안녕하세요 Annyeonghaseyo! These photos were taken in Seoul, Korea, in the heart of Spring. With flowers blooming everywhere, the locals were all in a friendly and happy mood.
I love the vibrant colors of the flowers and wished I could have captured more. Instead, my growling stomach dictated that I head straight to the food alleys nearby.
A local and popular Korean street food is Beondegi 번데기, or silkworm larvae. Strange, weird and completely befuddled were the thoughts and emotions that came to me when I first saw this. The general idea of a live bug crawling on my skin sends the heebee-jeebies down my spine so thoughts of cooking one in a stew and consuming it whole was almost unimaginable.
However, my korean friends informs me that this creepy snack is an extremely mainstream street fare that is enjoyed by both the young and old in Korea. Finding someone enjoying a cup of steaming hot silkworm larvae while walking down a street or at a park is as common as finding someone eating curry puff or popiah in Singapore.
My verdict on this bizarre grub? It’s not as bad as it looks (you just have to get past the bugs in your mouth part) but I don’t find it particularly tasty and would probably never try it again.
Down the road was a way more appetizing joint. Everything was in Korean but with a little pointing and gesturing, it wasn’t hard to get some delicious goodies that looked as good as they tasted.
They served a slew of side dishes to get me started while they prep my order. One of the best things in Korea is that in most places, you will get free flow of really good kimchi. Everything is freshly prepared!
The smells wafts in the air as I anticipate the food. When the ladies at the store found out I was a Singaporean on holiday, they got excited and gave me so many extra goodies to try. I was so well fed, I felt like exploding.
To be honest, due to primitive communication methods (gesturing and pointing to a 7000 won set menu on the wall), I didn’t even know what I ordered but all I know was that it was delicious. If you can read korean or know what I ordered, please do leave a comment to share!
These super friendly Ajummas help made my little side trip so much more enjoyable and meaningful as they shared their stories and told me how to best enjoy the different foods. It’s always such a pleasure to meet such welcoming locals when traveling and it reminds me to do the same for tourists I meet in Singapore as well. After all, we are all travelers just trying to learn more about the food, people and culture of different countries.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!