • hardyandtiny

    There’s Korean food and non-Korean food and non-Korean food is better.

  • seoulmilk

    good for you weikuboy. now you’re ready to join forces with korean nutizens and talk about a SUBJECTIVE matter at ad nauseum.

  • dogbertt

    I happen to like fresh tastes, and well prepared meals with quality ingredients.

    And here I thought you were English.

  • tinyflowers

    Mizar,
    What the hell are you still going on about? Hasn’t it been proved sufficiently that “foreigner” is NOT an accurate translation of 외국인? Sure, when you are IN KOREA, “non-Korean” and “foreigner” are pretty much synonymous. But when OUTSIDE KOREA, that translation no longer works, for the many reasons people who actually understand the language have been trying to point out to you and others.

    Yes people, words can change their meaning depending on context. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, unless you are mizar doing his best Jon Huer impression struggling with the impenetrable mysteries of the Korean language.

  • tinyflowers

    “well in that context the word means ‘non-Korean.’ ” No kidding. That’s what the original commenter was stating. So both sides are saying the same thing

    Now you’ve resorted to just making shit up.

    The original commenter said:

    Sweetheart, if you are in Europe, YOU are the foreigner. Get a clue. Gawd, that f*cking mentality makes me furious.

    Which spurred the discussion. Try to follow along little buddy.

  • tinyflowers

    Actually, even in Korea, waegukin isn’t totally synonymous with foreigner. Even if you have lived in Korea all your life and have Korean citizenship, if you are originally from another country, you will be referred to as waegukin, not hanguk saram. Like sonagi said, there is an ethnic component to the word as well.

  • Mizar5

    Now you’ve resorted to just making shit up.

    No, you are. Na na na na na na. Melong!
    You see, that’s what it means to “resort” to something.

    Not only do you have problems with basic Korean vocabulary, but you would appear to be having trouble expressing yourself in English as well.

    You are obviously feeling quite frustrated now, and you somehow find it odd that no one is buying the specious conjectures about a Korean term offered up by a person who appears to have little more than a passing familiarity with Korean language and culture?

    Inconclusion, tiny has shown that kimhi cannot be odorless. It it served up with an awful stench of reeking solipsistic tripe.

  • tinyflowers

    LOL. Alright lil fella. Whatever you say. I guess you’ve exhausted all options on this one. Having been thoroughly trounced and unable to respond with any kind of substance or logic, you resort to juvenile name calling. How precious.

  • Mizar5

    Excellent. Pick up your stooge cheque at the door.

  • vince

    The use of the word foreigner by Koreans should not be looked at as offensive. It’s not meant to offend. However, it’s use applied to everyone “non-Korean” betrays a lack of linguistic sophistication that possibly impedes the understanding of diversity issues that support marketing and human resources required for Korea’s globalization. Hopefully as time goes on more Koreans will use specific terms like “Filipino” or “American” or “German” to replace the all encompassing moniker “foreigner”.

  • Mizar5

    Vince, you restore my faith in human capacity for clarity. An ounce of logic is better than a pound of apologetics.

  • JW

    Hopefully as time goes on more Koreans will use specific terms like “Filipino” or “American” or “German” to replace the all encompassing moniker “foreigner”.

    That’s actually very interesting. Do you want the majority group to favor the use of all encompassing, relatively neutral words like “foreigner” to refer to specific groups of foreigners, or more specific terms like Filipino or American appropriate to the respective groups?

    I personally would favor the use of the more encompassing abstract term. It seems to be less dangerous in terms of reinforcing negative stereotypes precisely because of its abstractness.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    I happen to love Korean food. Of course, I also love my Korean wife. I’m no cannibal, however. “De gustibus non est disputandum.” End of story.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Maximus2008

    @148
    “De gustibus non est disputandum”

    Yep. But you can still regret it…

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “because it means “foreigner” in korea”…

    It is also used to describe anyone who doesn’t look ethnically Korean (my son is Korean, but certainly doesn’t ”look” Korean), but that’s probably ignorance more than anything else.

  • WangKon936

    Let me tell my own kimchi story.

    One of my first roommates when I bought my house was this white guy from Minnesota. He ate like the typical bachelor fare, meaning lots of frozen dinners, etc. I’ve never been a big kimchi fan but I did like it as a an ingredient in fried rice or stews, etc. I’d make kimchi 볶음밥 a couple times a week and share it with my roommate and he thus acquired a taste for it. When I made it, the smell would waffle around the place and he’d wander into the kitchen, mouth salivating like Pavlov’s Dog.

    I asked him if the smell put him off and he would tell me that people in Minnesota were very familiar with the strong smells of pickled foods since the state had a lot of Swedish and German immigrants so lots of sour kraut and pickled herring (although he himself had Irish-German heritage). The guy started to buy the stuff on his own and he insisted that I show him how to make some kimchi dishes. I always find when you live with someone it somehow has the ability to either breakdown or reinforce stereotypes…

    I don’t think anyone has covered this, but kimchi is getting very popular in Japan nowadays. So says all the foreign exchange Japanese students I hung out with in the mid 2000′s. I also lived with a Japanese guy who bought more kimchi than I did. He use to mix it with natto. I thought it was gross, but to each his own, right?

    Btw, I thought this was pretty hilarious… don’t all those male gaijin want to know what’s under that lid, eh?

  • http://www.1man1jar.com/ KrZ

    the smell would waffle around the place

    ㄱ_ㄱ

  • cmm

    @colontos

    “Y’all need to go dry your fucking pussies off. If you don’t like Korea then leave. And if you don’t like Koreans, then leave and don’t hang around websites that deal with Korea.”

    Finally a hint into the source of the massive amount of anger and self-righteous opinions you blare here… You are an old bitter nag going through menopause and it’s your newly dry pussy that makes you so angry. Take off, eh?

  • WangKon936

    Interesting. Korea EXPORTS more kimchi than it IMPORTS. Main export market? Japan.

    http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2907931

  • Arghaeri

    “Right, sorry, I can’t use wjk to make a point because he’s Korean and therefore worthy of scorn.”

    When did he become korean, I thought he was american?

  • Arghaeri

    “cheese: smells like ze feet of angels!”

    Or was it “ze feet of les anglais smells like their cheese….”

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