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COMMENTS

So, this was a rather impromptu TL;DR we did. On Monday, we went to Hannam-dong to visit the Meemers, who had to stay at the vet for 72 hours while they flushed out his system from the poison that nearly killed his bladder. He’s safe now! Success! He has a new diet now that could prevent it from happening in the future. I’m just happy the little guy isn’t in pain anymore :D

Point is, while we were there, we went to a foreign restaurant for some foreign food. I’m not gonna say which one because I don’t want to badmouth it, just in case it was just having a bad day, but I was really unimpressed. Sure, it tasted a bit like the food it was supposed to represent, but it was missing so many spices, and swapped out ingredients for the closest readily-available substitute, that I was disappointed as a whole. These kinds of experiences are common here in Korea, and – though you’ll surely find a good restaurant from time to time that serves really authentic stuff – more often than not you’re gonna get a knockoff that just doesn’t satisfy, if you’re particular like how we are.

We talked about a few of our experiences in the video, but we didn’t talk about desserts here that are really…different. Baked goods are very different a lot of the time. Breads are very sweet. Garlic bread has a sweet glaze. Cheesecake here is oftentimes not a dense cream cheese, but a fluffy kind of cake, with cheese flavor. So, yes, it’s cheese cake, but not cheesecake, you know?

One thing you might have to get used to if you get fruits with your deserts, like on cakes or ice cream or whatnot, is that cherry tomatoes in Korea fall under the fruit category. We’ve had cakes with tomatoes on them, patbingsu with tomatoes on it. Which, I understand, tomatoes are technically fruits, but they’re not supposed to be eaten like fruits…are they?

Story time! here’s a mind warp: when Martina was teaching, she asked her students about tomatoes in Ice Cream. She said she doesn’t understand, because even though tomatoes are fruits, they should be eaten like vegetables, rather than fruitily, right? Her students disagreed. Tomatoes should be eaten like fruits, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE VEGETABLES. So, Martina – being the caring, educating teacher that she was – pulled it up on Google. Tomatoes are fruits. See there. Google says so. And Google never lies! The students took over the computer and opened up Naver. What’s Naver say about tomatoes? THAT THEY’RE VEGETABLES! *mind blown* So, which one is it? What am I doing here in Bizarroland? Or is this Normal-land, and I’m the one who was born and raised in Bizarroland?! Someone telllll meeeee!

Another thing we hinted at but didn’t get the chance to talk about is Costco hotdogs. Where I’m from, I’m used to putting mustard, relish, and ketchup on my hotdog. In Korea, though, they put a gigantic amount of mustard, relish, ketchup, and diced onions ON A PLATE. Make a giant plate of all this stuff, mix it up, and eat it like salad. There’s not a small amount put on the hot dog: it’s a giant amount put on a plate and eaten with a fork. I don’t understand why. Soo Zee doesn’t understand why. It’s not a Korean side dish seen anywhere else. It’s just a Costco phenomenon. I want to make a video of it to show you what it’s like, but I’m not sure how, without being offensive to others, but…I’m just confused by the whole thing.

I’m gonna open this up to the comments now, because I realize there’s a potential issue I might be suffering. What if Korean people come to Canada, eat Mexican food and say “hell, this ain’t what Mexican food is like!” It could be the reverse, right? I’m not sure what authentic Mexican is like, really. Though, when we were in Mexico the food we had there was closer to what we had in Toronto than what we had in Korea. And the Indian food in Toronto closer to what we had in Singapore than what we had in Korea. I’ve never had pasta or pizza from Italy, though. Maybe sweet potato mousse is Italian? I don’t know. So, tell me: if you’ve travelled, have you noticed how different foods taste than how they’re “supposed” to taste? Let us know!

Otherwise, if you liked this TL;DR, make sure you click on this fancy pants button below, right here. It tastes the same in all countries, by the way, but in case you’re not sure, lick your screen and let us know :D

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  1. Eating foods from their country of origins and just from home is definitely an interesting experience. I’m from New York City, a city full of different cultures. In New York City, so far, I have tasted Korean, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish. When I went to Japan, some of the food tasted about the same as it did in nyc with the exception of japanese curry which tastes like heaven in Japan. Also the tempura was way better in Japan. When I went to Spain, the food was definitely an higher quality. For example, the churros are sold on street carts in Spain, very crispy and can come with many toppings including dipped in chocolate. They were much better than soft churros in the US. When I went to China, there were definitely differences between food in China and Chinese food in the United States but it depends where you go to eat Chinese food in the US. Authentic Chinese restaurants in Chinatown almost live up to their counterparts in China but the vegetables are way better in China. When I went to France, the food was the same as french food sold in street fairs in NYC or in restaurants but the flavors were much richer.However, crepes and escargots taste fabulous whether I ate them in France or in the US. Although I have never been to Italy, I did eat Italian food in Hong Kong, Japan, and New York City. Italian food in New York City is legit because many of the descendants of people living in New York City are from Italy. However, the pasta in Japan and Hong Kong is much lighter than its North American counterpart. I have eaten both Korean BBQ and what would be considered more authentic Korean cuisine with side dishes as well. Korean food is absolutely fantastic but I am not really a fan of corn on pizza. However, it does sound interesting.

  2. Hi! I live in Arizona, USA and this comment is more about the tomato issue. Technically a tomato is a fruit because it has seeds in it. BUT here in the USA it is a vegetable because in in 1893 (or around thereI believe) the fruit or veggie issue was actually taken to the Supreme Court ( I kid you not) and the Court ruled that the tomato was a vegetable. So depending on whether or not the USA was the only country to take this issue that high up (seriously this actually happened. Women didn’t have the right to vote but this was an issue) I believe in most other countries it is, in fact, a fruit.

    • My history teacher talked about this once and according to him, the case was filed under Tariff Act which requires a tax paid for imported for vegetables but not fruits. Botanically, it is a fruit but the case was about the trade and commerce definitions not the scientific definition. They decided on vegetable under the definition of the Tarrif Act for tax income because if it was classified as a fruit, then they get no tax money under the Act. All of this is according to what I remember from my history teacher rant one day when he heard some students discussing this issue.

  3. There’s real Chinese food in Daejeon. You guys should do more TL:DRs outside of Seoul. Come to Daejeon! I’ll show you the real Chinese food places! I live within 5 minutes of at least 5 of them! This particular place has chicken, beef, lamb, frog, seafood, tofu, and more on their menu. Message me and I’ll give you more details about how I know this stuff is legit. ^_^

  4. Interestingly, only in Italy does cheesecake come in a little bowl of puddling-like stuff. Everywhere else I’ve been to, it’s a solid cake. However, the Italian stuff tastes a whole lot better than even the most delicious solid cheesecakse (my opinion), if you can even imagine that.

  5. So this whole issue whether or not ja jang myeon is Chinese or not…I believe they are trying to make something called za jiang mian (sounds very similar) it tastes almost nothing like it does in China, which is awesome, the biggest different is how much and how think the sauce it. The dish in China has a much thinner sauce but almost a stronger flavor, I used to eat it a few times a week back in Sichuan.

  6. Yes! I had that same ‘but tomatoes are fruits!’ conversation in Japan with my Japanese friend saying they were Vegetables and asking Mr google in English and Japanese. What I realised was that the Japanese word for vegetable, Yasai, is translated as vegetable but actually it has a different definition of what a vegetable is altogether. When I realised that my mind was blown cause of how difficult it is to really translate something….lol

  7. Saturday Night Wrist and JayJBK should just write a book… -_- this is ridiculous. They both have decent points, but why do they have to try to outdo each other. Soon it’s not even going to be about “Koreanized Foreign Foods” anymore.

  8. Hi all:) LOVE the interesting and informative posts In Israel, the pizza is GREAT (if you like American style..but yes. there IS often corn..but not always:) And coming from California, where Sushi is very popular, I must say the Sushi here is very good and the food overall is AMAZING..but Mexican..NOT:( I MEAN NOT!!!!) I am spoiled being from So. Ca., but I must say the only way to do Mexican food here is HOMEade:) They DO have good “Mexicani” cheese and tortillas and Salsa though..so the rest is easy!! I can even find packets of American taco-seasoning!:):) HAPPY me:)

  9. Great post! I actually have a question: As a fan of Korean variety I am very happy to have KBS World post a lot of their shows on You Tube with english subs. Is this something that is growing on Korean TV in general as well? More English subtitles on shows/dramas available for everyone, I mean. More English-friendly content maybe? Are you able to watch Korean TV with english subtitles?

  10. My family has hosted a lot of exchange students, and every time we had a new one we would find someplace that served food from their home country to try. Our German student liked the German restaurant near us (and now that I have also been to Germany and tried real German food, I can attest that it’s legit. It helps that the owners are German); but our Korean student was not a huge fan of the Korean restaurant. Except he did like that it was playing Korean news, so he watched that the whole time we were there. Obviously our Chinese students were disappointed with American Chinese food, since it’s more like ‘Chinese inspired’ (if that) food.
    When I lived in Germany, I was not impressed with the few American food (hamburger) places I found. Also, coming from Arizona (where we have Mexican restaurants owned by Mexicans, and I have Mexican neighbors who love to share their food with us), I was not a fan of the Mexican food, since I’ve had the ‘real’ stuff. But it did fill the void in my soul and tided me over for the next 5 months I was there from my Mexican food cravings. Then when I got back to America I immediately demanded we go to a Mexican restaurant.

  11. I’m korean woman, lived in south korea and temporarily living in US now. I can cook korean cuisine and… the reason I’m saying this is, … I’m also very critical about korean contemporary food, which is probably not home food but restaurant food 외식. Whether it is korean food ore korean foreign food, there is certain trend that “sweeten”, “oily”, “spicy” recently. Transitional korean cuisine is very complex as much as other cuisine, and it wasn’t really well standardized or industrialized. Also, most of product level sauce, puree is relatively low quality, whether it is korean or western or other cuisine. Most of product quality foods are not really well industrialized, especially sauces. Still handmade product is preferred for key ingredients for flavor such as 국간장, 된장/고추장, 젓갈 etc. Puree is, in my opinion in experiment recently. Of course, Puree and sauce is the major component of those what you mentioned. Customized sauce of each family is one figure of Korean cuisine. There is no western type “recipe” or exact “measurement” for this. In your video, those all you mentioned are about sauces. I totally agree that those are so different from its original, but let me say it is recently lot developed then before… god.

    For the foreign food, I’d say it is in same situation but worse. Korean food is, .. men, Korea is not such a homogeneous ethnic group. Korean cuisine reflected so many influences from immigrants of neighbors, Chinese and Japanese by tasting original food. For most of other foods, for instance, French and Curry was introduced as 경양식 at the beginning, which was pretty much reformed in Japanese manner. I don’t think those Japanese versions were really wrong, but it was already deformed and transferred in its cheapest version, without introduction of its original. Afterward, American food was introduced as relatively real “western food, ” from US military in 1960s. I don’t think any military foods can reflects the original characteristics of cuisine though. These are recently recognized from 1980~90s, in my memory. But still in development. Korean italian is something similar to 짬뽕 or 짜장 though. Relatively better for digest then others, isn’t it? Probably it is the reason pasta restaurant is every where. I have no idea about solution of this situation. It could be better since it is major problem of people who’d like to take a food at outside of home. I never saw any of me or my friends just walk in to random restaurant around 먹자골목 or whatever well known food court.

    About things “chewy”, In general, I think Korean cuisine, if it can be called in one name, is relatively generous for this issue then Western/Japanese cuisine, I guess. In the case of 회, 회 and sashimi is simply different type of dish: 선어회/활어회. I once heard that Japanese also has 활어회type dish as Korean has but well known by its 선어회. Please distinguish the differences of dishes. In my case, my family cuisine is in between Seoul/North west Korean cuisine tradition. They have different term on preparation and marinading for beef and seafood. Before Korean war, those were already very different from very southern Korean cuisine. Chewiness(?), bitterness is sometimes required as a part of taste on each dishes for certain recipe, based on its originated region. I suppose to respect this since it could be related to style of regional cuisine. Probably this huge regional gap is one of the enemies of “standardizing Korean cuisine”. Especially about sauce, or understanding western term of sauce.

    Otherwise, again, Korean contemporary cuisine is sucks, especially if you would like to find something correct one in franchise. Hope this is developed until I come back in korea or before pass away. I’m currently struggle in US korean food now : sweet, salty, oily, lack of vegetables with MGS. I have no idea which one is following which.

    Thanks for reading this. Hopefully I didn’t do many mistake in my writing and my tone is not too strong. If it is…please blame my english skill.

  12. By the way I can’t edit my post that wrote all sauces as source… (sources of sauce are also wrong but it was just spelling mistake!! Is there any opportunity of editing here. god..

  13. I’m Korean woman. I can cook korean food by myself and I learned it from my grandma. Korean food is very complex but traditionally there is not much tradition on its standard on “sources”. In many case source was verbally or traditionally continued and every family has different version, which is positive thing, yet not industrialized well. I still prefer handmade 국간장 for my cooking instead of using product. Purees, for instance sources for making kimchi, 비빔국수, etc, also I assume that it still in process of being product. In the case of, foreign food started at Japanized wester food tradition(경양식) at its beginning and also continued from US military supply. I mean, I don’t think 경양식 itself is wrong, but, it is already not original form and transferred again in its cheaper version. Also, I don’t think military food is great representative of its original cuisine. This was pretty recently recognized in Korea around 1980~90s, based on my memory. In many cases, sources/Puree of foreign foods are relatively wrong and a lot deformed from its original. Maybe it is still in period of experiment. Of course, sources/puree is the key of the western cuisine. It is very hard to get correctly cooked foreign food, when it needs correct source. Most of the foods you mentioned are this issue I guess.

    Additionally, I totally agree with your comment about “sweeten” stuff, not only about foreign food but also many korean food franchise(외식업체). Recently Korean and Korean foreign foods are in trend of “Sweet” and “Oily”, period. It doesn’t mean that it is really something taste sweet or butter, Just simply putting sugar, MSG or something can produce sweet taste without consideration of original recipe of the food, not controlling oils as much as it supposes to be. Probably the corn is a result of this situation. Also, ruining korean traditional food for making fusion menu, is one of the messes at the scene of korean franchise or foreign food. This is such a shame for my korean ancestors who establishes korean cuisine. Even if me and my friends were beside of 먹자골목, or whatever well known food court, there was not many choice because of this. I don’t know what’s going on in this issue at higher level of franchise business company, but I’m sure that they’d not like to eat those at home. I’m so sad about this. Unfortunately, it continues to outside of country. I’m currently in US. I don’t know the reason but…korean food here is so so so sooooooo sweeten with MSG and oily. Probably this is from somebody who tasted korean food franchise in wrong restaurant and recognized as korean food. This is such a disaster.

  14. Simon and Martina, do you guys often go to beaches or public pools in Korea?
    I’m wondering what the normal population will generally wear as swimming apparel. I know it’s not really popular there for women to show cleavage or anything, so are bikinis popular, or do they generally have bathing suits that cover them up a little better?

    I’m an American and going to study abroad in Korea anddd I have plenty of cleavage anddd I need a new bathing suit cuz mine is falling apart andddd I’m concerned about what I should try to look for that I could wear in Korea.

  15. Amy F ;)

    I loved the comments/discussion this week. So many interesting ideas. And even if I have to have coconut flour pizza crust, I’m grateful my pizza doesn’t have any corn.

  16. Traveled 30 minutes by Seoul bus to a new Mexican restaurant that had nachos. Imagine what kimchi might taste like if an American prepared it working only from pictures of kimchi, an internet translation of ingredients, plus creative substitutions. (So that’s chopped lettuce, ketchup and garlic right?) The nachos had cheese Yea!!!!! and shredded meat. But it was served on top of sugary corn chips with red pepper flakes, whipped cream instead of sour cream, and a side of sweet pickles) 0_o

  17. On the tomato issue: Tomatoes are a fruit, and they actually are supposed to be sweet, but we’ve breed them now to look pretty but not taste sweet. Whereas before, tomatoes looked ugly but tasted like a fruit. So yes they’re a fruit, but by this point they mine as well be classified as a veggie, since they taste like one.

  18. Sabina Nicole Cardenas

    Here in the Texas, Mexican food is not the same as if you try Mexican food in Mexico. I’m Hispanic, so I’m used to eating a lot of tortillas, but when I go buy tortillas at the local market here in Texas, they’re just not the same :( When you warm them up, they just get hard, so you have to eat them right away and they taste differently, but thankfully I have my grandfather that says “this tortillas taste horrible, I’m gonna bring some from Mexico…” So, my loving grandpa brings us delicious tortillas from Mexico every week :) (I live in a border town in Texas, so in order to go to Mexico, you just cross the international bridge, which takes about 20mins to get there, depending in what area you live)

  19. Sabina Nicole Cardenas

    Here in the Texas, Mexican food is not the same as if you try Mexican food in Mexico. I’m Hispanic, so I’m used to eating a lot of tortillas, but when I go buy tortillas at the local market here in Texas, they’re just not the same :( When you warm them up, they just get hard, so you have to eat them right away and they taste different, but thankfully I have my grandfather that says “this tortillas taste horrible, I’m gonna bring some from Mexico…” So, my loving grandpa brings us delicious tortillas from Mexico every week :) (I live in a border town in Texas, so in order to go to Mexico, you just cross the international bridge, which takes about 20mins to get there, depending in what area you live).
    Also, I’ve notice that you guys love Mexican food and the delicious guacamole!!! So I don’t know if you guys know but, in the city that both my grandparents were born (and live in) is the only place that they grow this avocados:
    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/f2/74/89/f27489504a722a2544af7e8d3895ecb8.jpg
    their called: Sabinas’ Avocados, you can eat the shell and everything :D because this type of avocados have their shell really soft. You don’t even need a knife to cut it; it is that soft :D

  20. Susanna Tahvanainen

    When I was in Spain I noticed that all of the breads were so sweet! Either Finland has very salty bread or Spain really sweet :D

  21. One thing I’ve noticed traveling Korea is the traditional food versus the Westernized foods. Westernized foods are extremely confusing because it is “one thing”, I’ll explain. This transcends to not only foods but many things in Korean culture.

    An actual traditional Korean meal consist of a main food accompanied by many many many side dishes. To only think of Korean “side dishes” as corn or mash potatoes is a step in the wrong direction. Look at the side dishes as spices, not food. For instance when you eat Korean BBQ (which funny enough is considered to be Western food by many Koreans) there is the main meat accompanied by many different side dishes like garlic, onions in red pepper paste, shredded lettuce with yogurt etc. (yup drooled on ma keyboard) As you eat the beef you also eat a selected side dish simultaneously. In effect you are having not only Korean BBQ but maybe 10 different variations in that one meal depending on which side dish you pop in your mouth at the same time. That is why Koreans tend to obsess over side dishes because it extenuates the “main food”

    Now as for how this transcends into other Korean products. Samsung. No other products have so many different options crammed into one device. Most individuals, especially in the US don’t know a fraction of the options that come with their Korean electronics. Cars are also another example of something Korean that is loaded with so many options (side dishes) because you only get one thing and in that one thing you have to carry many things to increase its worth.

    Onto Korean version foods. When your eating a Korean version food you will notice, as you already have that there are so many different spices crammed into that one food. The hot dog you had is a perfect example as was the sushi roll with every thing thinkable stacked on top of it.

    The huge difference between the Japanese and Koreans is simplicity. In your Japanese Ramen (which I also love) there are not that many different things in it but the things that are in it are done to the absolute highest level. This isn’t to say the quality of Korean products are lower, its more of “focus” point. Another for for instance is the Korean BBQ meal. Koreans have amazing beef which taste amazing because the quality of beef is really good and the side dishes make it amazing as well. If Japanese were to make the exact same meal the side dishes would be minimal without much flavor at all because their focus would be on the Beef or selected meat which they may have massaged, fed beer to, rocked to sleep at night etc etc. ex: Kobe beef.

    I personally love both. I prefer Korean food usually over everything else because where I’m from in the states our food is usually strongly flavoured (I dropped that “U” in flavoured just for you lovely Canadians) and quite spicy. Having said that, if I were to look for a “steak specific meal”, then without a doubt it would be a Japanese one any day even over the best steak houses in the United States.

    This is all just my personal opinion being from the U.S. and extensively traveling Japan and Korea respectively. You guys can sound off on what you think.

  22. The tomato thing is super weird. Now that you mention it, I always see people eating tomatoes like fruit on dramas! They cut them into slices and eat them with those little fruit forks that they have. Whenever I saw it in dramas before, I was like “Is that a tomato? Eh, okay”. But I’m glad you guys talked about it because now I’m just like o_O that they eat them like fruit vs. vegetables (like how we eat them in North America).

    Cultural differences are so interesting. I’m glad you two do videos like these!

  23. A REQUEST!! Hello from Denmark. :D I was thinking that it would be awesome if Simon and Martina could do a Korean Drama tldr? Lay down the golden/cheesy kdrama rules and maybe mention your favourite kdramas and the ones you didn’t like that much.

  24. I’m form Texas and I recently went to Manila and at the mall they had cheese rolls. There was two different kinds so i bought both, they turned out to be a plain roll (no butter :””’( !), one with powdered parmesan cheese on the top and the other was a plain roll with a stick of cream cheese in the middle. Its was very strange, but I loved experiencing it!

  25. I live in America, I watch your show often but this is the first time I have felt the need to send a comment. “The secret ingredient in Japanese Curry is crack cocaine….” I laughed so hard when you said this because there was a Chinese restaurant that I have basically lived in for the past 3 years. I would only order their beef curry dish, sometimes twice a week restraining myself from ordering almost every day. The restaurant closed and I thought all Chinese beef curry dishes would be the same….WRONG… I searched everywhere, I went to Indian restaurants and couldn’t find the curry. I decided to visit the local Asian market and after purchasing all of the curry they had – I found GOLD!!! -Japanese curry, who knew a Chinese restaurant would cook Japanese curry? I found a brand that had the flavor that was making me crazy…. I checked the ingredients and couldn’t find crack cocaine, so I don’t know if I will ever understand the secret but I can eat the curry out of the package, it is that good.

  26. English Pizza does have pizza on certain favours – Vegetarian and Tuna and sweet corn – also if you ask for one flavour e.g. pepperoni you can have vegetarian with it which come s with corn. Barring that corn isn’t really on pizza over here.
    Really surprised on Korean’s style foreign of food! In England you cant really get a wide range of Asian food if you don’t live a large city, its predominantly Chinese food – there has been a few sushi and Thai restaurants pop up but its not really wide variety.
    WHICH SUCKS!!

  27. One of the fusion things i have noticed a lot in Korea that makes me sad is Kimchi nachos/fries…. when i want mexican food. Sorry. I dont want Kimchi with it. Vatos in Itaewon has it and Grill5Taco (yes Im droppin names son!)
    On The Border has decent mexican food tho. Statisfys me.
    I have gotten used to Korean style pizza so thats not a big deal to me.
    Having visited Italy i can say this: all spaghetti is different lol. Everyone everywhere makes it differently. A big thing i have found with Korean Italian is that they only have one kind of noodle. Booorrinnnggg lol.

    As for the tomato comment in the blog post. Tomatoes being a fruit or vegetable depends on who you talk to: scientifically they are a fruit (so is corn, peppers, etc. Seed bearing). But a chef will treat is as a vegetable (which is where the word vegetable comes into play. With cooking.)
    Like carrots. Technically a root but we call them a vegetable.

  28. I live in Brazil and in my city there is no ANY tipe of foreigner food. It’s not the countryside, but it’s a “poor capital”, and we just have chinese food and japanese food.
    The chinese food I don’t know if it’s done the right way cause I don’t have other examples, but the japanese food it’s certainly WRONG! They make strawberry, banana and kiwi sushi, they put lots of green onion and cream chesse in normal sushis that just ruin the flavor. And the worst thing: they put so many sugar in the rice that I can’t eat more than 3 sushis. My only luck it’s the Japanese Association, that have many descendents that make the things right.
    And Korean sushi it’s terrible, my japanese teacher (who is really japanese, but spends a lot of time in Korea) made for us one time and I hated.

  29. Helen Michell

    This was really interesting about the food in Korea! I must say though Simon I’ve lived in England for the past five years and I’ve NEVER come across corn in my pizza. I even asked some friends today to see if it was true but they all denied it. So I don’t know why Koreans put corn in their pizza…

  30. I’m Mexican! Mexican food is amazing. We have this plate called enchiladas and gosh it’s so wonderful. I would totally send you guys some pasta and spaghetti sauce so y’all can make your own pasta… Hah.
    I have a question! What about American food?? Is it legit??

  31. I’m just curious. Why is Hweh in the playlist? As Martina said in the video that Hweh isn’t Korean-style Sasimi or Korean-style sushi, it’s just Hweh.

  32. Botanically, tomatoes are a fruit. However, ‘vegetable’ is not a scientific classification, and is defined solely on how it is used. Tomatoes are both fruits, and vegetables to most cultures, but it appears that in Korea they are strictly a fruit (from what was said here).

    Interesting fact- Corn is a fruit, a vegetable, and a grain.

  33. I’m an American who has been living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for around 12 years. We get almost every type of cuisine here, so its easy to get tasty international food (American, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, Turkish, Persian, Saudi, Australian, New Zealand, and of course Emirati, to just name a few), although you may have to go to Dubai if you want some things since it has a wider variety of restaurants, but what’s a nearly 2 hour drive. We did have a problem when we first moved to the country when it came to finding good Chinese food, however that has now changed over the years. We did have a bad experience with falafel which is a Middle Eastern vegetarian dish, which being in an Arab country you would think that its extremely hard to mess up falafel. Boy were we wrong, apparently the nationality of the cook plays a part. In most places that serve Middle Eastern food, the cook is an Arab or occasionally an Indian. This place was fully staffed by Filipinos, hence the weird tasting falafel sandwiches that we bought. I also once tried a ready made falafel mix that I bought at Lotte in the U.S., however its obvious that an Indian prepared it, since it was liberally spiced with Indian spices rather than those used by Arabs. We go to Benihana for sushi when visiting the U.S. and my brother got excited when he found one at the Sheraton in Abu Dhabi. Lets just say that Benihana in the U.S. is a million times better. However, We don’t seem to have this problem with other international restaurant chains that we have tried here.

  34. Woooot! Thanks for the shout-out! :D

  35. I actually wonder what’s “proper” (North) American food… In Europe, I think, we tend to think that Americans don’t cook and only eat take aways or in restaurants (fast foods or “normal” ones). I’ve heard about apple pies, Caesar salads, Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce and other weird flavors associated with meat like jello or whatever, and meatloaves but other than that, it’s hamburgers and “foreign” food (Italian, Chinese, Tex-Mex, Japanese…).

    I know that Quebec is famous (in France at least) for poutine, but what else is typically North American? If you go to an “American Dinner” in France, you’ll most likely be served (I quote from one claiming to be a real dinner in my town, those are written in English on the sign) “burger, tex-mex, salads, bagels, cheesecakes, cupcakes, milkshakes”.

    It’s like French people being known for forg legs and snails and paradoxically expensive refined “cuisine” (and other stuff labelled as French such as French toasts or French fries…); British people being known for scones and tea, baked beans, meat with mint, fish’n’chips and mushy peas; Japanese people for sushi (I hate those restaurants in France that claim to be Japanese and only serve sushi, gyoza and fried meat or salmon on a stick, because there are so many of them), ramen and tonkatsu (though their curry’s becoming rather popular in Europe I think), etc etc.

    So I’d like to know what North American food really is according to North American people.

    • I’m not sure you could really say that there is any “proper” American food. Because of our long history of immigration, the different types of food that were brought over were adopted and changed over time.

      For example, I’m part Italian (I believe a fourth generation?) and though the language wasn’t passed down the line nor the culture, what we definitely still have left is the food. On my Dad’s side they brought German food. Those dishes are mixed in with our everyday meals.

      What my family normally cooks and probably what most people do, is a slew of all kinds of things from different countries; though it’s probably more “inspired” than authentic. People are generally up for trying new things. I’m having a hard time calling anything really “American Food” because basically all been brought over at one time or another, even apple pie.

      Most fast food is horrible stuff, and everyone here knows it’s really bad for you. There’s no possible way you could not get the message with all the rallying for healthy eating. But the thing is that it’s quick and cheap. It’s easier to go out then spend time and money on cooking. There’s been allot of changes though with having fast food restaurants list how many calories are in their food, offering healthy choices, and that sort of thing.

  36. I live in Australia and I’m actually quite happy with the international foods that we have here. Where I live there are many immigrants, and many of them open up businesses and restaurants that sell amazing food. I can’t say this from experience, but I’m pretty sure that they do use authentic recipes, but at times I wonder whether the beauty of multicultural food is being marketed and cheapened by pre-made sauces and the like. Mind you, they do make life easier sometimes!

  37. I really like Chinese food here in Italy so when I was in Norway I went to a Chinese restaurant hoping to find something a bit more familiar (even because I don’t eat meat), but I was disappointed because it was completely different from the Chinese food I knew. The portions where so big I couldn’t finish my bowl of rice and in that rice there was everything! From different kinds of meat to different kinds of fish so I had to tell them to remove something. When I came back to Italy I asked my Chinese friend and she said that what we have here in Italy is how she cooks at home, so…???
    Have you ever had a similar experience?

  38. I agree about Asianized Italian. When I was in Taiwan it was the same story – minus the pickles (that’s weird). But the sauces were always very soupy and were usually even served in soup bowls. It tasted good, but it just wasn’t what I was used to. When I went to Korea, I spent a day in Hongdae and ended up eating at an Indian food place, only because an Indian man in the road gave me a coupon. I went and it was really good, and, in my experience, pretty authentic. Where I live in America there is a large Indian population so there are a lot of restaurants run by Indians that serve the delicious, incredibly spicy stuff I assume is the real thing. And this Indian place in Hongdae had it nailed. I don’t remember the name, but I remember the signs were yellow and it was on the third or fourth floor of the building…

  39. I’m British and I’ve never had a pizza with corn on it. The pizza I usually eat over here is just pepperoni or just cheese. Maybe there are pizza’s out there with corn on them in the UK but I’ve never had one :S

    Speaking of foreign food, where I live there are a LOT of Chinese restaurants in the town. Walking alone the road there are four different restaurants within walking distance of each other and a buffet place which is mainly for Chinese food. I’ve had food from those different restaurants and the rice always tastes different. I thought rice was meant to taste the same no matter where you bought it or ate it but from these different restaurants, the rice always tastes different, I don’t know if it’s to do with the ingredients they use or witchcraft but it stumps me every time!

  40. I don’t know about swedish cuisine in other countries (probably nonexistent) but I have heard that swedish pizzas are very strange (actually, they are). I once heard an american exchange student refer to them as pies, which I can understand since they are kind of thick, but they are also very meaty. At the pizzeria closest to me they have “quattro carne” which has beef, pork, chicken and… I think ham? Another thing that’s unusual is that bananas are also used as toppings. There’s also the Taco pizza, with ground meat, salsa-sauce, paprika, cornchips, corn…. The kebab pizza is also very big, the most popular pizza I think, with kebab meat, sometimes onions and sometimes mushroom, cheese and ham with lots of kebab-sauce. There are also kebabpizzas with french fries on them.
    Pic of a kebabpizza:

  41. Tomato is a fruit, botanicallyit has seeds which makes it a fruit. Only time when this was challended is when the United States Senate actually declared that tomato is legally a vegetable. This was due to tariff laws imposed on vegetables were different than fruit, therefore the legal case was brought up that tomatoes should be classified as vegetables not fruit. They were able to justify it under the argument that they are “served for dinner, not dessert”. Of course this doesn’t declassify tomatoes from being a fruit scientifically but by food regulation and tariff laws they are considered vegetables. So I don’t know if that has anything to do with why Naver has them show up as vegetables unless it was also changed for legal or political reasons. Anyway here was a little background on the veggie/fruit controversy of tomatoes. :)

  42. Awww man. When I lived in Montréal my biggest issue was craving food I just couldn’t get. Real French bread, English bacon rather than streaky. I’d always be craving food I couldn’t. That said, best Dim Sum I’ve ever had was Sunday brunch at the downtown Days Inn in Chinatown (random).

    Other than the random food, has the online ordering improved over the years? Two reasons, over in the UK I’m reveling as I now have Indian takeaway ordered online and delivered to my house (despite living in the middle of no-where). Plus I’ve seen general internet shopping shift rapidly in Japan over the last few years.

    The UK has been ordering bobbins from everywhere to your door since the last century. Lately we’ve gained collection lockers. In Japan however this seems to have taken longer to kick in, but is far cooler too. For a good few years you’ve been able to order stuff and get it delivered to a convenience store then pay for it when you collect. Even apartment blocks can have special courier lockers for over sized deliveries you open with a once-time code.

    What’s changed though is the brick’n mortar stores are suffering. Japanese internet shopping has grown quickly and its almost like the stores have given up. Three years ago I could go into a store and get it to price match the internet, now they’re basically saying order it online if you think you can get it cheaper. I’m pretty sure you can even get same day online orders too in Tokyo now.

    So why would you go into a store in Japan? As far as I can work out, its all down to loyalty promotional cards. Literally every store has some sort of complication point collection discount scheme. But they’re all non-transferable and unless you really are loyal its easier just to go online. What’s your take for Korea? TL;DR?

  43. When it comes to italian food, I’ve had a couple of interesting experiences. I’m danish, and I’ve had pizza in America, Italy and Denmark, and there’s a big difference, actually. I’m used to danish pizzas, in which you can get a bunch of different toppings, kind of like in the US, and you can have a regular pizza, familysize pizza or a deeppan pizza. The main difference between danish pizza and american pizza, from what I’ve experienced, is that american pizza tends to be a lot more flavourful, and the bread is a lot more greasy. In denmark, it’s just really fluffy bread with a kind of salty tase, if you get the deeppan version. A regular pizza is the same but more.. floppy.
    Italian pizza is very, very different! The crust of the pizza is very thin, and they use very few toppings at a time. The experience is a lot.. lighter, and the ingredients seem to taste a lot fresher. It’s a totally different experience!
    From your experiences, it sounds like Korea is doing a “koreanized” version of American pizzas, the same way Denmark has kind of changed the bread a little bit? I wish Denmark did cheese-infused crusts! Sounds delicious!

  44. P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

    Hi Martina & Simon,

    I came to Korea last year, stayed for a
    month and visited Seoul, Daejeon and Busan. After experiencing
    amazing Korean cuisine I am craving badly for it from time to time,
    especially Kimchi!

    Back home, authentic Korean food is
    hard to come by, at least in Scotland. Here, Korean restaurants can’t
    keep up with the taste and freshness compared to everything I had
    during my trip. In general, there is a big lack of flavour. Some
    restaurants make their own Kimchi and I know everyone has its own
    style and way of preparing it. However, its just not like the stuff I
    loved so much in SK. Anyway, the luck was on my side one day when I
    discovered an Asian supermarket which has a tiny little stock of
    Kimchi, imported from Korea. I took my chance and bought a 1KG right
    away. The smell and the tast after opening the bag brought back
    memories. Korea was in my mouth again. The first 500G lasted for
    about 5 minutes ;)

    You can find many Asian supermarket in
    the UK, but the range of Korean products is close to nil. Chinese
    products dominate the markets. The Kimchi selling supermarket is kind
    of a treasure trove. I really hope the range of Korean products
    increase soon. I would love to see stuff like Misugaru, Soju or all
    sorts of green tea flavoured thingys in the shelves.

    There is a huge lack of unique Korean
    street food (e.g. Tteokbokki) in the rest of the world. Do you guys
    think Korean street food can make it elsewhere once people get a
    chance to enjoy it or is the general flavour just not suited for the
    mainstream which prefers BurgerKing, KFC and Co?

    My discovery:

  45. Chinese food! Trying to explain to my co-teachers that ja-jang-myun isn’t Chinese. And I’m half-Chinese. I would know. What I wouldn’t give for my Grandma’s Cantonese chow mein

  46. Charmz

    Am i the only one who always have this problem ? ;~;

  47. I think Mexican food is absolutely the hardest to get right in Korea. I live on Osan AB and there is a “Mexican” restaurant in the Songtan Entertainment District that I ate at once….yeah once. It was awful. I have made it up to Vatos Tacos in Itaewon and it was fantastic Mexican-American food. I have eaten at the Chili’s here on base way more than I care to admit just so I can get a Mexican like meal, and a margarita. :o)

  48. I love corn and would probably ask for extra on my pizza.

  49. HIGH FIVE to Simon on the Japanese Ramen tip!! OMG!!! LOVE JAPANESE RAMEN 4LYYYFE! I was so shocked that “Japanese Ramen Shops” here in Korea (live in Busan) come nowhere close to the savory, taste-bud tingling, heart/soul-warming deliciousness of real Japanese ramen. I have only found ONE place that comes close (and shop owner dude went to Japan to STUDY ramen). But that divine broth…. Hard to find even in the States.

    Actually, when I was living in Japan, I was surprised at how poorly they do Chinese food. It was really difficult to find legit Chinese food anywhere (Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, wherever, I tried for two years). And Dim-Sum is essentially non-existent both here in Korea and in Japan.

    I want to defend pizza in Korea slightly. If you go to Domino’s, their stuff is pretty legit. Are you gonna get deep dish, Chicago-style pizza there? No. But I was pleasantly surprised at how close Domino’s is to pizza back in the States. So Kudos to you on that, Korea. Japan’s pizza didn’t come close (but whatever they have ramen so ramen beats all).

  50. I live in a boarder town in California, we are right next to the ocean
    and Mexico, about 25 minutes from downtown to the broader. Our Mexican
    food is different then what you find just across the boarder. My
    favorite taco place is thankfully by my house and is really sad looking(
    this is oddly good when in the hunt for great Mexican food); I get
    free chips, salsa, and spicy carrots to snack on while I wait. Again the
    food here is really good and a some is the same to what you find in
    Mexico, but even being so close to and only staffed by Mexicans, it is
    still not completely what you would find in Mexico. I think combining
    the local and type( Mexican, Italian, Thai, etc) of foods is always
    prevalent, authentic is hard to get. In San Diego we have things Mexican food related that you will only find here, not even in LA or across the boarder; even friends in San Fransisco complain about the lack of any and good Mexican food. Don’t be fooled and think you will be able to easily find a California burrito outside of San Diego or carne asada fries. Mexico is a huge place and has is own unique pockets of food
    style and flavors even though it does have common themes. This can be
    said about almost anywhere, even the USA( California will have very
    different food than Maine). Food changes and that can lead to wonderful things, but often you have to sit threw some really bad food first.

    Side note: My family has
    9 avocado trees and over 10 citrus trees in different varieties, plus
    some other stuff. I feel bad for you guys as I don’t like avocados and
    have to give them away to friends b/c we have to many.

  51. I live in a boarder town in California, we are right next to the ocean and Mexico, about 25 minutes from downtown to the broader. Our Mexican food is different then what you find just across the boarder. My favorite taco place is thankfully by my house and is really sad looking( this is oddly good when in the hunt for great Mexican food), but I get free chips, salsa, and spicy carrots to snack on while I wait. Again the food here is really good and a lot is the same to what you find in Mexico, but even being so close to and only staffed by Mexicans, it is still not completely what you would find in Mexico. I think combining the local and type( Mexican, Italian, Thai, etc) of foods is always prevalent. Mexico is a huge place and has is own unique pockets of food style and flavors even though it does have common themes. This can be said about almost anywhere, even the USA( California will have very different food than Maine). We also have a large Asian population and go for dim sum with my grandparents who worked in HK. Even in a super Asian neighborhood and mostly staffed and serving Chinese, they say its not exactly same as to what they had in China. Side note: My family has 9 avocado trees and over 10 citrus trees in different varieties, plus some other stuff. I feel bad for you guys as I don’t like avocados and have to give them away to friends b/c we have to many.

  52. As a Mexican the Americanized (wannabe) Mexican food really bugs me.

  53. I’m sure you guys do realize though, that even what you think of as Mexican and Italian food is just North American versions of those cuisines… to fit the North American palette. So, of course you’re not going to get those versions in Korea…?

  54. I’m really glad you talked about this. I’m studying abroad in Taiwan right now and I completely understand that urge of wanting to eat something different.
    In Taiwan, it’s hard to find American tasting food or it’s possible to find it but with a high price. I’ve heard there are a few Mexican restaurants, but aren’t as authentic tasting as they say they are. There are some renowned burger places where Taiwanese say they taste like American burgers but that’s not true haha.
    I will say this though, I love the pizza here in Taiwan (especially the one with cheese in the crust hmm~mmm~~). Yea it’s different from America and has different flavors, but it’s actually good and the different flavors are fun to try. Here though we don’t have as big as a problem for the corn. It’s on some things, but not everything.
    Korean and Japanese food is also Taiwanized lol. The sushi is really not sushi and many have warned me to not eat it because I’ll get food poisoning. Authentic Korean food is expensive, and the other places are just mediocre or have a Taiwanese flavor to it.
    I really hope that EYK will consider coming to Taiwan. I know you guys would love it here! I have a whole list of foods I know you guys would love and become addicted to ;) Especially the bubble tea!

  55. kawaii_candie

    frozen sashimi is definitely not a Japan thing… i think sushi chefs here would probably get offended if you even suggested that they use that… plus remember the food-gasm you had at that really expensive sushi place that one time?? even at cheap sushi places, i’ve never experienced the frozen fish…

    Japan is surprisingly not that bad for getting foreign food. especially in Tokyo. if you have a hankering for something, you can definitely find it. for example, there’s this amazing indian restaurant in my neighbourhood. there is of course a lot of weird japanesized food, such as pizza with mayo and corn………. -_- but you can also find lots of restaurants that serve “italian style” pizza. the only thing that japan still gets terribly wrong is cake. and pie (there is no pie). the only cakes they can do is cheesecake and shortcake. other cakes, they just don’t taste sweet enough. also, it used to be that it was impossible to find “breakfast food” in restaurants, but it’s not the case anymore. there’s a “pancake revolution” going on in japan now and pancakes/breakfast restaurants have popped up everywhere… you can get waffles and even eggs benedict!!!

    oh! oh! and pasta! lol. in Japan, most people think pasta=spaghetti. seriously. you go to pasta restaurants and it’s only spaghetti with different sauces. i often ask japanese people i meet, asking if they know what the difference between pasta and spaghetti is, and they usually look at me with this quizzical face like “what are you talking about. it’s the same thing”. and then i have to launch into this whole explanation about different kinds of pasta. i even did a restaurant lesson on it years ago, where i had food from different countries’ restaurants and one of them was italian and so i had lasagna in there. almost none of my kids (in like 150 kids or so) knew what it was, and i polled all my classes to ask who had ever eaten it and it was about one kid in 60. i was floored. but pasta is not such a big deal because you can easily cook it yourself. you can find lots of different types at most import stores.

    on a final note, from watching this video, i think you guys need to move to Japan… Martina could eat curry everyday, and Simon would eat ramen… come!! lol.

  56. Korean salads are very weird to me. I dont understand them – its almost like how many random things can i put in a bowl and cover with a creamy sauce. I had one with banana once – it was horrific. I even remember talking to my Korean friend saying that i should eat more healthily, a lot more salad – and she was like “NOOOOOO Salad is bad for you! Its so fattening!” – i dont think she even had a concept of having a salad without the mayonnaise/non de-script creamy dressing. =_=

    I can’t understand the Korean style garlic bread with sugar on it – it is perhaps the most foul thing i have ever put in my mouth. Oh, and dont even try to eat regular korean loaf bread with butter and vegemite. HOLY COW!!! It is so gross – the sweetness of the bread, the random oily yet plastic flavourless Korean butter and the strong salty vegemite is a combination made in HELL. I craved Australian bread perhaps the most out of all food in korea.

    But in saying that, I actually love Korean style pizza and Chinese food. The chinese food in australia is always too sweet – i like the spiciness of the Korean version. :)

  57. Years ago I lived in the UK and I thought their version of foreign foods were good. For me it was more the size. What may be a medium size here in the states is a large in the UK.

  58. Jolene 졸린 McConnell

    So there was the time I went to TGIFriday’s in Korea and ordered a burrito, which came with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.

    And there was a time I went to an Indian restaurant in Korea, ordered naan and got a tortilla.

    And there was a time I went to a restaurant in Korea and ordered nachos and got corn chips with lettuce and pizza sauce.

    And there was this time I ordered pizza in Korea and it was served with honey. (Which, apparently, is a thing in Busan.)

    And the corn flakes in the ice cream sundae was a bit odd, too.

    So… yeah.

    As for pizza – I have been to Italy. I went to Napoli, where pizza was invented. It was NOTHING like Korean pizza. But, to be fair, it wasn’t much like North American pizza either. Napoli pizza is much simpler – three ingredients – tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. Most pizza in Italy doesn’t have a multitude of toppings and the crust tends to be thinner than in most chains in North America, but thicker than in New York. It is, however, wetter. Italian Margherita pizza doesn’t use sauce – it uses tomatoes, so it is a big, wet, delicious mess of amazing. Granted, my time in Italy was limited, so there may, in fact, be a market for sweet potato mousse that I didn’t experience, but I have my suspicions about that.

  59. Kelly Arford-Magruder

    It’s interesting that many countries change ethnic foods. I do have a question (unrelated) Do you know of any shops or online sites for those of us that don’t live in Korea to get korean products? I’m always looking for cute stuff from either Korea or Japan. I find more from japan but I’m so fascinated it Korea I’d love to get some from there.

  60. I wonder if someone could go to Korea and open a genuine bakery or restaurant with more genuine flavours and strike it big,.. It seems to be a market that needs filling. If anything else it would get all your business when you’re craving non-Koreanized food :P

  61. so I’ve lived in Mexico and different parts of the U.S. and it is such a vast country, that accents, dialects, and food change DRASTICALLY. The food in Mexico is very much like the food in southern Cali (not Taco Bell or any chains) because there are a lot of legit Mexican families that move across the border and open up taco shops. My profile pic is not a real taco, btw. It is an american style taco. So, in southern and somewhat central cali, arizona, texas, and new mexico, the food is all basically the same as mexican (hough for some reason, there is a huge difference b/t Texmex and Calimex…) However, Mexican food does not even get into northern california. My friend came down from Seattle while I was living in San Diego and she had never had a gigantic, gourmet burrito before so I took her to my friend’s local Taco Shop and got herone and that was all that she ate for the rest of the trip. I lived in Indianapolis for a while too and there’s no way you could find a real taco shop, much less a restaurant dedicated to mexican food. In the border states, I’d argue that the culture is very much Mexican. There are a lot of Spanish speakers, Mexicans, Mexican food, but in the East, there is relatively nothing there. I’m surprised to find out it got into Canada, though. From the sound of it, your mexican is a lot like actual Mexican. But just saying, you can’t keep everything In the U.S. restrained to just the U.S. It’s a GIGANTIC country full off tons of different cultures and foods and languages.

  62. Did Naver specify why it was a vegetable? Because, according to my plant biology professor, a tomato is a fruit because of how it is grown by the plant. Vegetables and fruits are different bcuz of what they are on a plant. Root or stem versus the bloated ovary carrying seeds. By this definition, though, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, squashes, green beans… are also fruits. In the USA, the tomato was classified as a fruit till the mid-eighteen hundreds to avoid taxation. The Supreme Court said (Nix v. Hedden) it’s a vegetable and should be taxed accordingly in 1893 (what do lawyers know about plants?) based off the definition used at tne time which was…something served with dinner, not with dessert. So now it’s a vegetable in the US…New Jersey has even made the tomato its state vegetable. But it is technically a fruit…and the state of Ohio has made it its state fruit.

    Tl;dr depends on you. Are you using it culinarily? Vegetable. Are you a plant biologist? Fruit.
    Although, as evidenced by South Korea…it depends on the culture you live in.

    • I thought it’s a fruit because it has seeds and the fruit acts as an ovary. For example, a strawberry is not a fruit, it’s an accessory, because the seeds grow on the outside, instead of using it as an ovary. I guess that’s basically what you said, though XD

  63. This is a tricky topic because what is Mexican food to you guys, Simon and Martina, isn’t for someone else. This also applies to Japanese, Italian, and etc. food. It’s been mentioned briefly by other commentators but what you guys were stating as obvious and important components of Mexican food, your experience of Mexican food, aren’t obvious and familiar components of Mexican food for all Mexicans. Does that make the food they identify as Mexican less Mexican than the food you do? No. The same is true for vice versa.

    I’m Mexican American and have visited a certain region of Mexico every summer of my life. My mother cooks Mexican food- her experience and understanding of Mexican food- at home. But even then, with us living very close to Mexico (we live in South Texas actually) she cannot always access ingredients here that she would use for a certain dish if she were in Mexico. So the dish changes. I believe this happens everywhere. Do these changes make the food no longer Mexican? No. Interestingly, you guys mention sour cream as being a component of Mexican food, when my mother doesn’t remember ever using sour cream on her food until she came to the US. Does this make the food less Mexican? No.

    .My parents say that burritos were sold in Mexico in her time but that they are completely different from the American version. I’ve tasted versions of dishes that tasted nothing like the versions I tasted in Mexico. The thing with Mexico is, dishes change as you progress through Mexico. My mother comes from a certain region in Mexico where they make tamales with corn husks. My friend’s mother comes from a region in Mexico where they make tamales with banana leaves. The same goes for enchiladas. People use different cheeses and different sauces. There are red and green enchiladas. Some made with potatos. You never saw enchiladas with yellow cheese on top until Mexicans in America had to improvise. This doesn’t make them no longer Mexican. It just makes them not MY idea and experience of Mexican food.This makes Mexican food interesting and diverse.

    You guys mention that Koreanized Foreign Food isn’t bad- it just doesn’t fit what you want to eat or what you came to associate with that certain type of food. So you guys know what I mean. This is a super interesting topic and I hope I didn’t come off as defensive. I just love me some Mexican food!:)

  64. This is such a great topic. It’s like they mess up Japanese food on purpose. How does that happen? I’m sure you have, but have you guys tried Brick Oven Pizza in Gangnam? Hands down, it’s the best pizza (New York style) I’ve had in Korea. All the ingredients are imported. If you haven’t, here’s info and a map https://plus.google.com/109309482779145146477/about?gl=kr&hl=en

  65. eh. i just eat food, no food, no live

  66. Darryl Liu

    I’m Chinese and live in Vancouver, Canada, and it seems to me that most of the chinese food here is pretty real and good quality. It’s authentic and really traditional, but then again I go to restaurants that have chinese speaking employees and chinese menus.

    It’s weird how when my family and I went to Portland, the chinese food there was just really… fast foodie? It just tasted really greasy and cheap. Still good, but really surprising for a teen who has asian food 3 meals a day!

    • lady_kire

      Hey a fellow Chinese person living in Vancouver!

      I went to Portland to have Chinese food once. I don’t remember where I went, but it was so greasy and bland, that my mom and I had to put Siracha sauce on it. Mom said that it’s that bad if we have to get Siracha to wash it down…

  67. yes the indian food and the indonesian food in saudi arabia is as the same as the orginal ..but the the japanese ,chines ,mixcan and amirican food .i don’t think it’s the same as the orginal ..or it’s not my taste at all

  68. It’s all about finding the closest, most tolerable recreation of Western food…

    I know it’s not true Mexican food, but that’s one of the reasons I like TacoBell and McDonalds–they’re consistent, always the same wherever I go.

  69. Isabel Ruby

    oh god pizza in japan…. the most expensive piece of ridiculousness. the sizes are all one down from the american sizes, [so japanese L is an american M] while the prices are [i think] slightly more than the equivalent. HOWEVER i did get a mini-sausage-stuffed crust. which was pretty bomb

  70. I used to live in Vancouver, but now I’ve been living in Gyeongsangbuk-do for a month and a bit, so I’ll give this a try.

    Yes, the pasta here is EXACTLY like the way Simon and Martina described. The sweet pickles thing shocked me too! :O Pasta in general is quite different. One time I got seafood pasta and it came in one of those Korean stove bowls (like the ones they serve soondubu in). It was delicious, but when it came to my table, I was worried…. XD

    Also, on general principle, I don’t get cream pasta when I eat out, because I don’t know if the sauce is going to be super heavy, or if its going to be super soupy. Generally tomato sauce is a safer option.

    There’s also the phenomenon of “Korean style spaghetti”, which is when instead of putting tomato sauce on the pasta, they use gochujang. This totally tricked me out, because when I saw it in my schools cafeteria, I thought it was some kind of tomato sauce variant, but NO. It was gochujang.

    Also, there’s a severe lack of parmesan cheese here. Mozzarella is easy to find, but even at Home Plus I can’t seem to find parmesan sometimes….

    In terms of pizza, I think that Domino’s is probably your safest bet. I got some with my friend when we first got here and it tasted like normal Canadian Domino’s……that being said, a lot of the pizza realy does have a lot of prominent corn and sweet potato.

    The sweet garlic bread thing tricked me out too. I just can’t get used to it.

    For Japanese food, I was able to find non-mayonaise-y and non-frozen sushi in Gyeongju when I stopped by there with my friend, and my friend said there was an adjacent ramen place that was really good. So maybe you just need to keep looking?

    Also, come to Gyeongsangbuk-do! It’s lovely over here :)

  71. I’ve noticed basically the same things with foreign foods here that you have…the only place we’re preeeetty sure we can get American style pizza is like Papa Johns, or Pizza Hut, where you have to pay like $20-30 for a little pizza. ㅠ_ㅠ
    We just got a “Dos Mas” burrito joint in town and all the foreigners were like OMG BURRITOOOOS but then we tried them and… they’re so very Korean style..with a ton of rice, lots of chopped cabbage and onions, and no salsa, more like Korean hot sauce of sorts. Luckily, my city has like 3 really good authentic Indian restaurants near by, and there’s not much Korean style mixed in, so that’s nice!

    Idk if it counts as “foreign food” but I’ve gotten tricked many times when I went in a bakery, thinking I bought a chocolate-filled pastry of some sort, but turns out its red bean, and then I’m just disappointed. :( Red bean is everywhere!!!!

  72. ummm I might be a Costco phenomenon supporter… that’s the way I eat my hotdogs in Mexico… I would never eat it like that back home in the USA. Well not that I actually eat the hotdog… I eat the mayo onion mustard mess mexacanized with a LOT of jalapeños instead of relish… and I don’t eat the hotdog… hahaha because I get filled with onion and jalapeños and leave the hotdog to my friend… or take it home.

  73. Not food related…but I have a TL;DR question that you have quite a bit of experience with: What is moving like in Korea? Are there Uhaul-type businesses where you can rent trucks? Can you hire movers? How does real estate and house buying work? I moved to a new city last year and have been wondering this since then.

  74. A couple of decades ago (wow I feel old now) I moved from South East Asia back to the US and was disappointed in the Chinese food I found here. Majority of the restaurants serve the Americanized New York style Chinese foodstuff so I was over the moon when an authentic Cantonese restaurant finally opened in my neighborhood. There was a definite lack of authentic (or semi authentic) ethnic foods in the area until fairly recently (last 5-10 years). Now we have a whole bunch of Thai, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, etc. restaurants opening up.

  75. The costco condiment salad is in Taiwan too!!! Seems like Taiwan is doing a bit better with foreign food. There are some definite let downs but overall i’m pretty happy. cakes surprise me the most. spongy and bland. their bread is more sweet than savory. garlic bread is also sweet here. :)

  76. THE TOMATO IS A FRUIT… BUT IT’S ALSO A VEGETABLE!
    IT’S A CONSPIRACY TO KEEP THE SHEEPLE DUMB!

  77. C. Snoopy

    The Mexican food sounds horrible in Korea from what you guys described…I’ll be scared to try any other food besides Korean if I go to Korea XD I would be like “Uh? What is this? I’ve never seen this on _______?!?!”

  78. OOOOH MY GOSH! The Costco “condiment salad” thing is so crazy. Sometimes I can’t focus on the pizza I have been dying to have during my shopping trip because I just stare at EVERYONE’S plates. I think it’s because Korean’s have side dishes or kimchi every time they eat. And apparently mixing raw onions and mustard together tastes like….something they think you should eat.

  79. Having traveled quite a bit… I find that the “nativeness” of the food is directly related to the number of people that immigrate there. Here we have a huge Korean and Vietnamese population so it it quite easy to find authentic cuisine from both of those areas. One of my favorite areas to travel, Indonesia, it is IMPOSSIBLE to find authentic Mexican food. There they put pickles in the burittos!!! just like you were saying. Hell? However it is possible to find some Vietnamese food in Indonesia, because there is a bit of population that has moved there.

  80. go to fukuoka! it is the home of ramen in japan, especially tonkotsu ramen! i’m about to move away and i’m already sad ;~~;
    i’m going back to cali tho, so i’m gonna pig out on mexican food ehehe

  81. irritablevowel

    It is easy to see how things get changed though. The way South Koreans add corn to things that should not have corn, I add avocado to things that should not have avocado. Simon adds ranch to things that should not have ranch. Culinary sh*t happens.

  82. When I visited Iran, they’re version of pizza is REALLY different. They too also put corn on their pizza, which I really don’t mind, but what really makes it “exotic” is that instead of using tomato pizza sauce they use KETCHUP. Yes ketchup. I mean if you go to a really fancy 5-star pizza restaurant they’ll probably use tomato pizza sauce but most pizza places there, like Pizza-Hut, use ketchup as the base sauce. It sounds nasty, but to be honest, it doesn’t taste THAT different it just weird to know while you’re eating the pizza. And btw, some Iranians will even put MORE ketchup on top of the pizza after its cooked!

  83. Is it strange that the only Korean food I’ve ever had was in Costa Rica? in San Jose, once in a Korean restaurant and another time in a mall haha, I have no idea if it was anything like Korean food in Korea but in the restaurant it said that a Korean ajumma is cooking real home style Korean food. Anyway, it was delicious. And affordable unlike around here in the UK. Korean BBQ for 16 pounds (ca $26). What am I? A third generation chaebol heir?

  84. I live in Chile and pizza it’s a really big thing here, but I remember going to Iquique (a city in the north of Chile) and guess what they put on their pizza? avocado… yes, sound strange even more than corn, but It’s actually good XD

  85. I have never tried korean food , I want to try it someday .. but I love Italian, Indian , Chinese and Japanese food. In my country there are all kind of foreign restaurant.. I’m international student in the UK and I’ve noticed that they add corn (not to much) in their vegi pizza. it was my first time trying pizza with corn it wasn’t that bad. they also have all kind of foods in the uk, but usually the Indian food doesn’t taste good. in my country when you go to shopping mall you will find all kind of food, but here in the uk there is only few restaurant (fast food). Last year when my mom visited me in the uk we went to Japanese restaurant it was hard to find good Japanese restaurant in where I live in the uk. But we found Japanese restaurant that I always go to in my country and I love their ramen . However the ramen in the restaurant that in the uk taste different than in my country , it taste like water and noodles no salt and no spices (I order spicy chicken ramen :D)

  86. I taught french in Ukraine ages ago, and my experience there was life-changing. As for the food, corn and mayonnaise are rampant; salad = a bowl of blanched vegetables drowned in mayo. There is corn and mayo on the pizza (I’m beginning to think it’s much more widespread a phenomenon ha). And the butter is eaten like cheese on crackers or toast. This really surprised me, but the dairy products there were very different. It tasted creamy and mild, not oily as it does in Canada. Still I balked at the thought of eating tablespoons of butter in one sitting. Here I felt that some things may be lost in translation since ‘butter’ in this instance referred to two very different things…

  87. I’m Dominican and in my country its all the way around, we get original Mexican and Italian food, but its SO HARD to get the original Korean or Chinese food, we Dominicanize the whole thing! put avocado and fritos (you do that with bananas) in it, its frustratiiiiing D:

  88. irritablevowel

    Oh my God, do not even try to get Mexican food in England. You will weep tears of pain and horror. Or southern food. I have a friend whose response after eating in an English restaurant that served southern food was “South of what??” However, you can get outstanding Indian food in England.

  89. Just to clarify the confusion about tomatoes–> Scientifically, tomatoes are fruits because they are from the base of a flower (from the ovary) and usually have seeds within just like oranges. Fruits can be either have seeds or be from the ovary or both: Have seeds but not from ovary–> Strawberries & seedless but from ovary are fruits that are cultivated –> seedless grapes. Cooks considered it a vegetable because it savours the food. Vegetable is normally the edible part of a plant like celery stalks or cabbage leaves. I would say its a fruit because I am going with the scientific reason. You can look at it up on oxford dictionary or some other scientific sources. :D Hope this helped a bit! (From a Canadian-representing the ‘GTA’ :)! )

  90. Minty

    I know That In Korea There is Like Paris Baguette or Tous les Jours …
    But what If you want to eat French Style Food ? Not Juste bread but french Food !

    (PS: When I went to Korea I went to secret place in Busan … But Is there any food chains or restaurants? )

  91. My husband is from an area in India where a lot of Tibetan refugees located too (Dehradun), and there they have Indo-Chinese food which is a weird combination of what it sounds like it is…but it’s AMAZING! And ridiculously hard to find! The only time we get to have it is when we visit New York or his parents in his hometown. Also, I will never find Mexican food like I had back home (Texas/Mexican border states). Makes my stomach sad.

  92. well … in my neighborhood we just have a chinese restaurant, and, well.. it isn’t very good xD and a long time ago, people were afraid to eat there because one of the owners had dogs and them one day the doggies vanished.. you get the story xD we only have that kind of foreign food in my neighborhood, but the traditional food is actually really good, one of the best places to eat portuguese traditional food :) so if you by any chance, want to visit portugal, you can come here to eat some delicious food xD

  93. Cosmic Cat

    Italian food is different in the UK than in it’s motherland. And apparently the Chinese food here is different to in China. I guess wherever you go, foreign food will always taste different to where it’s originally from.

  94. haha in Italy the stuff we got was close-ish to america-on the pizza, not as much cheese&sauce, &anchovies! Toppings were simpler, and everything in general was a lot lighter. (actually we only got anchovies because we had no idea what we were ordering- they spoke no english, us no italian… so it was legit haha) and the pasta seemed lighter (not as drenched in sauce) as well. But the flavours were pretty similar.

  95. There’s one Chinese restaurant in the area which serves traditional food, but there are also a lot of Chinese restaurants which serve dishes that native Chinese persons never even heard of and serve them as traditional dishes…. -.-

    I’ve been in Italy mutiple times and in Italy the pasta / pizza dishes generally have less ingredients than in my country (the Netherlands). My family has an own ‘pasta style’ at home (a lot of Dutch families have, I think): we put in a lot of extra things like vegetables, because than there’s more vitamins etc. And we like to have a ‘filled sauce’ (if that’s how you call it?).

    In the Netherlands there are a lot of restaurants which serve real, traditional food from other countries. Our ‘food culture’ has a lot of influences from abroad: partially because of the colonial paste. The Netherlands is a also trading nation in the present day, so there’s a lot of exposure to other cultures. > A lot of families have their own recipes and styles for making (‘foreign’) dishes.
    That’s possible, because in most supermarkets there’s a wide variety of ingredients (for example: Mexican herbs or dried seaweed) for foreign dishes and a lot of people experiment with it.

  96. Hi guys, thought I’d pitch in and comment! I loved watching your TL;DR because it really reflects the way I felt about how I experienced non-Korean food in Seoul (I was there for study abroad – best time evar!) I completely agree with the pizza thing, sweet potato mousse? I’ve always loved sweet potato but not the Korean extent. They put that stuff everywhere and at some point I got kinda sick of it – especially on pizza.

    Anyhow, Italian food, I have never been so surprised by a piece of bread with garlic on it before in my life. I was so happy to have some ‘real’ bread and went all out on it. Until I found out it was sweet and I found out my whole life was a lie. Nah just joking, but it really caught me off guard. Also pasta, definite surprise there. I found the sauce to always be a thin, runny soup, more than a thick, full sauce. Also yeah, I found the tomato sauce really sweet, while ‘cream’ sauces were too runny and overpowered it all. And (!) I’ve had so many pasta dishes combining spaghetti, penne, ravioli and whatever other type of pasta they could find all in just one dish. That was pretty weird for me.

    Mexican food! My god, I love that stuff. Even though I’ve never been to Mexico and don’t think my view of Mexican is the same as the real deal in Mexico, there was one place I really loved a lot, which was in Hongdae. Actually not that far from you guys’ studio! Sorry if I sound like a creeper, but I saw the studio one day while I walking to said restaurant (coincidence? I think not!). It’s called Gusto Taco and it’s run by this really nice American dude, can’t remember his name, sorry. It’s actually in the same street as the EYK studio, it’s near the entrance/exit of Hapjeong. It’s a pretty small place so you might overlook it, but the food is DELICIOUS. And it’s quite cheap for Mexican food in Seoul, at least compared to Vatos. They make their own tortilla’s (which the owner will happily tell you about) and the pork tacos were to die for. You guys might have already tried it, but if not, please do! And of course let me know if you did, I’m really curious as to what you guys think about that place. God I miss those tacos!

  97. I’m not going to lie, this post made me want to cry. Indian food is my favourite food in the whole world (though Japanese curry is totally crack cocaine – I’ve even had a Japanese roommate make me some once). I’m moving to Korea soon and this news about the lack of authentic foreign foods is actually making me reconsider coming. Like I’m not lying. Food is a big deal to me. T T *goes and cries in corner*.

    About GEMA. There is a lot of controversy about it, but honestly I don’t think GEMA is in the right. And this comes from someone who has lived in Germany, and my family still lives there, which doesn’t necessarily make me an expert, but as a user, I think GEMA are being ridiculous. They claim one thing about fees and Google says another and it’s just a big mess. It’s really irritating. Germans also love their corn on pizza.

  98. Kairos

    Found while browsing Failblog. How appropriate.
    https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/8135367424/h5AEEB37B/

  99. When I went to Italy I had only eaten italian food in countries like Norway, Germany, Bosnia, Croatia, Great Britain etc. and since I am a huge fan of Italian food, I was pretty excited to taste it in the mother land! Additionaly, I went to Bologna, which is considered the food capital of Italy (they invented the bolognese sauce for instance). Basically, food was around every corner. It is nearly impossible to starve in Bologna! So when my family and I finally found a good restaurant, I anxiously read through the menu and omg…. it was all pasta, pizza abd salads – my favorites! I ordered Pasta Benne with bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese…. It was sooooo good! I had never had padta like that in my entire life! My brother ordered risotto, and he was pretty surprised as well. It was amazing! I am pretty sure that even though many countries have great italian restaurants, I will never have such a good foodporn experience again- EVER. It’s a bit like that with pizza as well. American pizza is ok, but it is nothing like italian pizza. It’s just fatty bread with a bit fill in it. Real pizza to me has to be thin like the italian one, because he fill is the secret, not the fatty size of the bread :/ I guess it all depends on the culture you’ve grown up in. In Finland I went to a north Italian restaurnt and ate pasta with spinach and potatoes for the first time in my life and it was actually pretty awesome, allthough I don’t know if it was authentic.
    When it comes to food and what you prefer – it’s all culture. I am for instance not able to eat anything for breakfast when I travel (don’t know why…) I only drink tea and I am completely shocked when I see people coming in with two full plates with food. How do they do that?
    Could you guys do a FAP on a foreign restaurant in Korea that is autentic? Why did I even write all of this? XD

  100. Valera K

    I’ve always wanted to taste Japanese takoyaki but I never went to Japan, so I thought I might as well try to find some here in Philly, PA. There’s a well-reviewed Japanese ramen place downtown (I didn’t try the ramen though) where they make takoyaki (it’s like the only place in Philly that has takoyaki on its menu, based on my research), and many people who tried authentic Japanese takoyaki gave it great reviews, so I went there and tried it.
    All I tasted was horse radish mayonnaise.
    Is that what it’s supposed to taste like?? I’m confused….

  101. Woah, ok, so the tomato thing is, like, a totally Korean in-bred thing. My mom puts tomatoes in EVERYTHING. Smoothies, fruit salads, she’ll put it out as a side dish, or she’ll just wash ‘em and pop ‘em in her mouth. It’s not even funny. I thought it was because she grew up in the countryside in Korea, and I know they didn’t have too much when she was growing up, so she was just enjoying tomatoes, but wow, I’m surprised that Koreans today do it too (patbingsu, really?!).

    I went to Italy as a educational school trip a couple summers back, and the pizza and pasta I had there was closer to the stuff I had in the US than in Korea. It was a while ago, so it might have changed, but I had pasta in Korea like once or twice, and the “Alfredo sauce” wasn’t as Alfredo-y, it was more soupier like you guys said. The pasta I had I remember being spicier than expected. I think it’s just how the Korean diet is. I also remember my mom complaining about how she felt like she was scammed when she ordered a pasta dish that had, like, mussels and clams and all sorts of shellfish, but she only got, like, 4 mussels and some shrimp or whatever (you’d think Korea would be generous about the seafood since it’s a peninsula). But I think a lot of the Koreanization of the foreign food might be because it’s foreign, and either they lack the proper ingredients, or they just glamorize it too much. But I haven’t been to Korea in about 3 years, so I can’t really say xD

    Sorry this was really long. Thanks for the video, and I’m glad the Meemers is doing well!

    • Cyber_3

      I’m from Canada and I’m not (that) old and never poor and I say that raw tomatoes straight from the garden are delicious! Especially the little ones! I can see that if you have only tasted some of the “ripened in a truck” ones from the supermarket, you might think it was weird but those tomatoes are not good, miles away in taste and texture from “good” tomatoes. I actually never liked tomatoes raw until my Mom grew some grape tomatoes in the garden when I was in my 20s and they were like candy (I got scolded because I cleaned her bushes out – eheh) and I’ve never gone back since. I grow 9-20 different varieties (mostly Italian) in my tiny garden every year now. They make the best salads, salsas, pasta, etc. Even kids eat them right off the bush. Maybe try some organic good tiny varieties from a greenhouse and see?

      • Wow, kids would eat them?! Haha, that’s just amazing to me, I don’t know why. I don’t know, I think it might be the texture as much as the taste, but I guess organic tomatoes vs. supermarket tomatoes would make a difference. I’ll have to see! Thanks for telling me! :) (although I think one year my mom did try growing tomatoes, but they were eaten by, like, bugs and deer and stuff. I’ve heard it’s rather hard to garden tomatoes, so kudos to you for growing 9-20 different kinds! :D)

        • Cyber_3

          Hahaha, yes! I say “Help me pick, kids!” and I end up with stripped bushes and nothing in the basket – LOL!
          I can totally see deer eating them but as long as you pick them before they over-ripen, the bugs should not touch them. I don’t think it’s really challenging, you just need 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, to keep the weeds away, and not to over-water. Some gardeners actually “spank” their tomato plants daily, they are pretty hardy. I’ve grown them on a 20th floor balcony and in a shady courtyard before. The supermarket tomatoes are actually bred to have thick walls so that they can withstand more abuse in a truck to market but it’s at the expense of flavour and crispness. It’s more the variety/breed than the organic part that makes the difference but since organic growing can be a pain, farmers usually grow tasty varieties to sell to specialty markets. “Sweet Milllions” or “Tiny Tim” type tomatoes are super sweet and easy to grow even on a sunny balcony it you want to try it yourself. If you know of any shishi restaurants in your area, especially French or Italian restaurants, ask the kitchen where they get their tomatoes, you might find a good source that way. Unfortunately you can’t ship seeds out of the country but here is one of the sites where I buy seeds so you can see some different tomatoes, they even ship starter plants but I grow my own:
          http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/vegetables/tomato

  102. In my neighbourhood, the chinese restaurant has frog legs and french fries, what the heck. (from France)

  103. Oh gosh, I loathe the sugary garlic bread.

    I currently live in Perth and there’s a Korean restaurant in town that’s always full of Korean people. This is always a good sign when eating at foreign restaurants. I’ve gone there a couple of times to get my Korean fix.

    When I taught English in Seoul I walked into my class one day and someone had drawn a mock-up of the HideMyAss,com free web proxy on their desk with the url “youporn,com” written on the “site”. This must be another way they get around the porn laws!

  104. My friends and I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving together with our Chinese roommates a few years ago when I was studying abroad in Xi’an, China. We found this Italian restaurant called Collabo that was run by a Japanese chef who studied the culinary art in the States. Now, I’ve never been to Italy, but I’ve had good Italian-American food so based on that, the food at Collabo was decent, but not memorable. What was truly memorable were his desserts. I will say that I had one of the best chocolate-fudge-paste-thing-with-the-most-amazing-raspberry-sorbet-on-top EVER. IT BLEW MY MIND. If anyone has ever been to China, you would know that most things chocolate don’t really take like chocolate, but this dessert was amazing. Don’t know if the place is still there or if it’s still run by the same guy, but check it out if you’re studying there and need a to satisfy your chocolate craving.

  105. I’m from Germany and I hate the GEMA. It is really really difficult to watch Kpop videos here, but fortunately I don’t have problems with watching your videos every day. :) You definitely should visit Germany, we have lot of nice places here. :D I always show my Korean students the nice places and the traditional food. I lived for one year in Italy and I can tell the Italian food in Germany is pretty German. And the German food in Italy is not that good, because they don’t have the same milk products. My Korean and Chinese students always are disappointed about the Chinese, Japanese and Korean food here. The most Sushi and Chinese restaurants owners are Vietnamese people. :) I think, if you want to eat awesome international cuisine you have to go to a restaurant where the owners are locals. Sry for the bad English. :/

  106. There are many Brazilian ways of many foods. For example, hot dogs in Brazil have many ways to be served. There is one made of ground beef. But usually hot dogs are made of sausages and served with cheese, garlic paste, corn, peas, raisins and potato chips. However, I already ate them with mashed potatoes as well, which was really strange, but delicious.

    I already had the chance to go to Japan and comparing the original japanese food with the ones served by brazilian restaurants, they are also good tasting, but of course not as good as the original. Japan has a tradition that sushi men must study a lot to learn how to make the perfect sushi, it is a matter of achieving perfection and serving the best dish you can. As for brazilian japanese restaurants, you often see brazilian people as sushi men, chopping the fish with little knowledge, but if it is fresh it tastes good most of the times. I also already eat frozen fish and for me that was unacceptable, it was horrible.

    Ramen in Brazil, specially if made in the japanese neighbourhood in Sao Paulo, tastes just like the ones made in Japan. The tonkotsu ramen, broth made after the pork bone was in that water for 1 day or more, was my favorite. I also enjoy very much shoyu ramen.

    One thing curious I experienced in my trip to Japan was that there was an event in the Japan Foundation Center in Osaka, where I stayed at, and they made Feijoada, which is a traditional brazilian dish made of beans with sausages, pork, and served with kale and rice. My brazilian friend and I appreciatted the dish and felt very honored to be remembered, but that tasted nothing like the original brazilian Feijoada. It was more like cooked beans with salt and sausages, with a really thin broth, instead of the thick one we are used to. Another interesting part was that none of the asian people (japanese and other countries) that were present wanted to try the dish soon. When we asked them why they told us that they would like to eat the sweet dishes later, because that’s how they eat beans in japan, sweetened. As for us in Brazil, sweet beans are usually not so well accepted.

  107. It’s funny, the best Italian food I’ve ever had was in Korea. This little cafe in Sinchon…. *dreamy sigh*

  108. On the topic of cheese cake, I’m Latina and my family makes a cake we call Quesadilla, and it’s the same kind of idea. It’s made with cheese and such, but it isn’t like North American style cheesecake.

  109. I think the phenomenon with eating Costco “onion, mustard, ketchup salads” is that Koreans like anything free. Since the condiments are free and laid out for everyone to enjoy, they make the best of it by piling it all on a plate all at once and enjoying! I have also seen this being done in American Costcos. If you look through the racially diverse crowds in the food court area, the Asians almost always have a huge amount of condiments filling their flimsy, paper plates.

  110. I think the pizza in Germany is really great and it tastes like the ‘original’ italian ones! But, when I was in New Zealand and ordered a pizza, I was so shocked and disgusted because it didn’t have the right taste – no cheese, no real tomato sauce, … *urgh*

  111. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area and we have some pretty authentic ethnic restaurants. In Chinatown (largest outside of Asia and oldest in North America) in SF we have great authentic Chinese food. There are is also great Japanese and Korean food here too. You can find a lot of different cuisines from around the world here. Mexican food in Cali is really good too. We do have a lot of fusion/americanized version of these cuisines too. But we do have neighborhoods where you can get authentic traditional even regional food. Not just Asian cuisine either there are some great Italian Cafe’s and restaurants in North Beach in SF known locally as Lil Italy. I recently went to this great Ethiopian restaurant it was awesome!! I usually eat different types of food 3-4 times a week. I also noticed the thing about deserts. Because deserts in Chinatown are really pretty but a little bland.

  112. Ever since you changed something on your homepage, I cannot watch your videos anymore… :(( of course, it’s still possible to watch them on youtube, but, I would love to watch them ‘here’ again… is that possible? pretty please? :)

  113. Because i live in toronto i usually go to the different towns run by ppl who moved from which ever country it is and know the taste so im not soooo suree weeps

  114. What you describe as ”cheesecake” sounds as the cheesecake we have, or even the Japanese one. There are so many different cheesecakes, and if you ask here for a cheesecake you get a light and fluffy cake, unless you specify that you want American cheesecake.
    As far as I know, sweet potatoes didn’t even grow in Europe, and I never had any sweet potato in Italy. Sometimes they put sauces here on the side as well, so you can put it on there yourself and don’t have to have too much mustard for your liking on your hotdog.

  115. Living in NJ in the US, we have a LOT of foreign food restaurants around here. We have tons of Italian places, Mexican places and Chinese places. I know it NY they have Chinatown and Koreatown, but I’ve never been there, so I don’t know what kind of food they have. I know there’s a Chinese place in Philly’s Chinatown that we went to before, that serves the traditional Chinese food, not the stuff they serve in Chinese takeout places. The foreign food around here is amazing though!

    I know in Philly there’s a lot of more… exotic foreign foods. Like Vietnamese restaurants. And we do have a couple Japanese restaurants around here, but they’re TINY! I mean like, really tiny. Even the outside of the building and the parking lots are tiny. But they’re supposedly full blown restaurants!

    One thing I am very curious about, is shopping malls/food courts in Korea. Like living in NJ, we have tons of shopping malls and each one has a food court, which is usually set up in a semi-circle with tons of places to get food and tables to sit at and eat. In my favorite mall, they have a Chinese place and a Japanese place side by side. It’s kinda funny how they’re always competing. XD Then we also have an Italian place, and basics like Subway, Saladworks and McDonalds.

    Also, in Korea’s shopping malls, are there a lot of chain stores like … say Bath and Body Works or Sears or something like that, for example? Or are there a lot of privately owned little shops instead?

    But yes, I’d love to see what a shopping mall/food court is like in Korea! Maybe you guys could go to a shopping mall and have a wonderful time WANKing and make an awesome WANK video for this topic? :D

  116. i mean i guess each country has a tendency to take some foods and bend it to norms of the country. like american chinese food is nothing like the chinese food my chinese best friend’s mom makes, y’know? it’s like… fake chinese chinese food. and even indian or korean food in america is sometimes toned down from what the full force of it is and the owners of these restaurants say things like they had to tone it down because “a lot of americans couldn’t handle it”. and i’m like nah give me my super spicy food! that’s what i came here for!

    also filipinos have kind of done the same thing to a lot of western foods. like my mom makes “filipino” spaghetti. and where normal spaghetti sauce is crushed tomatoes, tomato paste or whatever, and lots of spices and whatnot and meatballs or ground beef or idk. but the only spaghetti sauce i knew growing up had tomato sauce and tomato paste, but it also had ketchup and two spoons of sugar and these bright pink hotdogs, because that’s the way filipinos do it and that’s filipino spaghetti. so i guess korea does the same thing, since their society has less variation in ethnicity as compared to america–they take the idea of foreign foods and spin them to fit the korean palate.

  117. When I visited italy, I ate pasta and noticed it actually tasted more chef boyardee-like than the pasta your grandma might make. So I actually prefer what my family makes over what I had in Italy. Maybe that’s just what my taste buds are used to? I’m not sure, but for me it was too sweet, runny, and…can flavored? It was like metallicy haha Idk but Italy was still awesome.

  118. I live in NYC so we’re pretty spoiled when it comes to availability of foreign foods, but you also get some funny crossover. The closet Korean place to me is pretty meh and run by Mexican people making Korean tacos. Conversely, there’s a Mexican spot down the street run by Chinese people, so it’s not quite the same taste as the authentic cuisine. But people mostly embrace it. There’s a Korean/French cafe that sells Kimchi bouillabaisse and another restaurant called Shalom Japan that’s run by a Jewish-Japanese couple that serves Sake Challah Bread. Yay for fusion and cultural borrowing!

  119. I admit that while living in Korea, I did miss myself some authentic foods. Or I guess what I thought was authentic. ;) However, I largely cooked for myself, since I’m a vegetarian.

    However, there were some pretty good places that you could go to for Indian food – I had a favorite place in Seoul – that was reasonably priced. I hated how most “foreign” foods were so overpriced, though! Like the whole idea of “Chinese” food in Korea is really Koreanized Chinese food (but that’s actually pretty cheap), but that’s the same in most places. It’s foreign – it’s expensive. Except for Koreanized Chinese food, for the most part.

    When an ethnic food finds a place in a new country, it adapts or else it just won’t survive. You need to make the locals like the food and that is where you need to see what appeals to them so they will be willing to try it and then come back. Plus, I love seeing how food changes with the country. I would get these random cravings for pizza in Korea and it always tickled me funny that they put corn, potatoes and sweet potato mousse on the stuff (and how an order of cheese pizza really mean cheese and corn pizza)… but I started to like it. Okay, perhaps not the idea of carbs on carbs, but the sweet potato mousse wasn’t all that bad. When I brought my friends over to Korea, they fell in LOVE in Korean Italian food, which I found hilarious, because one of them is a hardcore foodie and she likes authentic stuff.

    Is it weird that after living there, I needed that burst of tangy-sweetness from the pickles or kimchi or some other fermented vegetable with every meal? O_o

    In summary: I LOVE authentic food, but seeing another country’s take on it is pretty interesting and it isn’t always bad. It mainly also depends on your palate.

  120. YES! USA road trip should definitely happen! I’ve got to say one of the most amazing things about the US is the variety of food. I think most of the foreign food I’ve had growing up has been pretty authentic. Of course I grew up in Pennsylvania a couple hours outside of NYC and if you’re looking for authentic anything the big apple has it covered. What makes it so great is that most of the time the chefs/owners are actually from the country of whatever food they’re serving. If the chef isn’t from the country you can bet he’s been trained properly in the correct technique and preparation in whatever cuisine he/she is making. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Boston and besides the fresh seafood the East Coast Grill in Boston holds this thing called Hell Night a few times a year. S&M if you like spicy food you have got to check this out. They use the hottest ingredients and peppers from around the world and put them into their food. It’s the type of stuff that turns your mouth and throat numb! COME TO THE USA!

  121. The strange thing about my city in Canada is that most of the Japanese restaurants are owned by Koreans…. so weird.

  122. Come to San Diego and I’ll feed you a carne asada burrito, and then you’ll truly know Mexican food.

  123. Definitely have to put one of my experiences in. I was wandering around Hyewha with a friend just to explore the area and we decided to get Indian food on one of the corners. I was excited since I hadn’t tried any since arriving to Korea. The place had good reviews and a nice atmosphere when we went. I became more elated when they offered my favorite dish: Chicken Shahi kurma. When the dish finally came, it tasted way different than the Indian food I am used to. It was super sweet and had a weird tang to it. I had to unfortunately force myself to eat it. :( Next time I try Indian I will ask and see if they can make it more authentic.

  124. I live in St. George, Utah, and we have some pretty legit Mexican food here. We were part of Mexico once, I guess, so the culture here is very influenced by Hispanic style (think like Phoenix, AZ, but slightly less hot. only slightly. OH. High School Musical 2 was filmed here. Look at that, got it? good). Anyway, I have heard from a lot of people who have lived in Mexico that our Mexican food is pretty legit. And there is a LOT of it. I’m pretty sure every other restaurant is Mexican. Also, we are home to the original Cafe Rio, if anyone has heard of them!
    So if you want some good Mexican food, come here! There really isn’t much other reason to visit though… Sorry.

  125. I live in Texas, Mexico is like 40 minutes from my house, and let me tell you the food is so different. Even if i can get the same food here where i live it will always be just bellow the food i can get just around the corner from my gramas house in Mexico. And its not just the food Coke! is sooooooo much better i read somewhere CocaCola uses different sugar in Mexico. Whatever is it i prefer Mexican coke^-^

  126. Yees! Come to Germany, please!

  127. Oh man.. I was actually going to go to San Francisco sunday and look for Korean food places there because I’ve never actually had any korean food.. Now I feel like I’m just going to be set up for disappointment. I hope it’s not like going to a Taco Bell in search for “mexican food”.

    • I have a Korean friend who currently lives in San Francisco and he told me that the Korean food scene there was pretty decent, but you just had to know where to go. If you find a good place there, it should be okay.

  128. Japanese ramen is currently the hype in Jakarta and you can find maybe 2 or 3 restaurants that specially serve ramen in one mall. And most of the good ones have that special boiled eggs with creamy yolk. Some of the restaurants even have creamy yolk that’s been flavored so it tastes like the broth.

    • Cyber_3

      What is the difference between a “creamy” yolk and a non-creamy(?) one? Is it just how much it’s cooked or is it more?

      • The creamy yolk that I’ve had actually comes from a hard boiled egg. I think a lot of other ramen places have onsen tamago in their ramen (the eggs are rested in boiling water over no heat), but the particular restaurant that I like I think marinated their eggs in such a way that the yolk doesn’t turn hard even when it’s hard boiled, also the white of the egg has a bit of a dark brown tint to it.

      • I did some googling, it’s called ajitsuke tamago.

  129. ok so i LOVE food. but i love LEGIT food. for example. everytime people refer to Shin ramyun and they say ramen, i get peeved. lol.

    btw. i find it interesting the japanese ramen and the Korean ramyun bit that you mentioned because all the Korean ramyun i’ve ever had looks and tastes like the japanese ramen that you described. so i find that interesting.

    anyways. so i used to live in a town that has a HUGE diverse population. and they have a cultural festival every year where people from different countries go and cook food and give out samples of food for small prices. I’ve had curry from pakistan and india. (bad idea considering i was pregnant that time and the food had such a warm heat to it that my nose started bleeding profusely and then i got dizzy and nearly passed out. lol). so that’s how i can tell between authentic foods. my husband’s stepdad’s family are chinese and they’ll cook authentic chinese that is completely different from chinese food that you’ll get at the chinese restaurant down the street (the sesame chicken and stuff. i’ve never had japanese curry, but i’ve had Korean curry that was very spicy from that brand you showed. then again i get the hot kind. i like it cause its a bit more flavorful.

    i find the garlic bread bit funny though! i have had my share of Korean “garlic” bread. but usually my mom when she gets it, she knows its a dessert bread. we have Korean bakeries near by here and they have the sweet stuff, but they also have savory buns that are filled with different stuff in it. but most of the breads from what my mom has told me are sweet rather than savory because of the fact that most Koreans get a lot of carbs from rice and stuff during a meal so they really have no reason for bread to be savory. idk. not really sure on that. i’ve just accepted that explanation.

    the sushi here….well…i’d say be careful on where you go. lol. i miss this one local restaurant that we used to go to where it was mexican japanese fusion and it was owned by a Korean who knew how to do sushi the right way. lol. i never get sashimi cause i’m paranoid and i just hate the texture of it. but the sushi is brilliant and amazing. and they do have sushi where the toppings are overload like volcano roll and stuff, but its soooo good.

    i find the pizza thing hilarious cause i’ve never encountered Korean pizza with corn. or with sweet potato. then again i was in incheon. had an amazing veggie pizza with like a spicy ranch type of sauce drizzled on it. forgot what it was.

    sorry if i’m making anyone hungry. i’m making myself hungry. i actually wish i had the discipline to learn to cook Korean food more often. my body is sooo used to that type of diet that when i got married and had more american type food as opposed to Korean food i actually gained wait (which you’d expect differently with all those carbs).

    most of the mexican restaurants here that i know of are 100% the same. same menu everything. so i’m not exactly sure what would be considered authentic mexican other than the beans, rice, cheese, meat, etc.

    i think the only time when i’ve experienced foreign food that wasn’t authentic is when the restaurant is american owned. like taco bell is not authentic (duh). or olive garden and macaroni grill or carrabas will advertise italian when from my experience is the exact opposite of italian.

    sorry. that was a lot to read. i need to stop typing so much. i don’t talk this much in person but i type forever. lol.

  130. “The secret ingredient for Japanese curry is crack cocaine.”
    MUST. RESIT. URGE. TO. MAKE. ROB. FORD. JOKE. :D

    Aside…I love Mexican food, so knowing that you can’t really get it in Korea makes me sad. Avocados in Toronto though lately have been averaging 2.50 each though…so that’s on par.

  131. I am American, and one thing I really appreciate about my city is that there are a diverse amount of little restaurants that are owned and run by immigrants and serve legit ethnic food. (Inferred to be legit from the fact that the owners come from the countries whose cuisine they serve, and verified to be legit by my international friends/friends who have traveled.)

    These places are so small and so hard to find! Thus far I’ve found Korean, Lebanese, Indian, Chinese, Hungarian, and Nepalese places, and I’m sure there are more! Not only is the food delicious, but it is great talking to the owners and their families. And I’m pretty sure that my friends and I are very entertaining to them since we can’t stop crying whenever we eat the spicy foods. Indian and Nepalese are particularly bad…. not bad as in bad but bad as in good, you know? ; )

  132. trinigurl77

    I don’t know if this applies, but I used to love KFC in the US when I was little. Then all of a sudden they changed the recipe to make it “healthier.” One glorious day on a trip to Trinidad in the West Indies my cousins made me try the KFC down there. They would not stop raving about how delish it was. Boy were they right, they season it differently there and it is SOOOOO GUUUUDDDD. Also had the same experience in Germany. It’s not that they put the unhealthy attributes back into the
    food in these countries, but the seasoning of the meat is different and it makes it taste so YUMMY. Great, now I want some and I can’t afford to fly there to get some. :(

  133. KATHyphenTUN

    My boyfriend and I always have these discussions! I love going out for chinese food and he hates it because it’s “canadianized” lol. Then he also says he doesn’t like it when his mom makes lasagna because it tastes “chinese”.
    I remember when we visited vancouver, we found a taiwanese restraunt and I finally convinced him to get something. He was almost in tears from the feels of how good it tasted and all the memories of his childhood. xD so I have to agree with you that it really depends on who is making the dish! In general I feel like you just know your own contries food better.

  134. Suiyoubii

    Wow Simon and Martina, those people from South Korea have the same names as you! What a coincidence! Also I live in the UK and I’ve never once had corn on my pizza, nor have I known anyone who has had corn on their pizza; if I found corn on my pizza, whoever put it on would better sleep with one eye open because they would have ruined a perfectly good pizza. However I think corn is only put on vegetarian pizza here but I’m not sure since neither me or many people I know are vegetarian. We’ve never had corn on our pizzas nor have we been asked if we wanted to so I’m just making the connection.

    Also in my area we have a huge Asian community, I can go to the main street in the centre of town and I will find Indian curry shops galore, run by actual Indian people; the food is DIVINE. We also have a lot of Chinese restaurants and takeaways, again run by actual Chinese people and the food is extremely accurate. The only Japanese restaurants we have are sushi bars which are still really nice, the occasional one serves ramen and dumplings. But we have no Korean restaurants D:

  135. I’m a Korean-American who’s always been fiercely critical of contemporary Korean cuisine. It’s just never been up to snuff with other Asian nations and I’ve always wondered why. Up to this point, I’ve come up with four basic causes: geography, war, industrialization and isolationism.

    South Korea is a small country compared to its East Asian neighbors China and Japan, which equals less farmland and biodiversity. Next, take into account that it is incredibly mountainous particularly on the eastern part of the peninsula, further reducing the amount of arable land. This lack of food diversity and farmland helps explain why (1) Koreans traditionally ate more fermented food than other nations since they didn’t have ready access to fresh foodstuffs and (2) Koreans ate banchan with every meal, which are typically fermented vegetables that foraged from the mountains, instead of freshly prepared foods. Additionally, its location as an isolated peninsula in eastern Asia prevented its ready access to new goods. This lack of diversity meant that Koreans were forced to go very heavy on one-note flavors instead of balancing flavors as in other food cultures; very salty, very spicy, very garlicky, etc.

    Also, this also meant that any new agricultural items or cooking techniques that managed to find their way into the peninsula were quickly adopted to excess. For example, red chili pepper flakes were not introduced into Korea until about the 17th century or so, but now its use is omnipresent in everything ranging from their national food kimchi, their national condiments such gochugang, and a host of other dishes. You can see these trends manifesting to this day as Simon and Martina have attested to. The abudance of corn, for example, I believe stems from free trade relations with the United States, which is the world largest producer of cheap subsidized corn and now Koreans use it in everything.

    Because of its strategic location, Korea has at war throughout its history with China, military nomads from the north, Japan and even the United States in recent times. And even when it wasn’t at war, there were long stretches of history where it was a tributary state or colony of other more powerful Eastern states. While these events helped facilitate an exchange of cultures which brought in many ideas into Korea, the financial and psychic cost of these military commitments and tributes hampered Korea’s ability to cultivate a flourishing high court culture as in China; additionally, Korea’s strictly hierarchical social structure prevented the development of a strong merchant middle class and therefore a restaurant culture as in Japan. Of course, this has changed dramatically in recent decades as South Korea (Seoul in particular) has developed a very active and burgeoning restaurant scene.

    War has also very recently affected Korea’s culinary culture by essentially reducing the peninsula to ashes and ushering in an era of cheap, American army-base-inspired food. The only people who love Spam more than Koreans are Hawaiians, who also happen to share that same U.S. military link. Other cheap, processed proteins that eventually became a part of contemporary Korean cuisine included hot dogs and processed cheese, both of which are also ubiquitous in Korean food today. Instant ramen, yellow curry, tonkatsu and even kimbap (though this is disputed) all also hearken back to Korea’s former military occupation under the Japanese. And due to Korea’s abject poverty throughout the decades following occupation and the Korean war, these Japanese-inspired items stayed cheap and processed Koreanized versions instead of being refined to something higher and more elegant.

    In order to get out of poverty, Korea had to industrialize. And under the government-run chaebols, which were essentially corporate oligopolies, Korea began to mass produce goods, many of which happened to be those cheap processed food products that were mentioned earlier. Because of the small number of corporations who had control of Korea’s industries, there were few major brands and therefore few variations of these products, which helps to explain why so many Korean dishes tend to taste the same: because their ingredients all come from the same sources. Many Korean-American chefs have complained about this problem and have started to remedy that by trying to source their Korean products from smaller-scale artisan producers. As far as South Korea has come in terms of economic growth, they are still industrializing, which has both good and bad effects. Good, because Korea’s future prospects are incredibly high; I’ve read reports predicting South Korea will overtake the United States to become the wealthiest nation in the world per capita. However, when it comes to Korea’s current food culture, industrialization isn’t so good, since a focus on mass manufacturing tends to shift focus away from varietal artisan producers and services. Fortunately, industrialization’s problems manage to take care of themselves, as a wealthier consumer class that is commensurate with industrialization will naturally demand higher-quality and more varied cuisine. Even the government has acknowledged this problem recently and have promised far more funding for the services industries as opposed to the manufacturing sectors.

    So, Korea is becoming wealthier and wants more dining options? Great. Except, as Simon and Martina have mentioned, their takes on foreign ethnic cuisines haven’t been that spectacular. While rapid industrialization and increased purchased power have enabled Korean business owners to branch out and bring in these different cuisines, they’ve done it in an industrial way, not in an organic way. Mass-producing and cheap imitations may work out for nascent diners who are unaccustomed to these foods, and due to Korea’s insularism and newly formed middle class, it will work for the near future. But as taste buds mature and consumers are exposed to a wider array of information and experiences, things will have to change. Part of this will be furthering the development of an indigenous, interconnected chef-driven culinary culture instead of the scattered networks of corporate franchises and low-grade food stalls that exist today. From what I’ve heard, part of the problem is that chefs in Korea are fiercely secretive and protective about their methods; forming a more cohesive community should not only boost cooperation when it comes to sharing of ideas but also competition, since it will increase the visibility of everyone’s cuisine and force innovation for one to stand out.

    Another change that will be needed is the willingness to travel to other parts of the world and bring back techniques and ideas from other parts of the world as well as opening up immigration itself. Coffee culture seems to be absolutely stellar in Korea which most likely is due to experience overseas; the busy and hardworking culture of urban Koreans no doubt need their high-quality doses of caffeine. We’ve already seen what this sort of global outreach has helped accomplish particularly in the form of K-Pop. Not only have companies and artists learned much from watching what happens overseas, but a significant portion of the industry actually happen to foreigners or expats of Korean descent. There’s no reason this sort of exchange can’t also happen in the domestic Korean culinary scene, especially when two of the greatest culinary cultures on Earth, the Chinese and Japanese, happen to be neighbors. But the most obvious solution, as mentioned above, is simply to allow more foreigners to immigrate to Korea. Korea may pride itself as the “single race society”, but as places such as Singapore and the United States and the rest of the world has shown, the more food cultures, the better.

    As much as someone can claim to “know” Mexican food, you’ll never know it as well as a native Mexican. The Korean government, satisfied with domestic economic reports and dissatisfied with an aging and shrinking population, have gradually relaxed immigration policies over the years, so we should expect to see a larger foreign populace and therefore better and more varied cuisine. Considering the geographical and economic realities of this situation, I think Simon and Martina will always be a bit disappointed in the lack of authentic Mexican food in Asia, but there’s no doubt that all foreign food cultures can and will be improved by increased immigration and as well as increased consumer sophistication. You gotta remember, the reason that Chinese immigrants made wonton soup and chow mein for decades is because that’s exactly what American consumers wanted. Now, times are changing and people are becoming more food-savvy, and I’m sure it will happen in Korea as well.

    A couple of things I’ve never quite understood myself: Korea’s obsession with tough chewy overcooked meat and overall lackluster seafood dishes. Maybe the lack of fresh meat and less-than-ideal methods of preserving it led Koreans to cook rotted meat until it was beyond well-done, particularly pork since pork is omnipresent in Korea and worms are omnipresent in pork. The fish/seafood I still don’t get. And the thing is, much of the fish served in Korean cuisine is freshwater fish or mackerel. The mackerel I can understand, since it is a coastal fish, and although Korea is a peninsula surrounded by ocean, perhaps the areas it was able to fish (due to logistics or Japanese/Chinese territorial claims or pirates) weren’t deep enough for a more varied catch. The freshwater fish things, though, I don’t get, since freshwater fish aren’t that tasty. There are some river systems in Korea but no major lakes and there is ready access to saltwater fish so this is still confusing to me. Then again, they were cheap and accessible sources of protein which was always at a premium in Korean history, which of course explains why dog meat was popular.

    All in all, I expect the Korean dining scene to improve dramatically in the coming years. As S&M have stated repeatedly for all sort of topics on Korean development, “They’re getting there, but not quite yet.” South Korea’s industrial spirit, the rise of the middle and luxury classes, its constant search for novelty and the chip on their collective shoulders they always carry around will ensure they’ll get there. The huge rise in popularity in Korean cuisine and culture in recent years should serve to further boost the growth of development of Korean cuisine. Prominent Korean-American chefs like David Chang and Roy Choi have really helped introduce Korean food to both upscale and mass audiences with their fusion-like approaches and this is something Corey Lee is helping to further as well, while others such as Jung Sik Yim and Hooni Kim have been elevating traditional Korean cuisine by focusing on traditional dishes but with impeccable ingredients and modern techniques. Even Danny Bowien, a Korean adopted by an American family, maintains that same Korean spirit as Chang and Choi whenever he opens up a new restaurant, whether it’s a Mexican place, Chinese takeout or a pizza parlor: one of an industrious, evolving underdog pursuing the novel and unfamiliar while at conflict with his own identity.

    • irritablevowel

      Don’t forget Antonio Park in Montreal, and Edward Kim in Chicago. Or even non-Korean chefs using Korean ingredients. I just went to Stephanie Izard’s new place in Chicago yesterday and was surprised to find a number of Korean-inspired dishes on the menu (as mentioned in another post, like pajeon with pork belly and cole slaw. Totally worked. Was delicious.) I fully expect the explosion of high-end Korean American (and in the case of Park, Korean-South American) chefs will result in a trickle down culinary influence on South Korea. I suspect there will be young chefs trying to do their stages at those restaurants, and bringing what they’ve learned back home.

    • interesting read! thanks!
      korea is a very interesting country because of how fast it is developing! :D even in 10 years korea will probably be extremely different than what it is now :3

    • Wow, I actually never thought about the reasoning behind the food culture in Korea. Thanks for the good read! :D

    • Can I just thank you for this comment? Really. It’s a lot for you to write, and it’s far more insightful than what we wrote in our blog post. Thank you :D

      • Thanks guys, I’m glad there was something of value in that novel I just wrote. That post was the result of years of mental constipation and I’m appreciate of you allowing me the opportunity to use your comments section as a toilet. :) Hopefully you still have one of those futuristic Korean plungers lying around.

      • Simon and Martina, I love you guys, but this guy’s post? It is the worst thing I’ve read in the comment section. Because it’s utter fallacy disguised and presented as insight.

    • Ooooooh history lesson! Can we be best friends? I really loved “oligopolies”. I hope to find an excuse to use it in the future.

    • Interesting though this may be, its written from a biased perspective in my opinion. Mentioning only the popularity of Spam in conjunction with military bases, and overlooking the general popularity of spam in regions like Alaska with Inuits, and Alaskans alike, you overlooked how popular spam is in the Southern United States too.

      Also I feel that you are unreasonably critical of the palate of Korean food. Harmony is a very subjective concept for food, as it lacks a defined meaning. And to say that Korean food is not developed would be like saying Polish food is just a variant of German food. The unique takes that have survived into today, may just have been the popular restaurant versions of food. Because with the great variety of ways that a kimchi can be made is nothing to sniff at, to gloss over it would be ignoring the fact that it would have been adopted not because of how long it lasts, but more to do with how it preserved health be being a source of vitamins that might not have otherwise been available in the local diet.

      You attempt to evaluate a culture’s cuisine in a vacuum, away and outside of the culture itself, and only by the foreign influences in the cuisine. You should have talked or reference potatoes, corn, and tomatoes in European cuisine, after their introduction after the 1600′s, for all the sense you were making. Tomatoes were suspiciously regarded, but despite their relation to nightshade, they became popular because the taste filled a niche in the Italian diet. Strictly traditional dishes from Italy might not use tomatoes because of their late adoption. Russians took to potatoes in the way that Koreans took to red peppers, using them into ubiquity, but it filled a hole in the diet of Russians and it re-shaped their food culture. To look upon such an event with disdain is ethnocentric and a level of ignorance only a redneck might reproduce.

      In short you removed the cultural element from Korean food, the cultural element helping to make it not just something to eat by yourself, but an experience to be shared, and then evaluated the cuisine.

      • dang. a bit mad, eh? i didn’t read any ethnocentrism in his/her post, idk why you are. if you take such an offense, write your own thorough analysis.

        • Kristen Hinderliter

          just because you cant see someone’s ethnocentrism doesnt mean it’s not there.

        • Ah, but you see, the problem with that argument is that it goes both way. Just because you can see ethnocentrism doesn’t mean it’s there.

        • unless you have studied in anthropology, you likely will not be able to see ethnocentrism. I have had to work with groups trying to sell American products in a foreign country, and then try to explain to the Americans why they are approaching the advertising in “an American” manner. You wont see it until after you do it, in most people’s case.

          It really does not go both ways.

        • I didn’t think their rebuttal was unreasonable, I think that they just decided to disagree with what that person said. We learn the most when people disagree with others and share their own insight, that helps enlighten us further by letting us explore different perspectives :) I think what Saturday Night Wrist said was very interesting and well-thought out but not the end-all I think that he gave great reasons but there are other ways to look at it too :D Peace!

      • I respect your opinion and I don’t disagree with your appraisal of me as being hypercritical of Korean cuisine. In fact, I prefaced my post saying that I was “fiercely critical” of it. The objective of my post was to lay out my personal theory of why contemporary Korean cuisine was not on the same global level as its Asian neighbors, rather than a more broad overview of Korean cuisine itself. I love Korean food, and seeing as how I’m Korean myself, I’ve eaten it my entire life. There are many dishes, ingredients and techniques that I believe are world-class. But looking at the cuisine first from a Korean-American perspective, and then from an international perspective, I don’t believe it’s unfair to posit that perhaps there are certain flaws and deficiencies when compared to other contemporary cuisines of greater magnitude, popularity and refinement, especially when others have independently come to similar conclusions.

        Additionally, each specific point in my thesis was meant to be viewed in context with the rest of the surrounding information, and not evaluated piece-by-piece in a “vacuum” as you mentioned. For example, Japan was also an isolated East Asian nation state with relatively few natural resources; however, its larger size, greater climatic and biological diversity, geographic protection from invaders and unrestricted access to the greater Pacific gave that country its own specific set of circumstances to work with. And this is not even taking into account the vast historical divergences that took place particularly after the Meiji Restoration. In regards to Spam, you mentioned that a U.S. military presence wasn’t the only factor when it came to its popularity. You’re absolutely right: the other major factor was poverty and lack of access to fresh meat, which all of the aforementioned Spam-loving regions experienced at some point in the twentieth century.

        Seeing as how I’m Korean-American, it’s a bit confusing to be labeled as an “ethnocentrist” especially since I was highly complimentary of other Asian cuisines, both traditional and Westernized. I also didn’t mention in my post how highly critical I was of contemporary American food culture as well, which I see as significantly worse than Korea’s on a national basis, though not within the context of fine dining. You may have qualms that I’m being very judgmental and thus chalk it up to me being anti-Korea, but it’s exactly the opposite. I criticize Korea because I want Korea to succeed. We can sit here and admire the subjective nature of how the subjugation of women is tolerated within Korean society or how Korean students are being pushed to commit suicide in record numbers, excusing it as part of their “unique and special culture”. Or, on the other hand, we can objectively look at the direction of the world at large and see that this is not a direction we are headed nor should be headed in.

        The very reason that South Korea was able to lift itself out of poverty and become one of the world’s economic powerhouses was precisely this ability to foresee the relatively linear path that humanity seemed to be headed down: industrialization, capitalism and democracy. Korea and East Asia in general are poised to dominate the 21st-century, dubbed the “Asian Century”, for these same reasons as well as of a host of others. Communism, at least in its past and current forms, will not work to lift people out of poverty, nor will authoritarianism lead to a happy and productive populace, as China is gradually learning. In this very same way, Seoul will not become a culinary mecca by continuing to serve rotten kimchi soup with sliced hot dogs in it. There is a process, an imperfect one at that, but one that has been validated enough by both the masses and epicures alike to suggest that there are certain universal traits that are preferred in cuisines.

        I wrote my criticism of Korean cuisine because I saw flaws, and it’s only after you see flaws that you can fix them and improve. In essence, this is the very embodiment of Korean values today: a harshly critical one that places value on self-mastery, constant improvement and an objectively superior way of looking, behaving, working and being. I’m sorry if the tone of my earlier post offended you, but this way of thinking is how I’m able to express my concern for the future of Korea, and this same perfectionist ethos is also why Korea will continue its rise towards becoming a global economic superpower.

        • Kristen Hinderliter

          all you say makes sense, except you feel that being part Korean can cause you to not be ethnocentric. I like your arguments, you make great points but TL;DR. I wish I had the time in my day to counter, but I don’t.

        • Saturday Night Wrist

          Fair enough. I just want to clarify one little thing. I’m full Korean, not part as you seem to suggest. The term “Korean-American” was meant to denote my status as a Korean living in the United States of America; you may have mistakenly mixed it up with “Korean/American” which is the term usually reserved for peoples of mixed ethnicity.

        • he gave an outstanding amount of thought into his piece about reasons why he felt Korean cuisine hasn’t evolved in the same way it’s neighbors have. and then you called him ignorant and basically racist. it’s really ugly. please come up with some legitimate arguments and leave the name calling out.

        • No, you don’t love Korean food. You love the idea of some elitist Korean culture sweeping the globe to boost your ego as a person of Korean descent. Korean people love that “rotten kimchi soup with sliced hot dogs”, and I very much doubt they would give up their rotten kimchi soup so that Seoul can become a culinary mecca. What is wrong with you?

      • I really don’t believe that the OP was trying to analyze the food ways of Korea in a vacuum. I think it was a fairly succinct (especially as internet posts go) well-informed, brief analysis of the socio-political reasons for why contemporary, and foreign, cuisine in South Korea has emerged in the form that it is found.
        Take Spam for example:
        It is popular in South Korea, but also the places you stated as well as Hawaii, Gaum, etc. American military bases, poverty and lack of access to fresh meat all come into play. This has nothing to do with Spam being “good”. It has to do with similar circumstances making a food part of the general populations diet.
        This is how a lot of different food stuffs have become staples. Along with a lot of random experimenting and probably a few happy accidents.
        Chili peppers making kimchi last longer, the nixtamalization of corn preventing pellagra, the discovery of rennet and natural yeast fermentation (sour dough, kefir) are just a few examples of happy accidents that forever changed our food ways.
        Tomatoes, corn, chili peppers, and other “New World” food stuffs made it to the Eurasian continent long before the 1600s. Columbus had returned to Europe in 1493, and the later Spanish had brought stuff back before 1525. . .but I babble.
        You also seem to have missed that the OP is an American of Korean descent. I think the OP probably has a better understanding of Korean food culture than I either of us could ever hope to understand, and it kind of puts a bullet on your ethnocentric argument. OP is ethnically Korean, therefore any supposed ethnocentrism makes the argument more sound.

      • *Alaska’s love for Spam and the local natives probably stems from the American military presence there in WWII and during the cold war (grandfather served in Alaska during Korean War). Also from watching many reruns of Alaska documentaries on Military History and what not, things like spam were the only things that the army could send up there, so the local diet was spam and what the native tribes taught the soldiers to catch.

        • It feels wrong to hear people say “THEY LIKE SPAM BECAUSE MILITARY”

          When in reality, Spam was only introduced to the people. The people themselves did the liking of Spam. No one made them like it. Stop taking their Autonomy away from them. Don’t treat these people so lowly.

          Thats a very white person thing to do is the same kind of thing. It is an insult designed to take your autonomy away from you, and make it about how your skin color made you do something. Everyone deserves Autonomy.

        • What the… I’m just saying it PROBABLY stems from that difficult time period in that region. My aunt loves spam cause she ate it a lot as a child while she was there while her father was stationed… my dad likes it because once moving back my grandma kept cooking it (oh yeah they are white). I’m not just saying just the native population, last I checked there were some white people who had moved there already and a bunch stayed thus both populations grew to eat it more often than in other regions. People look at me like I’m crazy when I say I love certain dishes from my culture because it looks like war ration food but tha’ts because my grandma always made it thus my mother grew to love it and then she passed it on to me. So I was just saying sing the US as a whole wasn’t in the best economic situation during WWII they could only send things like spam to their troops and from watching war documentaries in Alaska to learn about what my grandfather took part in… I saw US soldiers sharing their ration food with the local natives who began to serve as a national guard like troop and in reply they shared fishing skills and such to survive the winter. Somethings you grow to like so I was not implying that only the natives like spam because the us military forced them to.

    • Super interesting read! Thank you for your insightful analysis and hope for Korean cuisine and Korea’s future possibilities with more varied international foods.

    • OMG. Please don’t write up a thesis and present it as truth IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. There are so many things wrong with what you wrote that I would have to write as long a reply as you did, and I don’t have the energy but let’s quickly go through: 1. As for food diversity, there is quite a bit of diversity in Korean cuisine in terms of ingredients. They tend to be simpler/less sophisticated when it comes to cooking methods/techniques, but as far as ingredients are concerned, there is a huge list of indigenous vegetable and seafood that you probably have never heard of, let alone tasted. It’s completely mindblowing really when you say “much of the fish served in Korean cuisine is freshwater fish or mackerel”, seriously, have you even had seafood in Korea? You can’t even find freshwater fish in typical groceries in Korea!

      2. It’s true that chili pepper was introduced to Korea in 17th century or so and it has been widely adopted in Korean cuisine, but it was introduced to Europe and China just a couple hundred of years earlier. Considering the speed of communication and trade, I don’t see how that supports your theory of Korea being so isolated that it goes wild on anything new. Korean people just tend to like strong flavors and that’s why pepper became such a big thing. Besides, pepper isn’t the only thing that was introduced to Korea via China. Why haven’t those become so popular? Your theory on how corn become popular is just really wrong as well. Corn was also introduced to Korea around 17th century (all the fruits of discovery of America), but it was seen as inferior, weirdly foreign stuff only consumed by those who can’t afford rice, so it wasn’t very popular. However, as corn is a very productive crop that can be grown successfully in mountainous regions, it eventually become popular crop especially in places like Gangwondo where there just isn’t big stretches of land to grow rice. But it still wasn’t consumed widely. Even now corn isn’t really used widely in Korean cuisine (except in Gangwon area, where they use corn to make candy, noodles, cakes, etc). So why do Korean pizzas have corn on them? Probably because it still seems somewhat foreign to Korean people. It’s not something that Koreans incorporate in their daily diet, but they think it’s eaten a lot by foreigners. Pizza used to be completely unknown just 30 years ago, so it probably seemed only natural to put corn on them because it must have seemed like something foreign people would do. Even though that’s far from truth, once that started, people became used to having corns on pizzas, so now it’s one of the main toppings.

      3. There is some truth to what you theorize about the kind of inhibitive effect Korea’s tumultuous history had on the development of Korean cuisine. Except for a select elite group of yangbans and the royal court, people were primarily concerned with having food to survive, rather than thinking about things like the art of cooking. However, that doesn’t mean there is no art or history in Korean cuisine. It’s not like Korean people lack tongues to taste and even the peasants have appetite. I think what it is is that you basically do not like the taste of Korean food, or the food presented in typical ordinary Korean restaurants may be just too discordant and acrid to satisfy your gourmet pallet, or your experience in Korean food is solely based on some bastardized versions of it. So you praise work of American chefs working to westernize flavors of Korean food while remaining hypercritical of typical Korean.

      Koreans do tend to enjoy strong flavors that might even seem pungent and unsavory to outsiders, which is part of their culture and it’s fine if you don’t like it. And it’s hard to get good Korean food outside Korea, and even in Korea it’s not easy at all for non-Koreans since they don’t know where to go, what to order, how to eat, and what they are eating. And even when they got all those covered, it wouldn’t be fair to judge it on the first try since the taste would be so unfamiliar. So it’s understandable if you had bad experience with Korean food but DON’T try to come up with bizarre theories to explain the unsatisfying aspect of Korean food when you clearly haven’t even experienced it properly. Banchans aren’t just fermented vegetables, Korean people don’t eat freshwater fish, and they do not like tough meat (which is why they marinate lean cuts and grill fatty cuts. Heck, they even eat raw meat and call it 육회/meat sashimi).

      • I believe you may be misconstruing the overarching theme of my post. I never said, for example, there was no diversity in Korean cuisine, nor did I state that banchan only consisted of fermented vegetables or that freshwater fish was the bulk of the Korean seafood diet. I simply suggested that in comparison with other nations in Asia, there was perhaps less diversity, greater dependence on fermented vegetables and higher-than-expected consumption of freshwater fish, and then I stated my reasons on why I thought so. All of my points were presented in comparative relation to the cuisines of surrounding nations and the world at large and not as an absolute damnation of the culture itself. You essentially agreed with me on this very premise when you admitted that Korean cuisine was “simpler/less sophisticated” in comparison to others. In issuing this kind of statement, I think it’d be safe to say you don’t believe “all Korean cuisine is bad”, but rather that “contemporary Korean cuisine is good, but not as good as ____”, which I believe would be a fair and honest assessment.

        It’s possible to enjoy Korean food and still be able to criticize it, just as Simon and Martina can enjoy living in South Korea and still point out its various societal idiosyncrasies without being labeled as racist, nationalist or xenophobic. The world is a litany of shades of grey and not so much black-and-white as many of your sweeping statements tend to suggest. There appear to be some very serious flaws in many of these assertions that I will now attend to. For example, red chili powder was not introduced into Korea via China, it was done via Japan from their trade with Portuguese missionaries. And Korea’s immediate widespread utilization of this product does tend to reinforce the notion that isolation played a pivotal role in its adoption; this would indicate that no other competing spices existed to counteract its spread and this holds up to historical record.

        Additionally, you posit that corn is largely a traditionally-grown crop which isn’t used much in contemporary Korean food; however, statistics show that South Korea is the fourth-largest importer of corn in the world, the vast majority of it coming from the United States, and less than 10% of its corn is grown domestically. To put this into perspective, South Korea imports as much corn as the entirety of the European Union. Consistent first-hand accounts by residents of Korea would also indicate that corn consumption is very high in Korea. This prevalence of corn should explain why Korea is amongst the top ten consumers of high-fructose corn syrup in the world and therefore why modern Korean food tends to be overly sweet. Lastly, your dismissal of Korea’s preference for tough chewy meat is perplexing, the complete denial of any Korean consumption of freshwater fish even moreso, since these observations have been validated from a multitude of sources in my experience including family, friends, foreigners, media, Korean-Americans and Korean nationals themselves.

        As stated before, I think one of the most important and even patriotic things someone can do is to criticize their own people. I don’t believe that someone should be labeled as “anti-American” if they criticize America’s junk food culture and obesity rate or a “terrorist” if they voice their protestations over corrupt government policy. Although you vehemently insist that I “don’t love Korean food” just because I admit to its faults, the fact is I do love Korean food. I also love eating Spam, one of the elements of Korean cuisine I criticize most, as I grew up eating dishes such as kimchi jigae with Spam, fried eggs and Spam, Spam bokkeumbap and Spam kimbap. But although Spam holds a special place in my heart as a comfort food due to its ubiquity in my childhood, I can also coldly rationalize that this treasured food of mine is a cheap, processed pink-slime-infused mystery meat made with exorbitant amounts of salt, gastric-cancer-inducing sodium nitrite and xenoestrogenic bisphenol-A (BPA) that was handed out to starving Korean residents following the war.

        Largely because of this, as well as high salt and red chili consumption, Koreans now have the highest gastric cancer rates in the world, and my grandfather was one of its victims. Koreans may love Spam, hot dogs and all of these other processed foods, but that’s because they were forced to. As each Korean generation becomes more affluent and worldly, the prevalence of these kinds of foods will naturally diminish due to competition from other more preferable foods. Those with a bias towards cultural conservatism may view this as unfortunate and “elitist” but this is the inevitable trajectory of all industrialized nations.

        If read carefully, you should notice that my criticisms of Korean cuisine have been less about some kind of inherent inferiority than its hitherto lack of refinement due to recent history. I’ll repeat my stance again here: I believe strongly that–as Korea continues its rapid economic development–contemporary Korean cuisine will improve dramatically across the board and the country will one day boast a world-class mid- and upscale dining scene. Modern haute cuisine is a relatively new phenomenon and there’s no reason why Koreans, probably the most industrious people on Earth, wouldn’t grab a hold of it and run like they have with so many other ideas before. There are numerous traditional Korean and Korean-inspired restaurants in the US with Michelin stars yet none in Korea itself. Why is that? Some may try to attribute this to Western bias until taking into account that Japan has more 3-star restaurants than any other country in the world (most of which serve extremely traditional fare), as well as noting the disproportionate number of starred restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau. What do all three of the aforementioned destinations have in common? Economic prosperity. South Korea, having recently joined the ranks of those same economic elites, should also be expected to continue this trend of developing an elevated first-rate culinary scene.

        • First of all, you did say banchans “were typically fermented vegetables”, which is not true. You did say
          “much of the fish served in Korean cuisine is freshwater fish or mackerel”, which is not true (the freshwater part. Koreans do consume lots of mackerel. And Korean consume far, far, far more saltwater seafood than freshwater, no matter what your experiences suggest). And I didn’t say Korean cuisine was “simpler/less sophisticated” in comparison to others. What I wrote was “They tend to be simpler/less sophisticated when it comes to cooking methods/techniques”. See how you twisted my words? Surely using less sophisticated method of cooking doesn’t indicate the resulting dish itself is less sophisticated, does it?

          As for the corn issue, yes, Korea imports a lot of corn and corn consumption is very high for ANIMALS. Corn is a major animal feed in Korea. Europe doesn’t really use corn as animal feed, which is why they don’t import as much corn. But do Korean people eat corn? Yes, but it’s not really a cooking ingredient. Do you know of any Korean dish/recipe that calls for the use of corn? As I said, there are a few in the regions where corn is a major crop, but generally, no. About the only way corn gets used in Korean cuisine in a big way is as in corn syrup, which itself is a cheap substitute for the more traditional rice-based syrup.

          Also, regarding red pepper, it may have been introduced via Japan or China. There are evidences to support both. Heck, there’s even some record in Japan that called red pepper the Korean pepper. Plus, there is no evidence that Korean people immediately went crazy over it. If anything, there are records that considered it to be a toxic, foreign plant. It is only 18th century or so (at least 100 years since the introduction) that red pepper starts to appear as part of Korean cuisine, and some even think that it is only in 20th century that red pepper became really popular (as in featured everywhere). So there’s little basis for your argument that Korean people avidly adopted it because they were isolated with no spices to enjoy (and yet again there you go, declaring that Korean people didn’t have spices in their cuisine as if it were a fact, when you don’t really have anything to back it up).

          So this is the problem that I have with your posts. You either flat out write false information and/or twist facts, but you do write long, seemingly eloquent paragraphs after paragraphs which may look great and even authoritative and insightful to people who have little background in what is being discussed. So they take it up as facts. As valid information. Even though there is so much misinformation in your writing. You are like a person that hears a couple SNSD and maybe a few other idol songs and decide that’s all there’s to Korean music and write up a thesis pointing out what is wrong with Korean music and how it can be improved to gain global recognition and acclaim, because you LOVE Korean music. And the people who haven’t really heard any Korean music think that’s a great post.

          Nitpicking aside, what defines your post about Korean food is sweeping conclusions and generalizations made based on nothing but your own limited personal experience and prejudices. Have you studied Korean cooking? Have you experienced a wide array of different food in different regions of Korea? Have you even watched Korean cooking programs like 한식대첩, which was like Korean version of Iron Chef? Of course, you can still form opinions and criticize aspects of Korean food without much experience, but then you should refrain from writing gems like “…Koreans were forced to go very heavy on one-note flavors instead of balancing flavors as in other food cultures: very salty, very spicy, very garlicky, etc. Foreign palettes may also notice that flavors, ingredients and textures in Korean dishes oftentimes tend to clash and be inharmonious with each other; this can be attributed not only to poverty-induced pragmatism in the postwar era but also to the long history of indiscriminately mixed banchan accompanying every meal.” Maybe you’ve been eating bad Korean food all your life, but that doesn’t mean all Korean food are one-note flavors of inharmonious unpleasantness.

        • Are you guys really having this conversation? Do you really care this much about a few generalizations that you have gotten this nit-picky? There’s no other way to talk about a country’s food or culture (or anything else, for that matter.) You aren’t able to go through and talk about EVERY single restaurant in Korea. It’s not possible. 1 comment saying “his isn’t correct and here’s why” would suffice, but the both of you had this long argument about why they’re right and the other is wrong! Seriously, just enjoy the food. Or not, you’re decision. You don’t need a big argument about it, and you don’t need to attack whether they’re a foreigner or not or anything else about the other person.

        • the arguments are about the language and the things that certain words imply. in my opinion. Reading that section would leave some one with the impression to “try korean food maybe in a few years when it will taste better.”

          I don’t think Saturday Night Wrist meant to leave the reader with that impression, but if it truly was only on the history of Korean food, it would have been only the facts. imagine reading an American history textbook that only focused on American was losses. it could make the history look like the American revolution was won by Britain just suddenly giving up. it doesnt seem to tell the full story to me.

        • ok. i don’t care.

        • Jackie Outlaaw

          Your comment was great, and I appreciate that fact that you pointed out the history of Korea and how the geography shaped the cuisine.
          However, I CANNOT agree on the part that we need more immigrants to get authentic food, and more diversity is good.
          Having a variety is good, but Korea already suffers from immigration, just not to the extent in European countries such as France and Germany. Also, is having a variety of food that necessary?
          These days, we have more access and opportunity to go overseas, so why do we NEED to have them at home? Sure, it’s convenient, but why?
          Many Koreans do like variety, but why do so when we can’t even preserve our traditions well?
          If you look at France or Italy, they have a variety while PRESERVING their traditions very well.
          But Korea is not quite like it. Most young people, actually, many older people, aren’t even making kimchi anymore. They all buy stuff from Homeplus or E-mart.
          Korea is just adding a bunch of things to make a strong shell or armour while the internal part is crumbling.
          As a Korean, I think it’s more important to address the issues we have with out traditional cuisine than
          all the extra foreign food.
          It’s like having dessert before the main meal.

        • you say a lot of opinions and treat them as facts. only one example, Korean food will improve. it should be Korean food will change in a manner to likely become more similar to other cuisines, in it’s level of execution.

    • I found this post very insightful and intriguing. You brought out some great points.

    • I disagree. Even though it may seem like it’s well-written, I’d say it’s not. It’s largely your speculation and no evidence to prove things you argue. You’re undermining many different factors only seeing things you want to see with such a narrow and biased perspective, not to mention unreasonably critical of the palate of Korean cuisine, categorizing Korean food as merely salty, spicy, fermented food. Great example of someone who has never truly experienced Korean culture deep enough. Japanese cuisine is diverse and elegant and Korean cuisine isn’t? I’m too lazy to mention all the errors in your comment but it just shows how narrow-perspective you have, have grown up as Korean-American, which can never be Korean.

    • Oh if only I knew you when I needed to write all those English essays… T_T

    • This was such a great and insightful comment on the trajectory of Korean cuisine. I myself have been thinking of ways of mixing it with traditional Puertorican food. Finding was to fuse the flavors of my culture with that of my husband’s is challenging and rewarding. I look for the more traditional recipes myself because I find that there are subtle flavors that can really be enhanced when care and attention to detail are made. I would also like to note that I found the movie Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle celebrated the artisan tradition of Korean food preparation while embracing fusion in a way that I felt about Korean cuisine when I started to learn how to cook Korean food.

  136. Sweet potato mousse is not Italian. That sounds disgusting….

  137. talking about cluttered korean websites, can you guys discuss the content shown on the ads?
    surprisingly, most of them are porn related! if you guys can make a video of why this happens…would be great.
    cause i really want to know why those fuckers are always bothering me..

  138. I had the hardest time trying to make tacos for my friends in the UK when I travelled there. Mexican ingredients were basically impossible to find (no corn tortillas ANYWHERE; I had to settle for flour tortillas with corn in them T_T) and I couldn’t find good seasonings or salsa (it just looked like a sort of runny tomato sauce.) I’ve never been to Mexico, but we have a large Mexican population where I live so I’d like to think that our stuff is at least a little bit more authentic despite being “Americanized.”

    I was also scarred by all of the sandwiches having butter on them.

    • Cyber_3

      I thought that butter in a sandwich was implied? What else would you use to grease the way down for the bread and fillings? Granted, European unsalted butter is just fat so, yeah – yuck if that’s what it was. I guess you don’t use a lot of butter in Mexico? I know that things are MUCH healthier in California, no sugar in the iced tea, etc. but I never really thought about no butter in Mexico……..as a French Canadian, I’m sure I would soon pass away without such a staple.

      A friend once told me that pancakes are rare in some parts of Europe? Is this true? His brother went to school in Switzerland and designed the perfect pancake flipper as a school project but had to have his Canadian Mom send him some Aunt Jemima mix and some maple syrup to demonstrate it.

      • I’m from the United States, but putting butter on a sandwich here is pretty much unheard of. We usually use mayonnaise and sometimes mustard. That’s only for sandwiches though; if you’re just eating a plain slice of bread or toast you put butter on it.

        I’m not sure about pancakes; I’ve heard pancake mix is hard to find in some parts of Europe but I never really looked for it while I was there. I do know toast isn’t a big thing in certain areas though. The girls I stayed with in Poland had just recently bought a toaster for the first time and it frightened them when the toast popped out. XD

        • Cyber_3

          Really? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Do you put mayo and/or mustard in all your sandwiches? If I have, say, a bologna and mustard sandwich, I still put butter on one side of the sandwich with mustard on the other. If I have a tomato, cucumber, salt-n-vinegar chips sandwich, I put mayo on the top slice but butter on the bottom one. Do you put mayo on both, or leave one slice with nothing?

        • Usually mayo on both or mayo on one and mustard on the other, depending on what your tastes are or what kind of sandwich it is.

      • I think butter and bread is a Canadian thing because I remember friends from Quebec telling me a funny story about going to a restaurant in France. They were served bread (you always have bread (usually a sliced baguette) in a French restaurant in France, it’s something that’s expected and you don’t pay for it even if you get a refill) but no butter (’cause French don’t butter their bread unless it’s breakfast…) and the waiter looked at them in a weird way when they asked for it.
        As for sandwiches (the ones made with baguettes anyway), the most famous French one is butter and ham (called “jambon beurre” (if it has more like salad or tomatoes it becomes something like a “parisien”) or ham and the Swiss cheese called Emmental “jambon fromage”, sometimes with butter, sometimes without, but you can have sandwiches with mayonnaise instead for instance. So butter is not compulsory at all.

        Also, I think pancakes are somehow rare in France because we have “crêpes” (less thick but basically the same recipe I think, and we don’t have that much mapple syrup (it’s more like butter and sugar, butter (or not) and jam, honey…; crêpes can be sweet (for breakfast, for “tea” (4 o’clock) or for deserts) or savoury (and then it’s a specialty from Britanny, so sometimes those recipes use a different kind of flour rather than wheat: buckwheat (“crêpes au sarrasin”)) though you tend to find pancake mix in supermarkets now (but I think there’s like one brand who also tries to sell mix for cheesecakes and cupcakes and all the bakery thingies that are becoming popular but not as famous as basic French cakes and pastry). There’s a day when you’re expected to eat crêpes: la chandeleur (candlemas) in February (40 days after xmas). Yummy.

  139. Tomato is a fruit, in the botanical sens of the term (it’s the evolution of the flower) such as cucumber or zucchini. The term vegetable has no sense in the botanical point of view (salad is a leaf, carrot is a root, tomato is a fruit…). It’s only valid in the culinary sense.
    Hope this helps…

  140. I will raise both hands, so no one could say I’m a Nazi German who does rasistic greetings. ;D
    However, me and maaaanny other Germany Nastys would love to see you in our country!
    Maybe at the K-Culture Festival at the 13. Sep. 14. That would be amazing!!
    Many Greetings,
    Lisa
    (Sorry for my awkward English.)

  141. I think the Costco thing is weird too. I never quite understood why they eat the onions like salads with mustard all over…
    Maybe because they like the condiments???
    I am Korean and I never quite understood…

  142. Oh good old GEMA blocking every official music video yes this really sucks! We can’t watch your indie-playlists how they are supposed to be wached since most of the time the videos are blocked…

  143. Don’t feel sorry about Mexican Food! jajaja

    1.- In my own experience, it seems impossible to get REAL mexican food outside México; here in Venezuela, mexican food is almost tasteless in comparison
    2.- THEY DO THE SAME! In Mexico, EVERYTHING, tastes like damn mexican food! jajajaja you can go to eat libanese food, and it has mexican ingredients and it’s SPICY…you go to eat SUSHI, and it’s DAMN SPICY! Almost every roll has chile or any other spicy ingredient! D:

    Do they have venezuelan arepas in Seoul? jajajaja we could talk about opening a restaurant over there! :P

  144. Are there such things as Korean tacos in Korea? Apparently it’s a thing here in southern california. o:

  145. In Italy the pizzas are soooo freakin thin and big, seriously. Also you can have corn on pizza, but it really depends on what kind of pizza you choose. I hope the korean pizza margarita has no corn, that would be so wrong!

  146. Can we talk KFC (Korean fried Chicken) and how it’s the best thing to have happened to chicken frying history? I just wish New York also had delivery service like Korea – but then again that’d probably mean I’d be having chicken every night and be 100lbs heavier.

    On a second note – I actually miss the Koreanized Western food. I always have cream pastas (seafood if possible) when I go for Italian and have only had the creamiest and richest of pastas at the places in Seoul (Flora in 삼청동), with just the right amount of spiciness to combat the 느끼-ness. And I actually like the sweet pickles T^T… I’m obsessed with having sweet & savory together so I actually enjoyed a lot of Korea’s take on western foods… although I was never able to get a good burger there…. Have you guys tried Butterfinger in Gangnam? It’s kind of like revamped IHOP but I LOVED the place, especially since I had been in Asia for a year. The food and drinks are just hit-the-spot-American breakfast/soul food but not as greasy: fluffy pancakes and mashed potatoes, eggs benedict, deep fried steak, you name it. The portions were quite large and the interior was cute as well. Man, this was the worst (best) video to watch right before lunch time….

    On a third note – you guys should come to New York to WANK and FAP FAP. JUST SAYIN’~

  147. I’ve never been outside of the US, but where I’m from it’s somewhat diverse. Even though I go to restaurants owned by native Indians, Mexicans, or Japanese people; I don’t just want to assume the authenticity of the food. Although I do prefer those types of restaurants over any American foreign food establishment. The taste is more home-made and I love eating food that tastes like something my mom could make:o)

  148. In Italy the pizzas are sooooo freakin thin and really big, seriously. Some, but really just some of them have corn, but it depends which pizza you choose. I think I still gonna try pizza in korea so that I can fully understand how awful it is XD

  149. Okay I’m sorry for literally posting this TLDR question in three places OTL I wanted to ask about the summer weather in S. Korea. I am going there in June and my friend (from Korea) has described the weather as “hell” OTL. Also, what’s fun to do in Korea in the summer?

  150. In good ole melting pot ‘Murica there are a milliom interpretations of foreign food and while I’ve never actually had the originals of any of them I have heard that Spaghetti with Marinara sauce is not Italian at all. Purely an American combination. Also, much of the Mexican food here has been altered for American pallets. I guess it’s a pretty common thing world wide.

    I am eager to try Korean fast food and pizza when I visit this year. (Maybe you can give me a tour ? Lol)

  151. I have really traveled outside of America but I have traveled a lot inside the boarders. Even inside one country food varies so much! There are whole states that are know for their interpretation of pizza or BBQ! The pride behind these creations is crazy too.

  152. I don’t know if I could live without real pizza and mexican food…

    But speaking of..Old farts. My mom thought when she got a new laptop that she would have to DOWNLOAD all her pictures and friends back onto facebook…She COMPLAINED about getting a brand new laptop because of it. ( she also had 512 bookmarks…FIVE HUNDRED AND TWELVE. TOOOO MANNNYYYY. )

  153. I’m from San Diego, and I have never experienced good Mexican food outside of anywhere that isn’t right next to the border. Even LA is hit and miss, depending on where you are. We are major Mexican food snobs. I have tried so many different Mexican food places in so many different towns and it always makes me sad. I tell people that there isn’t any good Mexican food outside of SD and they always say “Oh but this place is so good! You have to try it!” and it’s never been good. There could be good authentic places outside of southern California, but there are twenty bad Mexican food restaurants for every good one (a statistic I totally made up). There are five taco shops within two miles of my house, and they are all delicious.

  154. In Ireland, Asian restaurant are ran by Asian owners so they’re pretty authentic. There are some cuisines such as Italian and Middle Eastern, that are very authentic while others can’t compare, like with the Shawarmas we’ve tasted here, my parents say that Saudi Arabia’s Shawarma are still the best. I also don’t like KFC here. Their Fried Chicken are not cripy at all, unlike what I’m used to in the Philippines. The quality of Pizza Hut’s food here have also become appalling! I don’t know if it’s because Ireland is a small country but there’s not a lot you could eat here, like the cuisines here are very limited.

    In the Philippines, many American Fast Food chains like McDonalds serve Spaghetti, Rice, Friend Chicken, Pasta. Filipino Style Spaghetties are sweet btw. We also put hot dog in them. As I mentioned above, I prefer KFC Philippines over KFC Ireland because the Fried Chicken is much more crispier. Japanese restaurants in the Philippines are veryyy expensive as well from what I’ve heard, especially with restaurants that import their ingredients straight from Japan. Unlike Ireland, there are a lot of cuisines to choose from! It’s waaaaaayyyy cheaper aswell (even famous food chains!)

  155. Talking about Sushi, I lived in Belgium for 3 years (I was studying there), and I visited The Netherlands. The sushi in there is perfect, trained Sushi chefs make it, I even used to buy it from market thingy, there was a closed are inside the place, where the sushi chefs just made sushi all day long. That’s where I feel in love with Asian Food, Ramen was amazing everywhere I bought it, and Japanese sweets where everywhere. I came back to Spain and omg, I bought sushi from a “Japanese Restaurant” once and I swear I couldn’t finish the bite, I ate half of a piece and almost threw up in, it was discussing. I thought maybe, it just wasn’t right, then i got it from somewhere else, it was the same fucking thing EW! , and the fucked up thing is that, it wasn’t even made by Spanish people, but Asian, I have no idea what happened, but I never enjoyed sushi again *sad face*, and Ramen *sigh*. Long story short, Belgium and The Netherlands for me are the perfect spots in Europe to enjoy worldwide food. They don’t change it at all.

    • Oh and I actually eat tomatoes as vegetables and fruits, we have a super sweet kind of tomatoes, regular and cherry, that are just to die for, but I would never put them in a salad, they are like injected with sugar or something.

  156. Tomatoes are vegetables under the subcategory of fruit like capsicums, cucumbers, pumpkins etc. So yeah they’re like both but I use them like a vegetable because they’re not even sweet tasting? Like seriously…. c’mon.

  157. Mii ^ㅅ^

    I live in Poland and we also have corn on our pizza. Well, it depends on the type, but it really is there sometimes. I don’t get why people don’t like it that way xD My whole life I have been eating corn as a vegetable but I heard that in Korea it’s used in desserts? Is it true?
    We do have restaurants with food from all around the world but finding a one with good quality chinese food is really hard. There is no china town and if you don’t intend on spending a mini fortune on food it’s almost impossible to eat great chinese dumplings T.T

  158. Simon! You have to try 가마마루이. It is the best ramen I ever had and I wanted to go there every day when I went to school at 연세. It is located in a back alley in 신촌. It is a small joint and the chef lived in Japan for 15 years. You get unlimited rice and tofu (which was the best I ever had and I dream about it) I am leaving you the back side of their business card with directions to their shop! I hope you love it just as much as I did.

  159. Mariam Watt

    Speaking of things that are sweet that shouldn’t be: ketchup. When I was studying in New Zealand the ketchup, or catsup, was just not right. It was like they had left out the vinegar- it wasn’t tangy goodness, it was just sweet sweet tomato paste. I don’t know if this is a Commonwealth thing- is British ketchup sweet too? Canadian ketchup? All I know is my dad had to ship me Heintz ketchup from the States the way Simon gets re-supplied in ranch. And then our Kiwi neighbor loved the American ketchup so much he would just pop by every night asking to borrow our “sauce”. Is the ketchup in Korea sweet or tangy?

    • Oh God. Canadian Ketchup is ridiculously sweet. While I haven’t really tasted the ketchups from a lot of other countries, I can say that American Ketchup is about the same, and that British Ketchup is actually a bit less sweet and almost a little tasteless, in my opinion.

      • As a Canadian – the ketchup in Canada actually varies. You can get more vinegary ketchup too. Just not from Heinz, being THE restaurant/fast food brand.

  160. This is so recognisable xD I had such a pizza craving when I was in Korea but the Korean pizza didn’t satisfy it at all! I eventually found a place in Myeongdong that had more European style pizzas and stuffed my face over there.

    And interesting comment on the websites! There has actually been research done on cultural preferences for website design, and the preferences are different across cultures. It’s really interesting. In terms of culture America and Korea are so far apart, it would not surprise me if that is reflected on the web (:

  161. While watching this TL:DR, it reminded me of a book called ‘The Fortune Cookie Chronicles’ by a Chinese-American writer from NYTimes. She also did a TED talk (www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6MhV5Rn63M) But the book also chronicles how chinese food has evolved in other countries. Fascinating actually.

    So it’s no surprise how food from different cultures get adapted in other countries … except maybe Toronto. (which for the most part, one can easily find cuisine true to its originating countries. we’re actually pretty spoiled when it comes to food in Toronto.)

    I would imagine it’s because the spices specific to some of the cuisine’s are not readily available in Korea. Do they not have cumin in Korea? Key ingredient in Mexican and Indian cuisine. It could be that the Korean public are put off by the taste/ too unfamiliar with the spices. I remember listening to Planet Money podcast about how the Koreans trained a group of Indian workers in the textile industry for about 6 months and how neither one could eat the other’s cuisine.

    I would actually revel in trying to create as close to tasting Italian, Mexican & Chinese food using local ingredients. It seems like such a fun challenge.

  162. tomatoes are a fruit according to scientific classification (dispersal via seeds inside). however, economically it can depend how tomatoes are classified. there is no scientific designation for a vegetable. a mushroom is considered a vegetable but is a fungus, a carrot is also a vegetable but is not a fungus. there are different import/export taxes on foods according to their classification. vegetables can get taxed less than fruits, for example. so depending on where you are, people will designate a particular fruit as a vegetable. tomatoes then can be considered a vegetable from an economic, sociopolitical, or cultural framework. farmers will get taxed on tomatoes as a vegetable because people will use them as vegetables. and this will vary according to where you are in the world.

  163. I kind of have traveled alot for being 21 years old, but because most of it had been resorts I often did not saw any differences. Besides during a school trip to Italy. The food was good, but they seemed to have missed to salt it for my swedish palette. And the crust were very thin compared to the swedish pizzas (and no option of stuffed crust, so that with pizza crust stuffed with sweet potato is not from Italy. Italy had pizzas with regular potato tough).

    Something that I heard though in a food-program is that chinese food in Sweden is so non-chinese if a chinese person presented that food to their relatives or something like that, they would say it was swedish food. Not chinese.

  164. lady_kire

    I think it might be that because my mom is from Hong Kong where there is a lot of Chinese food mixed with Western influences and I grew up with eating that style of food, but I am willing to eat some weird country influenced foods. Most of the time, I like it. I really like Korean bakery food, especially anything with cream in it (I love the sweetness in them). I’ve had Japanese influenced pasta and loved the fishness of some of them (some had masago mixed sauces). I’ve also had Japanese style pizza, but I don’t know if the place I went to was really bad or not (no one goes to that fast food location at the mall), but I didn’t like it. I figure I’d go to Japan or Korea to try it out again. Maybe it’s better there.

    Only thing I won’t touch is Americanized Chinese food. If you make me eat that, you better give me a giant jug of water to wash down that stuff and suffer from my anger in eating it.

    Also, I LOVE Malaysian style curry. It’s made with coconut milk and tastes really good with fishballs, fish fillets, ox tongue, chicken, etc. I actually really don’t like Japanese curries. I find that they are too runny, and they taste weird to me.

  165. You guys never talked about Arabic food! Did you really never try it or just didn’t like it? We must introduce you to the glory of shawarma, tabbouleh and Lebanese cuisine! :D
    A side note, you toured Europe and the states, visited Australia, Mexico, Japan and a lot of places but you’ve never been to the Middle East! You should try going to Dubai for a vacation, it’s an AMAZING tourism destination (heck Dubai’s international airport recently became the world’s #1 airport for number of international passengers :D) I’m sure you’ll have fun exploring a new part of the world :)

  166. I’m from Germany and our cheesecake is sweet stuff made from curd or cream cheese. Once a friend from the UK brought a cheesecake for present, it was made from Cheddar Cheese, black heavy bread but encased with a sugar topping which sticked your teeth together. The combination was … strange! :) When you order spicy foreign food in Germany like thaifood or chinese food, normally you will get a kind of tamed spicyness, because germans are not used to really spicy stuff. If you order Pizza or italien food it is nearly authentic if the right ingredients are used. But I don’t like to eat german food in other countries, it is quite difficult to “recook” it. And I prefer to eat the local food, I don’t want to eat german food in France oder Spain or other countries.

  167. LOL Sweet potato mousse? Italian people don’t eat sweet potato so much. You have to buy them in ethnic grocery store, and only recently I saw them in a supermarket, but when I bought them they asked me what I was holding? Like… alien food!

  168. Has anyone noticed that Korean versions of western fast food restaurants are better than they are in the west? Korean MickeyD’s was legitttt.

    I also thought it was funny how Korea picked up the American bastardization of Chinese food instead of just going over to China and figuring out how they actually make their food. And I never had the frozen sushi thing happen, but I have had sushi piled high with toppings (which is common in America too) and I’ve had sushi with the yellow radish they put in kimbap. :

    And everyone thinks the pickles served with pizza in Korea is weird, but I actually took that habit home with me hahaha. I also loved the pizza with sweet potato on it and the mousse around the crust. IT WAS SO GOOD. But I like goguma more than most people probably should…

  169. Cyber_3

    Thanks guise! Everyone is talking about food but no one has mentioned shawarma and now I am totally craving some! Does anyone else like shawarma? With it’s many different pickles and vegetables and purple pickled turnips and garlic cream of deathly breath, the chicken cut from the rotating platter and and and………with extra hot sauce? Can you even get it in Korea? What does authentic shawarma taste like? Anyone?

  170. Also, do you have any intentions of making a “Do curry, not drugs” t-shirt? I think it’s a good slogan….

  171. This TL;DR made me want to order a ton of Mexican and Indian food. Indian food is pretty easy to find in East London due to the large Indian population, Mexican food is becoming a bit more popular (yeees) and so is Korean (finally!) although I’m a bit sad they make us pay for banchan, there’s also a rise in Korean bbq joints which is nice to see. On the topic of food, are there foreign street food stalls or are they rare to find in Korea?

  172. Where I live you can get anything you want, really. I know Chinese food is not Chinese food – it’s been super westernised. Italian food is very popular here. Where our family is in Italy – it’s all super thin crust. There is a popular topping though which I’ve never seen in the UK – fries.. it’s the driest pizza ever, and it’s pretty bland – DO NOT RECOMMEND! The restaurants here never have the really good stuff though, like Horse (because it’s seen as a taboo since people consider them ‘pets’). I go on a binge when I leave the UK haha.

    Is cilantro really not popular in Korea? That sounds like my kind of place! I can’t stand cilantro – it ruins everything and then I can’t get the taste out of my mouth. It’s the demon of all ingredients!

  173. Wow. I wondered if you guys would talk about Indian food. From what I’ve heard, Indian food in other countries is very different from what you get in India. A lot of people don’t actually have a good idea of how Indian food actually tastes, to compare. But I expect you guys have a pretty decent idea, considering you come from Toronto. There are loads and loads of Indians settled there :’D My mother told me that she’s been to Gerrard street several times to try the Indian food there, and it’s almost as good as you can get it here :)

  174. Tatiana

    I’m Portuguese, so there’s a lot of foreign food I don’t if it’s how is supposed to taste or not. Like indian food, chinese food, and even japanese. I’ve tried a lot of different japanese restaurants in my area and I have my favourite, which unfortunately is also the most expensive, but the fish is so fresh OMG it just melts in your mouth (is that a good thing?). In terms of italian food I think our restaurants are okay. I’ve had italian people cooking for me before and it was glorious but not too far from what I’ve been eating and I can do myself.

  175. I come from the UK which although known for having bad food or bland food however I do the Brits have great appreciation for food and adapt it to our own tastes. I think that most “Chinese” food you get is really Cantonese and I have no idea about the rest of East Asia. “Italian” food is probably closer to North American style where the pizza crusts are thicker, stuffed etc. Mexican food is virtually non-existent.
    I live in Birmingham which has a large Pakistani and Indian population and although there are lots of places to eat curries, some of it is anglicised (see the Balti which is probably the most famous adaptation of Indian food here), I think it is pretty genuine in most areas though. I’m hungry now.

  176. Amity Rupe

    I always treat tomatoes as veggies rather than fruits. Maybe it’s just what I think, but tomatoes mix a lot better with veggies than with fruits. (And tomatoes on ICE CREAM? Gross!) And Meemers got sick?! I’m glad he’s doing better. :)

  177. I live in chicago and I’ve seen Koreans do the same thing at costcos too! I thought it was just them trying to create their own banchan

  178. Hi! Do you guys get French food in Korea ? If yes what kind of dishes ? I have no idea what I would cook if I was the chef of a French restaurant … Maybe some “blanquette de veau ” …?
    And why corn on pizza ? Does that even grow in Korea? In France we don’t have garlic bread either but I tated it in the UK and it’s delicious!

    • In korea there’s Paris Baguette, which kind of imitate French pastry, like croissants. S&M made a FAPFAP about it!

    • I went to a French restaurant in Uijeongbu that had an incredibly sweet take on french dishes. All I remember is the steak I ordered being covered in an incredibly sweet butter sauce, with a sweet steak sauce on the side for dipping.
      Paris Baguette was my first experience with Korean-style pastries, and while it’s definitely not a traditional French version, its not really bad either.

  179. I think all countries kinda do their own take on foreign food. Sometimes it’s good sometimes not as much. I’m pretty sure there are no French canadian restaurants in Seoul or Gangham. No beans and meat pie and ragout… I,m a 100% sure poutine would get there faster but then again… they would probably use processed cheese for the poutine in Korea… OMG i shiver just thinking about it…

    Also I didn’t know Meemers was sick… poor little guy I am happy he is feeling better.

  180. I was taught that tomatoes are vegetables but they fall under the category “fruit vegetables” same as pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers and many others because they grow from the flower of their plant. I also think it differs in countries which title (fruit or vegetable) they fall under because its necessary to categorize them by law for trade. So maybe if a country like korea considers and consumes them as fruits then they might officially have them categorized as fruits, whereas in America (where I am from) they are categorized as vegetables (because we don’t eat them in ice cream, WTF?). Why it matters to categorize them i really cant say. I dont even know if this clarifies anything … tomato, tomahto?

  181. Sometimes, I think, persistence is the key to ACTUAL food. For example, we live in America, and the local Chinese buffet has a second menu that they only show to the workers at the local Honda plant, who are here on temporary visas. Having gotten to know my husband and I better, and knowing that we are adventurous eaters, we are now offered the second menu as well, but that took time and tact to accomplish! I suggest looking for foreign restaurants in areas that have an established population from the same place. Food purveyors have to sell their food, it’s a business after all, and are more likely to be authentic (rather than catering to the palate of the larger population) if they know they have a ready audience.

  182. Hey guys! That was a great video, but I’ve gotta say, there’s one huge thing you guys have missed.
    Having been born and raised in Hong Kong, I have, of course, eaten a lot of Chinese food. But, having watched a lot of Korean stuff, I can say without a doubt that the absolute pinnacle of Korean Chinese food, jjajjangmyeon, does not exist in China. There is a dish which is called the same thing (ie. has the same Chinese characters/hanja) but it looks/tastes/everythings different.
    The other dish, jjambong (not sure if I romanized that correctly :p) I have never seen anything vaguely close to in my whole life.
    So yea, just more information :D

  183. When I was in Japan last year I managed to miss trying the Japanese style curry until I was at the airport on my way home to Australia :-(

    We did have a lovely Indian curry in Kyoto cooked by Indian immigrants to Japan. So good!

    Regarding web design, I read this article a while ago about Japanese web design which is apparently also relevant to Korea (see the comments) http://randomwire.com/why-japanese-web-design-is-so-different/

  184. I’m currently living in Korea and one thing that surprised me was cucumber and tomato in yogurt fruit salad because I expected it to be sweet. Oh, is that a grape? NOPE, TOMATO! On the other hand, I was used to the corn on pizza from living in Japan, but here, they just put so many sweet things where I don’t expect them! I recently had a shrimp pizza from dominos that had a garlic sauce instead of the red sauce (which, as you know, garlic anything here is sweetened) and it also had cherries on it. CHERRIES on shrimp pizza. It wasn’t bad — just unexpected. I won’t even go into the sadness I feel when I try most “cheeses” here (I’m from Wisconsin — I’m not an expert on cheese, but I’ve eaten a lot of it).

    Also, if you guys are ever in Gwangju, there’s a restaurant named The First Nepal that has wonderful Indian style curries, masala, naan, etc. We also have some pretty good Mexican food at Tequilaz. They added carnitas to the menu and they are pretty good! Both of these restaurants are in the downtown area ^_^

  185. In the city I live in Malmö, Sweden we have so many different kinds of restaurants because of the mixed population. I can’t say for sure how authentic the thai, lebanese, italian, indian, greek, caribbean food is but I can say for sure that the Chinese food is altered to suit the taste buds of Sweds. I went to Beijing a few years ago and the food was soooooo good! ‘m salivating just by the mere thought of it, anyways. There is one restaurant here in this city that serves authentic Chinese food, it is a bit expensive but it is totally worth it. I’ve also noticed that Chinese food tastes quite differently from one country to another. In Hungary the Chinese food is a lot more spicy then here, since food is more spicy in Hungary it really seems as if each country alters the food accordingly to the taste buds of the population. I’d say that they have to alter the tastes so that the restaurants won’t close down due to the lack of customers.
    Japanese food isn’t well represented around here besides sushi, which sucks big time. Were is the tonkatsu, ramen, sashimi, soumen…. I miss soumen so bad ;_; The sushi restaurants serve a lot of different sushi but most of them are not like the real deal like California roll, salmon shake etc.

  186. The pasta they serve in some restaurants in Italy is absolutely TO DIE FOR. The pizzas also feel… I dunno, is “lighter” the right word? Anyway, back when I was, like, 14, my dad took me on holiday to Italy and we basically lived off pasta, pizza and ice cream for a couple of weeks. It was great.

    I’ve travelled a fair amount around Europe, and I have to say that in the UK, most of the European foods they do are at least passable (can’t speak for other types of food, like Asian cuisine or South American cuisine because I haven’t really left Europe), and the one food I’ve found that is vastly inferior outside its own country is Greek yoghurt. Like, seriously. They have this thing called Greek-style yoghurt that you can buy in the supermarkets here, but the actual stuff you get in Greece is so different. It’s an almost cheese-like consistency, and mixed with honey, it’s like ambrosia and nectar. (Oh, and the best borscht I’ve ever had was when I was in Russia. I think it’s Ukranian in origin, actually. But I was nearly sick when I had it back in the UK.)

    I think we also butchered curry in some form to make a really mild version that many Brits like to eat but that isn’t actually Indian in origin. I can’t remember exactly which one, but it might have been chicken tikka masala.

    Just wondering… what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ended up eating which is purportedly foreign food from somewhere but almost definitely not the kind of thing eaten in that country?

  187. I feel like you already know all my thoughts on this topic….

    Oh wait I didn’t tell you about our experience with Korean style Japanese sushi… which was as you said was FROZEN! wtf. We were so disappointed because Sydney has amazing sushi and we are friends with properly trained sushi chefs. Like we go to the sushi places in Sydney where friends work and get extras passed over the counter just for us. Sydney has real Japanese ramen too, made by proper Japanese chefs and we tried some in Korea…. yes it was kinda sad. So much sadness….

  188. I’m Egyptian and this is something that only my grandma used to do when we were kids, but she’d puree fresh tomatoes with sugar and we’d drink it like juice so I’m not surprised by this tomato dessert business.

  189. I’ve talked about what tomatoes are with Koreans before. Basically, I looked it up and read that any food that comes from a flower is a fruit, but a lot of fruits are used as vegetables for culinary reasons. I think–if I remember correctly–Koreans believe that only foods grown on a tree are fruits and everything else are vegetables.

  190. Odd stuff, when I went to Paris I tried a lasagna there that tasted like it was made by Gods, I tried a lasagna in Rome and it tasted like… bleh… maybe it was the restaurants :/

    Another fun stuff, I think here in my country (Peru—hi!) foreign food has a similar treatment as in Korea. We have these types of food” (don’t know what else to call them) Chifa and Nikkei, Chinese-Peruvian and Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine respectively. It’s basically Chinese or Japanese food with a Peruvian twist. I’m not sure if the taste is too different because I haven’t had the chance to try either Chinese or Japanese food, with no additional Peruvian flavors, despite the fact that there seem to be popping up more and more specialized restaurants.

    Italian dishes get their own Peruvian versions too.

    Peruvian food as a whole is made of fusions. Long story short, lots of immigrants from Europe, China and Japan came for jobs in the early 20th century, plus all the people from Africa that had been brought over as slaves during the 1700 and 1800, and subsequently freed after our Independence from Spain. The mixture of all these cultures and foods is what made Peruvian food as it is today.

    I think I suck at explaining my own country’s cuisine but I’m no expert and I haven’t touched a history book in years so there’s something missing there, but that’s the general idea.

  191. Susie

    Oh. My. God.

    My worst foreign food experience in Korea was the disaster that is VIPS family restaurant. Never mind all the attempted international tragedies on display, but MY GOD THE FRENCH FRIES. My brother and I were pretty much dancing for joy on our way to our promised limitless offer of french fries until we put them in our mouth. Sugar. SUGARED FRENCH FRIES. WHY. WHY VIPS WHY.

    Oh, and don’t even get me started on the “coffee culture” there. Such a drastic increase in people drinking coffee in such a short amount of time has led to craploads of coffee franchises like Hollys Coffee, Caffe Pascucci, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, etc. You’d think that there would be ONE FRANCHISE that isn’t either complete and utter crap or depressingly mediocre. No. They done it.

    And Lotteria, just… no. Nobody deserves a sweet burger. Just… my god, I can’t do this.

    LOL and my inner Pam hollered at Simon’s “cocaine curry” comment.

  192. I’m pretty sure tomatoes are a fruit as fruits are usually classified by whether they have seeds, pits etc in it. And as all of us know tomatoes do have seeds in them so yeah they are a fruit.

  193. Tomato is a fruit because it’s “born from a flower”. Fruits are basically very very mature flowers :p So if you think about it, in biology, cucumber is considered a fruit also GASP There are a few other “vegetables” that, in the botanical world, are fruits. (A way to distinguish is that they have seeds. The seeds are the ovaries of the flower) But in the culinary world, it’s considered as a vegetable because they are savoury rather than sweet.

  194. AoiHitomi

    About the tomato fruit-vegetable thing. Here in Spain we don’t have that problem because we have an specific term. A tomato is not a fruit, not a vegetable, but an ‘Hortaliza’ ;) The funny thing is that if I search for an english translation of the word Hortaliza, it says ‘Vegetable’ so….. I think vegetable wins ;)

  195. TOMATOS ARE FRUITS

    • They are, but they should be eaten like vegetables. At least that’s what all the Dutch websites say. Also it seems that the supreme court of the United States has actually officially declared that tomates should be considered vegetables for culinary purposes… So I guess both approaches could be considered correct?

  196. First of all, maybe it’s just me but I found that the link leading to the blog post from the video’s description box was dead – just thought I should let you guys know!

    Greece is pretty homogenous when it comes to food. It’s all about it’s feta and meat like:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFemw_6a-Tg

    Seriously. I had to do some research for some maths coursework and 3/4 of Greece’s cheese consumption is accounted for by feta.

    In a place where it’s really difficult to even find foreign ingredients, I reckon you can imagine that there aren’t very many foreign restaurants, and when there are the food isn’t really prepared properly. We do Italian pretty well, and then there’s Indian curry that I’ve never tried. And then there’s ‘Asian’ just kind of lumped together as a whole and found mainly in the form of fast-food chains, whereby it’s just the very famous dishes (e.g. chicken teriyaki), rice, noodles and sushi (for which they don’t even season the rice). Much like Korea, everything is catered to Greek tastes, mainly in terms of spiciness. Of course, I’ve found a more proper Japanese place (kind of expensive, though) which has a larger (but still limited) selection whose dishes are more authentic. I’ve also found a little Korean place run by a family of Koreans, so it’s stiff is authentic but the spiciness has just been toned down.

    The thing that HAS hit it big though is frozen yoghurt. Oh God. Make it. Stop. It started becoming a ‘thing’ like 1-2 years ago and I swear there is one square in which there are 5 frozen yoghurt places. I counted them. WHY.

    • I had no problems with the link.

      Though I find your post rather amusing. Frozen yoghurt, hmm… we don’t have that problem in my city, though central town has so many sushi restaurants now they start neighbouring each other. I don’t mind sushi, but it is getting riddiculous.

      • Did you not? Ok, it must just be a problem with me, then. Thanks for letting me know :)

        Seriously. I don’t even understand the logic of these business owners. “Oh, I see there are multiple other sushi restaurants here. It seems like the PERFECT place to open my own, as opposed to in an area where there are none.”

        I can’t wait to go to university in the UK next year. London is like a mixing pot of cultures, so you can find so many varietites of authentic activities & foods relating to different ethnicities :)

    • Cyber_3

      LOL at the frozen yogurt! It was a big hit in Canada in the 1980s and there still seem to be lots of frozen yogurt places around. Personally, I like it, but don’t be fooled, it’s not really any healthier than ice cream (maybe less filling?), just kind of more cheesy tasting (like cheesecake-cheesy, not like lasagna-cheesy). Banana, pineapple, blueberry, mixed, well all the flavours are good but people do tend to go a little crazy with something new. I don’t even remember what the latest “thing” was, it was soooo long ago that new food made a hit. Canada is such a mix anyways….

      Cyber_3 – if you have to eat a vegetarian pizza, it needs feta cheese topping – yummy!

      • We catch on to trends veeery late. I like it only when I’m in the mood for it, but yeah, it’s no healthier than ice cream for sure, especially after you’ve loaded it with toppings. It used to drive me nuts when my friends would lecture me on how “fro yo” was so much better than you and wouldn’t believe what I was trying to tell them. Greece tends to get short obsessions with foreign foods, and then just have the timeless obsessions with some specific Greek foods. Canada must be really multicultural, no?

        Definitely yummy! I do wonder if you guys actually get legitimate feta over there, though… I know it’s a protected name, at least (i.e. it can’t be called feta unless it’s actually from Greece). I tried “Greek yoghurt” in the UK once… IT WAS A LIE.

        • Cyber_3

          We have a wide variety of feta here in Canada, some claiming to be “Greek style”, I’m not sure of autheticity though. Mainly there are wet types (in liquid) and dry(er) types (packed without liquid but still damp) and both are good. I like both but prefer the dry crumbly type. As for yogurt, again, wide variety. To me, yogurt is generally some kind of white tasteless goop that people put fruit into. There is actually only one brand in all of Canada that I eat – Liberte from Quebec. The first time I tasted it I was like “wow, so this is why people LIKE yogurt?!” It was much creamier and cheesier, like some old baboushka went out to the cold cellar and put it in a bowl for you and threw on some preserves while she was there. They have 0% fat yogurt as well, it is very popular right now but not for me. I would rather eat full fat (14%?) yogurt but less of it because it actually TASTES like something. Sometimes I will get the plain yogurt and add honey and fruit to it, but I am lazy, good for smoothies though. I don’t know if Liberte is Russian or Greek style, but it’s my style. Liberte even makes quark, who knew?

  197. Hey….. I went here in Daegu for proper steak.. OMG~ It was awful! They just spread BBQ sauce and chocolate on it!! And gave me this silk worms as well…. I will definitely not go back there.

  198. My first trip to Costco was an eyeopening one when I saw those plates of disgusting. One of my coworkers said it was suppose to be their kimchi substitute since they don’t have it there. Also, being from Oklahoma, I miss Mexican food more than anything and I’m sad that the closest thing I’ve found is On the Border which is somewhere I hate in Oklahoma!

  199. i’m currently studying in Switzerland and I live in the Italian part. The pasta and pizza here is not like Korea at all. The pasta sauces are more thicker and cheeser. The pizza usually comes with a thin crust and is never pre-cut (at the regular restaurants, if you buy it at like the grocery store cafeteria then it comes in slices) and one per person. they definitely have different sauces for the pasta here like pesto, zucchini, eggplant.

  200. Cyber_3

    Tomatoes are fruit because what makes a fruit or vegetable is based on how the seeds are produced by the plant, not the taste. Cucumbers and zucchini are fruit, even corn isn’t a fruit or a vegetable, technically it’s a “grain” like wheat, a very juicy grain…… I’m not sure I could eat tomatoes in something sweet, certainly not as a topper. Freshly-picked grape tomatoes can taste like candy but…….I don’t know, it would probably take a master chef to convince me. Tomato soup cake is great, but so is pumpkin pie, it just depends how much sugar and spice you add to make the flavour a dessert.

    I can understand that food is customized to local tastes, it too bad that you have “exotic” tastes – LOL! I don’t know if you realized that even clothes are customized for local body types and tastes. I’m not talking about just size, what parts of your body you want to reveal are different around the world so that even armholes and necklines, as well as the hem are all adjusted for the country’s norms. Even if you found clothing in Korea your size Martina, it would likely be ill-fitting because the body shape “norms” used by the manufacturers are different.

    Cyber_3 – “Real Clothes” manga FTW!

  201. For authentic Mexican food, have you guises tried Vatos?

    It looks legit and full of mexican deliciousness…

    You can check out a foodporn vid about it here : http://vimeo.com/49484917

    • That’s ‘murican/mexican food… you just can not use the word “authentic”… stop please

      • Yes, sorry. What I really meant was maybe it’s a bit more “legit” than the koreanize version of mexican food. I know S&M actually went to Mexico, but American-mexican food, to me, might be much more close to what mexican food should taste like (even though this is fusion).

        Sorry if I offended you.

  202. I lived in Italy and only knew Italian pizza till I moved to Australia and saw the pineapple on the Hawaiian pizza, and I thought it was a massive slap on the entire concept of Italian pizza. I think pizza in Italy are much more simpler in terms of toppings but I always find myself craving those simpler ones. My Australian friend went of vacation to Italy and came back and said Italians have gotten it all wrong and the toppings are so boring and little and said it should be like Hawaiian and supreme and meat lover and peri peri and what not!!!Back then I was like !@*#4 but then now I know that’s the norm in most parts of the world :P

    • Noooo!!! I’m Australian but I agree with you! Italian pizza is way better! Australian pizza from Dominoes or wherever is gross – and pineapple shouldn’t exist!

    • Cyber_3

      I’m kind of torn, they are both awesome. Italian pizza is simpler but it has the super tasty fresh ingredients in just that right blend but a fully topped pizza is so yummy with all the different meats and stuff on it, sometimes like a cheesy stew with a bread bottom. Maybe all the toppings are to add flavour where fresh herbs are not so available year round? Also, I have to grow my own tomatoes in Canada if I want to have the tasty ones like in Italy. The ones at the grocery store (even fancy stores) are meant for keeping/cooking, not for eating raw.

    • But Italian pizza is not only because of the pizza, it’s also about the atmosphere, something I like about Europe is that when you eat some food at a restaurant the atmosphere is just so good and authentic, eating pizza while looking over the bay of napoli, or eating belgian fries while walking along the riverside of the schelde or eating some tartiflette in a mountain lodge in the Haute- Savoie, it just gives eating a much more satisfying feeling.

    • Italian pizza is the most authentic form of pizza. Pizza in general, is different wherever you go. Toppings reflect the foods available in the area, and how those living in the area like it best. Hawaiian pizza is believed to have been invented in Canada, with pineapple and Canadian bacon. There’s clams on New Haven pizza (New England / east coast of United States).

  203. The: Your food is not our food, our food is the best! is most likely the oldest culinary discussion, so I’ll leave it to that. Though, I do have a few things to say myself, having travelled and tasted a lot of food, from a LOT of countries.

    My hypothesis for every nation being so different from each other, goes to how each and every ingredient can be found, is grown or made.

    Yes, that is different depending on where you live. Check your own nations regulations for farming, and you might find something interesting.

    Not to mention, how many chemicals or polutions that can influence the tastes.

    And the culinary culture as well, since all pallets prefer different things.

    And here are a few examples of random encounters.

    Gelato, or ice cream… Holy smokes, Martina and Simon, I hope you get the opportunity to go to Italy one day, because their gelato is AMAZING! Food in general in Italy is super, duper yummy, but their ice cream is out of this world good, in comparison to several nations.

    I ate ice cream in China, it tasted like something heavily chemically produced… kind of scared me a little. Ice cream from my country (Sweden) uses a lot of milk based products, which is slowly getting bad, because I found out a while back my expected lactose intollerence is slowly building (cannot drink milk anymore :( )

    Pop corn, is another one of those strange things. Here (Sweden again), popcorn is usually lightly salted and has some butter. American popcorn (yes, I’ve tasted), was, to mee, very buttery and felt very fattening. On the other hand, when I was young, we went to France and there was pop con by the hotel mini bar. I, being the popcorn lover, stole that bag and proceeded to eat. It was utterly disgusting. There was no sla,t but a caramalized cover of sugar.

    Meatballs… I’m from Sweden, meatballs is part of our modern culinary culture. When I studied in China, I went sometimes to Ikea for a Swedish-cuisine break. They had meatballs, but I’d prefer to call them meat-what? It was the strangest, most bizarre taste ever, and this was in IKEA. Everyone at home thought they had the same meatballs all over the world, apparently not. The shrimps and pastries were the same though, which is probably why I ate a lot of shrimp sandwhiches… just wish the bread wasn’t sweet though.

    Korean bulgogi pizza. Bulgogi was the first Korean dish I ever tasted, and it still remains as a top favourite. When I went to Korea, 2005, we ate a lot of bulgogi (mainly because we didn’t know what else to try, and we were chicken). One of these dishes was bulgogi on pizza, that, somehow, wasn’t extremely sweet (though sweeter than what we usually eat). It was delicious, but so strange. I should not complain though, pizza is so different depending on where you live. I’ve tried Italian, which is my personal favourite, but like I heard on a food program once, it allows us all to experiment, which is probably why it is so popular in the world.

    Finally, I am pretty sure many of these principles apply to sushi, thai, kebab and curry as well. Still, this really makes traelling more exciting to me, because you can get to try so many different things.

    • It is funny how you mentioned popcorn. My nephew ( who is American but living here in my island for years) commented just yesterday about how the popcorn here is weird for him. He preferred the buttery, oily, salty American popcorn to our popcorn which is usually less oily. We also do a lot of caramel corn here.

      I also like cheeses corn where they put a light cheese flavoured powder on the popcorn.

      You are so right about the argument about authentic food being a really old one. It does have to do with several factors. For instance, I cannot get cilantro here and so guacamole or other Mexican food is pretty rare. We also have no Korean food here. I just recently found a tiny jar of kimchi is the Asian market for like $13. It is just not something that locals here are interested in. A few places have started doing sushi roll orders and there are maybe 3 Japanese restaurants on the island and some of them may have a special sushi nights. One thing that was cool is that since we have different types of fish here in the Caribbean, I got to taste a barracuda roll. Barracuda is not a normal sushi fish.

      • Cyber_3

        I used to live on cheese popcorn in high school! It’s just a powder, but I could never make it myself like in the packages. I admit that I do like buttery/salty popcorn too (made at home, not from the movie theatres, that’s TOO MUCH OIL! they call it “real butter(TM)”), but also salt and vinegar popcorn (it’s also a powder you can get to put on).

        Barracuda rolls sounds interesting! Now if I go kayaking in the Carribean again and I see a barracuda, I’ll just say “I’m-a-eat-you!” to it – LOL! I always thought that cilantro would grow in any climate (it grows in India and Canada, those are both extremes!) but I guess that’s like, why are there no limes in Korea? Is it a taste thing, or a growing thing? I don’t put cilantro in my guacamole (is it not authentic?), even a simple one with white onion, chilis, salt, avocadoes, and lime juice is really nice next to salsa and corn chips, I make it all the time – I should try adding cilantro next time.

        • I wouldn’t like to meet a barracuda when kayaking, those things are terrifying. We also do marlin, and they are also pretty scary when you meet them out in the water. Lately lion fish have been invading our reefs ( the poor reefs can’t handle the invasion of a non-indigenous species like that ) and the fishermen have been considering how to market lion fish to locals.

        • Cyber_3

          Yikes! I guess that it was a baby barracuda. We were kayaking in open kayaks in a mangrove tidal marsh and we were, literally, paddling fish instead of water. Luckily, we only saw one barracuda.

    • lady_kire

      Where in China did you have ice cream? I found out from my boyfriend, that Harbin is famous for the creamiest, richest ice cream in China. According to him, if you go to the Heilongjang province, you can have huge varieties of ice cream offered to you.

      He may have gain weight just from eating loads of ice cream while visiting his grandparents…

    • Cyber_3

      Are you sure it is lactose intolerance? People’s body chemistry can change enough over time to make you lactose-intolerant for sure (doesn’t happen often, but it does happen) but when it comes to ice cream, both my husband and I have found that there are fewer and fewer we can eat without feeling ill and neither of us is lactose-intolerant (were checked for this). I don’t know what ingredient it is (in Canada/U.S.) that causes it to be bad for us, but right now, the only ice cream we can eat is Chapman’s. It is made in Canada and it’s actually pretty cheap but all the ingredients (except for exotic vanilla, chocolate, etc.) are sourced here and it is tasty, even if sometimes kind of basic. We can’t even eat most “organic” ice creams any more. I would say it was “tartrazine” or “cellulose” (wood chips? ack!) but those don’t seem to be consistent ingredients. If anyone knows, I would certainly be interested in finding out.

      • 90 % of all Asians are lactose intolerant. Since I am born in S Korea, it would surprise me if it was something else. I get a slight stomach ache when I drink pure milk, had this problem growing for a while now. Ice cream has less lactose (according to the institute here that informs around food), so it probably explains why I don’t notice it. I am currently nearing 26, had no problems until the last few months, so I call myself lucky I could drink milk before this. Sweden is one of the biggest milk-drinkers in the world per capita. Most people here are naturally immune for many generations, but probably am not. I did drink a ton of milk growing up, so it probably slowed down the process. But I stopped drinking when I became an adult, so that probably has made things worse.

        • Cyber_3

          Ah, you may have hit the nail on the head already then. I watched an entire episode of a Canadian science program where they talked about food allergies and lactose-intolerance and one of the keys to overcoming it or improving your tolerance is to have steady daily amounts of the allergen, like half a cup of milk. If you are of Asian heritage the stats are in favour of you being lactose-intolerant but they are discovering that part of that is the lack of cow’s milk in the diet of mothers and children – if you drank a lot of milk as a child, it seems somewhat unlikely (still possible though). I know of many Asian heritage kids that were born in Canada that grew up drinking milk and were never lactose-intolerant even when most of their family was. You could try acclimatizing yourself to it again, if you like milk products (what about cheese?) There is an easy test for lactose-intolerance so that you can be sure though.

  204. So Indian food in NA verus India
    I lived in India for four months and I grew up in North America.
    There are Indian places here in North American that are similar to what India food is like in India

    The problem is that a lot of NA Indian food comes from only ONE region of India – India is HUGE country with VERY DIVERSE food! I can’t stress this enough! The super spice I experienced in Northern India was dulled down with cream and cucumber in the south – also styles are different – more Dosa, wraps, type food in south – and the closer you get to China the more emphasis on Rice based dishes (curry) where other parts focus on Tandoori dishes.

    Anyway – NA Indian food is
    1. Only really from one part of India.
    2. SUPER toned down on the spices
    3. MUCH cheesier
    4. You don’t eat rice AND bread (roti, naan etc.) you eat with one or the other – ppl in NA are always ordering a side of it – when your dish comes with rice. WHYY

    Ok tahts all I know :)

  205. Alexandria ^^

    Perth is really good for multicultural foods! There’s an Indian restaurant on the corner of my old street(which is just one street over from where I am now xD) and there’s an international food court a few streets up the road from that which has Indian, Singapore, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, a Carvery, and recently French was added lol. There are two fish and chip shops on the same street which is within walking distance, a cheesecake shop a bit further past the Indian restaurant, and a bubble tea shop just up from there a bit. There’s also a kebab shop across the road from that food court, a Mexican restaurant a couple of minutes away, bakeries and cafe’s scattered everywhere, and that’s only around here. The City and Northbridge have a heap more stuff to :D. I’d definitely say Japanese and Chinese are the most common though.

    I’ve been using Chicken Katsu as a baseline for testing out Japanese places and they all taste different, but I don’t know if it’s just their own recipes or if one is actually closer to authentic Japanese cuisine than the other. I haven’t been overseas yet so I dunno xD.

    • Where do you go for Korean here? My favourite is Poppo’s on Barrack Street in the city but do you know of any other good ones?

      • Alexandria ^^

        Ohhhh? A fellow Perthian? Hiiiiiii :D. I’ve only been to Arirang KBBQ(also on Barrack St but there’s a smaller bibimbap shop in the food court at Raine Square) which I really enjoyed but I have nothing to compare it to lol. But since you’ve suggested a place I shall go check it out soon ^^

        • Yeah – definitely check it out if you want to try something different then! I’ve also been to the Took Bae Kee II on Barrack street but I’ve heard the first Took Bae Kee is better – I think it’s on Hay street but a bit further east of the centre.

  206. Isn’t the definition of fruit that it has to grow on a vine and have seeds while vegetables grow in the ground

  207. When my brother and I were in Korea our friends took us to Primo Bacio Baci, and holy hell, my mind was blown. Best Italian I’ve ever had. I still get major cravings for their Pane (cream sauce pasta in bread bowl) and the gorgonzola pizza dipped in honey. I KNOW it sounds disgusting, and I don’t normally like gorgonzola OR honey, and the combination is just so damn weird, but wow. SO. DELICIOUS.

  208. Now I’m hungry. Thanks guys. At least it’s not one in the morning like it was the last time there was a food related post.

  209. I hate sweet stuff in savoury food so much! Sultanas or apple in curry is my worst nightmare! Sounds like I’m going to have to stick to Korean food in Korea… Are there at least ingredients to make your own Indian or Thai curries in Korea? Or a decent range of flours that you can make your own pizza dough or pasta?

    We have fairly good international food here in Perth (Australia) because we have people from those countries making the food or enough people that there are lots of import products. However, when I lived in Finland… lets just say someone once put tomato sauce/ketchup in pasta and I was horrified. I’m not Italian but my hometown is filled with Italian migrants so I know what Italian food is meant to be like! It was so sweet too!! :( Sadness T.T Also the ingredients to make my own Thai curry there were ok but not spicy enough. I know there are some Finnish people that can handle spicy food so why aren’t there more options for people who like spicy food? Also, I once made a Korma curry from a jar in Finland (it was pretty good actually!) but my host family proceeded to eat it with jam! Sweet jam… NOOOO!!!!!! Rakastan suomea paitsi kansainvälistä ruokaa siellä on ehkä vähän erikoista…

    • Scandinavians love their jam. My (ex) step mother puts it on EVERYTHING, from pizza to stew to tacos..

      • I find jam too sweet to put on bread so that sounds so terrifying! Having said that the same person who put ketchup in pasta also made a really good Greek lamb recipe and cooked salmon to perfection… I think everyone just has different tastes. But jam on tacos or pizza!!! That makes me so sad.

        • ingloriouskitty

          Ketchup in pasta is pretty commen, usually with slices of hot dog. Kids eat that a lot here. Genuine italian food is so much better though. When I was in Rome I pretty much ate myself to death. Luckily there were no jam there, so my step mother coudn’t defile the lasagne with jam as well ;)

        • ew… lasagne with jam…

        • Nina Johansson

          I just wanna point out, I have never heard of such a thing, and I’m from Sweden (in Scandinavia). In which, I cannot say anything about either Norway or Denmark, but jam is generally considered for dessert, unless it’s lingonberry. Lingonberry and gelatin based products are used as a compliment for example stews, but I’ve never heard of anyone putting it on pizza or tacos. That’s just gross.

        • Yeah, I’m aware not everyone does this. And I was in Finland not Sweden. I stayed with three different host families and one put jam on curry and the first put ketchup in pasta. The other one did nothing of the kind. But lingonberry does work well with reindeer or elk meat – probably because it’s bitter not sweet.

  210. This made me think of this quote:
    “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
    ― Miles Kington

  211. I was watching the next video on playlist mode when this advert came up. I’m coming Korea! lol :P

    • You should use AdBlock! :)

      • meggykitty

        not sure here…but i think they dont get the ad money if you block them. I leave them so eatyourkimchi gets paid. anyone know for sure?

        • Yup, same goes with the ads on their website.
          I never use AdBlock anyway, eyk or not, it may be a bit inconvenient for me but so many youtubers make a living out of videos they worked really hard on.. Why not support them? :)

        • same with all youtubers
          they only get money when the ads show and a bit more if people click on them

      • Jessica May Matheson

        Sorry, downvote. No you should not, if you want to support eatyourkimchi- their money comes from ads, so watch the hell out of those ads.

        • Cyber_3

          Use adblock, but whitelist the sites you want to support, like EYK. Then everyone wins ^_^v

      • you definitely should not! way to not support the creators
        shame on you! remove adblock now and forever!

    • LOL This happens to me ALL THE TIME!!!
      I get really excited for a moment (especially the prices, haha) and then I tell myself “hold your horses. you need a visa first!”
      Soon, Korea, soon!
      (Too bad it doesn’t state if it’s dog friendly…)

  212. So there was this one time, in Hongdae, that I was really craving some American food, and I went to this place called Burger B, and my friend and I shared two burgers aaaaaaaaand they were really good……

    EXCEPT for the burger which claimed to have “gorgonzola” cheese on it. Um. No. Whatever it was, was NOT gorgonzola. It was cheese, yes. Gorgonzola, no. I couldn’t even tell you what kind it was, and I am a cheese addict. But it was sweet. Oh so sweet. And then my American brain was like “that white dipping sauce they brought out with the fries HAS to be ranch, because what else could it be?” Having watched Simon horde ranch I should have known better. NOT ranch. SO sweet….and a total mystery as to what it was. I actually spit it out my palate was so surprised.

    All in all, NOT a bad experience eating burgers in Hongdae at Burger B. I would actually recommend it if you are craving a burger. Their fries were AWESOME.

    And, of course, the awesomeness of Monster Pizza cannot be outdone. :) Greasy, cheesy, thin crust. Boom.

    • Cyber_3

      LOL! Maybe the white sauce was mayonnaise. People in Quebec (in Canada) eat mayonnaise on their fries, there are even different varieties of mayonnaise for this. You will even see packets of mayo for your fries at all the fast food chains (McD’s Burger King, etc.). Personally, I don’t get it, especially when poutine is so much better and right there too, but hey, to each his or her own.

  213. Ohhh this topic is fantastic! :) I’m a total foodie, and back when I lived in Korea I often felt…cheated! Korean food is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but whenever I’d try to turn to any sort of ‘foreign’ food I’d get a ‘HAHA, not what you were looking for!’ in my face… There were couple exceptions, but I learned to stick to Korean food or cook at home otherwise.
    Still my biggest disappointment, next to being unable to find really GOOD Japanese ramen (@simonandmartina:disqus I feel your pain Simon.. I spent so much time in Japan, and Korean ‘Japanese ramen’ is just..wrong..I was so sad the first couple times I tried to find ‘The One’), was the complete and utter lack of UNSWEETENED dairy products..Sure once or twice I’d be able to hunt down a sad little pack of unsweetened yogurt, but mostly it was useless trying to find THAT and sour cream (I’m from Lithuania, sour cream or ‘creme fraiche’ is a staple, it’s in our blood xD)

    I even have a little story about this whole food thing: In May Korea University had an International Festival, where exchange students represent their countries in booths, with all kinds of foods and games prepared. So I decided, with another Lithuanian person, to set up a Lithuanian booth as well. One of our ‘meals on offer’ was supposed to be potato pancakes with sour cream…but no one could find it anywhere other than Costco (and being students, most of us didn’t have ‘access’ to Costco), so we had to ask the mother of one of my Korean classmates to pick up some sour cream for us. It took her two trips to actually GET sour cream. It was like Mission Impossible, just with dairy.

    Another thing that I never understood, and actually got angry about after a while, is the lack of ‘regular’ bread. Sure, I get it, white bread is the norm here, but seriously – with all the bakeries scattered about, boasting to be ‘European style’ (I’m staring at you, Paris Baguette), finding non-white and non-sweetened bread was impossible. I had to go to Itaewon to hunt down a loaf of sourdough bread (still not what I craved for, but better none the less), so after a while I just gave up. Even their curry buns are sweet! It’s an abomination! Next time I go to Korea I promised myself to get a portable oven and bake bread myself -_-

    Plus, I know this is kind of an ‘adult’ topic, but Korea seems to be allergic to foreign liquors. I’m so used to being able to buy a good bottle of wine or rum without breaking the bank that when I first went to Home Plus for wine and realized I’d have to pay like 40-50 dollars for a ‘decent’ bottle, it was like a punch in the gut! On the plus side, there’s a guy in Busan who imports Lithuanian beer XD (I don’t drink beer, it just felt like I’m closer to home lol)

    On the other hand, one food that did kind of stick to me was Sweet Potato pizza…first time I had it I just felt like What the HELL is this!! But strangely enough, it became a love. I dislike almost all other kinds of ‘Korean pizza’ that have random toppings (potato and sausage?!), but those that have sweet potato mousse are usually quite good! It doesn’t compare at all to Italian pizza, but I treat Korean pizza as ‘exotic food’ x) hehehe…
    Oh and Korean fried chicken…every country has their version of fried chicken, but I think Korea really nails it! Such a perfect food for parties/drinking XD

    • Calling all Rum Bibbers! Come to the land of the rum that made rum! Alas, the distillery has just recently closed for the first time in over 300 years due to the economy. But hopefully it will reopen soon.
      http://www.tammileetips.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Mount-Gay-Rum.jpg

      • Aaaaaaand now I need to come visit you Natz! I am picky about rum. And that looks amazing.

        • It is amazing. I usually take bottles of it as gifts for my friends who think rum is cheap liquor only suitable for mixing with coke.

          http://www.rumgallery.com/_Media/mg_scbr-ok-use.jpeg

        • That’s where I am picky: cheap rum you get at the bar that has to be mixed with coke to be palatable, boo. Amazing, smooth, barrel aged, dark brown awesomeness? Mmmmmmm.

        • My point exactly. Good rum is so smooth, like scotch or brandy. I tried to send Simon and Martina a bottle but they wouldn’t let rum travel by post. Alas.

          http://www.refinedvices.com/newsimages/rum/mountgayextraoldangle.jpg

        • Aaaaaaand now I want rum (not any rum, only the rum you are posting pictures of) while I am sitting at work. Natz, you are my new favorite bad influence. :)

        • Some more bad influence. We make a drink with rum here called rum punch. It is basically rum, simple syrup, bitters, limes. It kicks a punch and is flavourful, smooth and delicious.

        • Yum. YUM. That sounds like a perfect “after a long day of work and homework” drink. I’m officially taking notes. Keep em coming!

        • It is very refreshing. But I think you would also have to look for Angostura Bitters which is a vital ingredient made from spices and herbs. I also put fresh nutmeg in as well.

          Edit: the recipe is as follows
          1 sour- lime
          2 sweet – simple syrup
          3 strong – rum
          4 weak – water

          Mix the ingredients with those proportions, add bitters and nutmeg at the end. Sometimes it is good to let it sit for a few days to let the flavours meld.

        • I CAN get that here in Pittsburgh! My favorite remedy for a sour tummy is bitters and soda, and Angostura is the only kind I buy.
          I will also check around to see if they sell that brand of rum locally as well. Sometimes Pittsburgh manages to surprise me on the excellent selection of decent liquors, as long as you don’t try to go to a liquor store too near the college campus.

        • Ah! So great that you can find it there. I visited Pittsburg last summer and went to the comic museum. Fun times!
          There is a drink here made by angostura called Lemon Lime and bitters which is really good when you have an upset stomach and is delicious too.

          Also, there is Jamaican style rum punch which has juices in it. It is slightly different. Our rum punch doesn’t normally need juice added but you can if you want.

        • Cyber_3

          Thanks for the recipe Natz! The liquour board in Ontario just featured Angostura bitters in its latest magazine but their recipes are always……have left me wanting. I would kill to get some cachacas in Canada as well – my husband is a big fan of caipirinhas. I once brought my Dad a 15 year old rum back from Cuba and it is the only time I saw him drink it neat – still rationing that bottle to this day. Why are flights to Barbados so expensive?!!!!! ;_;

        • Dude, the flight price thing is ridiculous. It is worse from Europe. The actual ticket cost is actually low, but the taxes and fees are reeedeeekooolous.

          Really quite sad too because most of our tourist market comes from Europe. We used to get a lot of Canadian flights too. West Jet also flies here from Canada. Is that less pricey than Air Canada?

          A good bottle of rum is a special thing. Cuba makes awesome rum as well.

          Sad fact, Malibu rum is also made here in Barbados, but it is owned by an American company. The shame of making that suntan lotion reminiscent beverage burns me deep.

        • Cyber_3

          I know! She is my old favourite bad influence? ;) Not old as in elderly, but old as in not new, right?

        • AH DAMN! Getting good rum here is SO DIFFICULT! Lots of whisky, but no good dark rums, you know? Our friends are visiting us this month, two of them, and we’re asking them to fill their suitcases with rum.

        • Alas, I did try but they were like, alcohol is on the no post list. Bah!

        • Kairos

          If you don’t tell them what’s in the package they’ll never know….that’s how I send wine and such to my parents and friends that live in different states.

        • I may have just found a website that sells this. And now that I can actually ship alcohol INTO Pennsylvania (until very recently, very illegal) I may just have to get a bottle to sample. And sample some more. And not share at all….MY RUM! *slaps hands*

        • Go for the extra old. It is glorious.

        • Glorious Extra Old it is. Thanks Natz!

  214. Italian food in Brazil is pretty much accurate (well, at least in south Brazil), except for pizza.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really love the cheese-and-tomato-sauce kind of pizza, it’s my favorite actually, but here in brazil we just took it to a new level. We have strogonoff pizza, barbecue (with real meat, not mcdonalds style) pizza, chicken-cheddar- palm heart pizza, chocolate with strawberries pizza, ICE CREAM pizza and the list goes on. A common pizza place usually has between 70 to 100 (some times even more) different pizza’s flavours. If you don’t know what to choose, don’t worry: in Brazil you can eat pizza rodízio-syle (like at a churrascaria). All-you-can-eat slices.

  215. The day a decent Korean resturant and a Coco curry opens in Oslo I will shed tears of joy. Until then I have to get my korean and japanese curry fix in London where they charge you extra for side dishes *tears*

    • The day Coco Curry opens in Oslo is the day everyone goes into deep debt. You’ll order it all the time. You’ll have to mortgage your home, sell your TV. It’s all we want to eat, all the time.

      • Hey ,it’ll be worth it. Who needs a tv? I don’t need to watch season 4 of game of thrones! Wait….

        My final meal before leaving both Tokyo and Seoul was Coco Curry *sigh* good memories…

  216. I also make yellow curry from time to time. Not sure it’s the same as in Korea, but I make it with orange juice and that’s what makes it sweet. And I love corn on my pizza! And.. I’m from Germany but studying in France so YAY for Live Chats! :)))

  217. I think Pizza was the first major foreign to be introduced to Norway back in the 70s and it have now become a staple in norwegian diets. We eat a ridicoulus amount, both orderd and frozen. You can get legit italian pizza in pretty much every major city, but most delivered pizza is more in the chicago deep dish style with a nice thick crust. What I find interesting about foreign food in Norway is that which each trend, they keep making “fusion food” in order to keep interest. Usually in the form of a pizza. So you can get taco pizza, kebab pizza, and thai style pizza. I am still waiting for the sushi pizza.

    Mexican became quite popular later, but it has definatly become “norwegianized” it is not as spicy, people rarly use rice, beans or even guacamole or sour cream. you can find genuine mexican food, but that’s not how most people eat tacos at home. We also usually use the crunchy tortilla shells and not the soft kind.

    Chinese and indian is quite commen too. The go to dishes being shop suey and Tikka Masala. I feel like there isn’t much variations in the standard dishes here, it all kind of taste the same and I don’t know of a single place that serves decent Dim Sum, which is killing me *tears*

    Kebab (shwarma) has become the go to post drinking fatty food, and there’s a kebab shop seemingly on every corner. It is usually eiter served in a pita bread og over french fries. It is delicious, but I have heard people complain when they’ve been abroad and orderd kebab they were upset that they didn’t get “proper norwegian kebab” which is kind of hilarious.

    Sushi has become really popular as well, and it seems prety close to the original (I can’t eat sea food :() I guess since we have a lot of salmon and such ourselves? So you can get the standard stuff. Thai is also becoming more popular and it’s is pretty good, just maybe not as spicy as it could be.

  218. Curry, abiko curry cocaine :3

  219. I live in America and near NYC at that…Even if the local spot isn’t authentic, I can always go to one that is authentic when I venture in. We also have too much Italian food. I mean, granted Italian is…fine, but there are few really really good italian places and I prefer the more Mediterranean style Italian food than the EVERYTHING IN MARINARA style…is that even a style? Anyways, There’s always at least 10 pizza places to chooses from and you always pick one or two that taste amazing and cost more and one that’s really close to your house that has cheapy cheap pizza. Also, we (Thankfully) don’t have alot of Chinese Chinese food, it’s mainly cantonese and occasionally dim sum if you are lucky (I’m sorry I went to china and don’t really like real chinese food–especially that vinegary soup served with like EVERY meal). I also find most japanese food isn’t necessarily inauthentic so much as very limited. It’s always a large sushi/sashimi menu, a few apps like gyoza and edamame, a bunch of stuff smothered in Teriyaki, and a couple noodle dishes. I like places that go for some of the street food like Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki. I actually often wish we had more korean restaurants or maybe there isn’t really a community of korean people around where I live? I LOVE actual korean food!! I’m a huge fan of kimchi…people think I’m weird, but MAN is it Yummers!!!

    • What I found really interesting about chinese in NYC is that they always had sesame chicken, but I have yet to find that dish anywhere else XD
      With you on the korean food and kimchi! Delicious!

      • Cyber_3

        What I found weird is that “sweet and sour chicken balls” are everywhere in NA at Chinese food places (I know they are not authentic and more for children) but when I was at a work banquet in China they served an entire fish (with the sides finely chopped outwards) with sweet and sour sauce – it was a little strange…… I also don’t like authentic Chinese food most of the time. It’s not that I like the Canadianized fast food version the best, it’s just the things in restaurants in China are…..scary somehow. I do like home-cooked Chinese food the best!

        • ingloriouskitty

          I have yet to have genuine chinese food, but I really like what you get in China town in London and New York especially the dim sum. I feel that chinese food in Norway is pretty plain and they use a lot of salt and it is always the same: Chicken, pork or beef in either sweet and sour sauce or shop suey over rice. There is no variation.
          Lol, see what you mean with scary, first time I was in China town in NYC I did a double take at the red ducks hanging in the window XD

  220. I like (and agree with) your point about having a diverse community, and being able to find authentic tastes – I feel that Australia is a bit like that :P

  221. I live in a town called Cabramatta in Australia (NSW) and I’m basically surrounded my Vietnamese food you can’t get away from it

  222. In Barbados we also put corn on our pizza. Alas, I will be disowned as well. I guess because we are very British influenced.

    • Natz NoooOOOOooooOOOO! Not you too! Not…you…too

      • Lols. My step brother who is from Brooklyn came to visit once and was disgusted with the presence of corn on my pizza. His words were ‘ That ain’t pizza son, naw’. We do corn, green peas, onions and cheddar cheese.

        Now that I know better, I never touch that stuff.

        • I’ve never actually had green peas on pizza. That’s something totally new!

        • I bought a veg pizza slice for my nephew yesterday when we went to watch The Lego Movie (Everything is Awesome!) and it had green peas and corn on it. Delicious.

        • Cyber_3

          Everything looks great after a $37 cup of coffee? LOL! That movie WAS awesome!
          I used to have a roomate that could put anything in a salad and make it great. She often put corn and peas in, thanks to her I learned to branch out my tastes. I could see these being good on pizza but there is probably more to it than just slapping them down with the same sauce and spice combo as in NA.

        • Lols. So many of those jokes were lost on my nephew. It was basically an allegory, plus the awesomeness that was Batman. When he stole from Han and Chewbacca. Bwuahahah! And then when the astronaut finally got to make his spaceship. Best Sequences Evar! Trust me one day someone will find themselves buying an AWESOME $37 cup of coffee.

        • Cyber_3

          First Try! That was hilarious when he stole from Han and Chewy and it was super awesome with the spaceship! I also liked when they were blowing stuff up at the construction site and then referred back to the instructions to see if the explosion was the same – and it was! And the little “moving from area to area” animation was super funny/cute! I’m not sure what you mean about an allegory though, care to expand on that?

          Cyber_3 – has no irl adults who like LEGO to talk to this about…..my husband hasn’t seen it yet.

        • It is allegorical in the way it lampoons the way that societies think that to keep everything safe and stable, things should never change and you must always follow the rules and be happy all the time.

          Like when the kitty finally let herself get angry, after a whole lifetime of surprising the bad feelings inside. Within the chaos of not following the rules, there was ingenuity and development and growth. But the fear of wanting everything to stay the same and be safe and unaltered causes stagnation and even dictatorship.

          Actually it makes me think of the situation between North and South Korea right now and have development has stagnated in n. Korea but s. Korea has been developing at an alarming rate. I was just thinking about that earlier.

          I watched it because I was an animation major and I was thrilled with the concepts, style and production. I loved how they would do a wide shot of some scenes, like the pirate ship arriving at the tower and put in the childish kiddie sound effects to emphasize the silliness.

        • Cyber_3

          Animation major? Colour me jealous! I took a few courses in high school be ended up in engineering instead. Any obscure and cool recommends? Do you like Patrick Boivin’s style (ex. Bruce Lee vs. Iron Man)? Yeah, those wide shots with the funny sfx are what I was talking about. Are you jealous yet, Simon? XD

          I see what you mean about the movie being an allegory in that way. And I think it also shows (in this same vein) how you can’t have both the beautifully built sets AND crazy creations together (from the same pieces) without a lot of chaos. Just like, in order to break free of a totalitarian regime, you can’t expect it to be easy or safe. Sigh. Not that I’m saying that about Korea, it’s just an example.

          Perhaps I was just more focused at the time on the way kids look at Lego (went with my 7-year-old son). I thought it was really great that, while they showed creativity as very desirous, that kids who like to follow the instructions were not held up as “bad” and how sometimes, when you like that part of Lego, it’s hard when you first start to build your own creations to not be discouraged when they don’t work out right away (not as much instant gratification as building a set). Maybe that’s more a portrait of my own childhood with Lego than my son’s though. We try to build great ball contraptions and buy sets just as much for cool pieces as for what it makes and frankly, I enjoy LEGO even more now than as a kid.

          I think that the kitty was much better after she let it all go. I read/saw on tv a loooong time ago (and have always found it to be true in my life) about how, in trying to hold in the bad feelings, you end up holding in more than in your intend, you end up holding in all types of feelings because your “filter” doesn’t have the ability to pick and choose your feelings well. And the harder you try to hold in the bad, the less good feelings can get out and you end up as a welled up and unable to express much of any emotion at all. While I would not take out my bad feelings on someone else, I do try to find ways to express them so that my feelings can flow more easily overall and I find I’m happier over all that way. Ummm…..yeah. That kitty was really cute.

          I’m kind of disappointed in a way that Lego made sets for the things in the movie. It would have been cooler in my opinion to just offer up the instructions. BTW, all the instructions for every Lego set ever made are available free online – isn’t that cool? Now if you want to build a set and you think you already have the pieces, you can!

      • Dana

        corn on pizza is really popular all over europe! as a canadian i once considered it horrific but to be honest… i like it now :) in the right context at least. don’t you put no corn on my pepperoni!!!

  223. I think in Melbourne, it depends where you go to eat. The local/suburban restaurants are quite often “Australianised” with regards to Indian/Thai/Sri Lankan curries (my family background is Sri Lankan), and almost all Asian foods at the bigger restaurants are iffy. If you go to the more ‘foodie’ locations or the smaller family-run restaurants – China town in the city, for example – the food is much more authentic. The first time I went to a good Korean restaurant in the city, the wait staff were watching anxiously as my cousin and I looked at our food. The finally broke, came over to the table, and told the proper way to eat the dishes (they were so lovely about it; they even explained how the name of the dishes related to the way they were supposed to be eaten!)

  224. I’m seeing a common theme in the comments, it seems like all the Italian, Mexican, Asian, BBQ places all have a touch of their own country in them. Maybe that’s what makes it so unique.

    • Applesauce 21

      I think it’s also partly because the chefs, if they are from the country of the food that they’re serving, don’t want to freak out their customers with potentially strong flavours, and so tone it down to make it more like native food. For instance, some countries love spice, but if they exported the food they’d add less chilli to prevent death-by-jalapeno abroad XD

  225. Applesauce 21

    I loved this TL;DR – really really funny :) Thanks!

  226. I got used to places like Taco Bell for “authentic” Mexican food growing up then one day I went over to my exs house, who was Mexican and his mom cooked me REAL mexican food….it was disgusting. It was cow tongue covered in cilantro. I hate cilantro and the cow tongue tasted like cat sh*t but I ate it anyway because I didn’t want to be rude. It turned me off Mexican food until I discovered 2 authentic Mexican restaurants by be and they have the best food, which is a little Americanized but whatever. Italian food is really a hit or miss for me, it seems like family owned Italian restaurants are better than chains. BTW tomatoes are a fruit, I remember having this argument back in high school, it has something to do with the seeds.

    • cow tongue is delicious and it’s authentic Mexican food so go back and stuff with Taco Bell shit and shut up

      • Hahah, some people are squeamish with parts of animals they aren’t used to eating. Cow tongue is meaty and delicious, so is oxtails. In my country we love chicken feet, pickled. On the other hand, I refuse to eat fish with heads on it. Whenever my mother does whole fish she has to remove the heads for me or I will not touch it. Something about the dead glassy eyes staring at me. So lame I am.

        I have probably eaten at Taco Bell once in my life. It was under duress and I got a tummy ache after and refused to ever do it again because it was too greasy for my stomach. But a lot of people have acclimated to that style of food and love it. Different strokes for different folks.

      • Cyber_3

        I don’t dislike the taste of cow/ox tongue myself, it’s quite tasty, it’s just that it feels a bit like french kissing a cow when you feel the large tastebuds against your own tongue – JIBBLIES! Just never close your eyes while eating it – brrrrrrrr! ;)

      • I’ve never met anyone so personally offended by my personal opinion.

  227. I remember going to Taiwan a few years ago and they were asking me about English food and I mentioned Yorkshire puddings and they were like ‘oh what is that?’ and I just blanked because I had no idea how to explain it to them because I don’t even know what they’re made from and they kept asking if it was a dessert and I was like no you have it with gravy and they were just so confused.

  228. I live in Lithuania, and although we have various foreign cuisines, they’re pretty much all ‘lithuanized’. That is, Mexican food is made less spicy, pizzas are often… not really pizzas, more like an interpretation. Chinese food is, like I suspect, similar to exported Chinese food in many other countries. There are no Korean places, though. At least, not really Korean, because they still turn more Japanese/Chinese. Oh, how I long for a Korean grill to open somewhere nearby… I think adaptation of food is really unavoidable and the only reliable places are those owned by natives (in most cases at least…).

  229. I typed so long but my comment disappeared D: Where is it :’( It said it was marked as spam D:

  230. Natalia L

    I’m from Argentina but living in Spain and I got to say that the origin of the product can totally change the final product, the flavour. For example the meat, meat is meat right, but the meat in Argentina is so much better than here in Spain, due to how the cows are feed. Or Dulce de Leche, I can get dulce de leche made in Spain here, but in the end is not real dulce de leche, is just caramel… ;_;
    I don’t really like most of the fruit here, most of the year tastes like chlorophyll xDDD, while in Argentina each fruit has a very distinctive flavour.
    Regarding Italian food, I must say is my favourite, I keep telling my husband we should move to Korea and open an Italian Restaurant with real Italian Pasta and Pizza, hahaha!!

    I don’t like Paella, but I know there’s no place better to eat a real paella like here in Spain, if you get it anywhere else they’ll probably just throw whatever the feel like to the mix xDD

  231. I live in Melbourne, and the area I live in has a high Greek and Lebanese population, which means there is soo much delicious food, I particularly love all the different varieties of baklava *drools*
    Interesting fact, Melbourne has the third highest Greek speaking population in the world.

  232. Being German and having actually spent 2 years in awesome TORONTO, I’ve noticed that Toronto really has a huge variety of authentic food from other countries. The indian food there was a-ma-zing. Also, my ex bf who I was with during that time was indian. So naturally, I learned some indian recipes, and yes, it’s quite authentic what you’re getting there. Also, thai food. OMAGAWD. Do you know the “Salad King” Restaurant in downtown? It was my favorite thai restaurant (salad king is a weird name for it though…). And from what I can tell, the taste was authentic. And I looooooved loooved loooved it. That creamy sensation of curry and coconut milk and….*drools*. You get the point.Here in Germany, thai food makes me cry. It doesn’t taste baaaad, and sometimes I get real bad cravings for thai food, that I order it occassionally anyways. BUT the super awesome creamy curry does not exist here. The consistency of the curry sauce resembles soup. It’s watery and too liquid. Even though it still has the curry and coconut flavor, it just isn’t the same. AND…all you get for dessert are in honey baked banana/pineapple pieces with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Seriously? Yes,sadly,yes. Where has my beloved sticky coconut rice with mango and coconut sauce gone??? Why do they not offer it here? It makes me a sad panda.

    Last but not least….YES, thumbs up for a live chat LIVE FROM GERMANY ;)))) DO IT!

    • Cyber_3

      Thanks for the tip! I sometimes go to TO and the Thai place that used to be near my work in the north end closed. Thai curry is sooooo awesomeeeeeeeee. That dessert also sounds awesome……now I am HUNGRY!

      • Salad King isn’t really authentic, but it’s good for cheap eats. Head to Sukhothai (Wellington/Church or Dundas/Parliament) or Khao San Road (Adelaide/Peter) instead!

  233. Indian curry is quite easy to find if you’re somewhere where there’s a lot of Indians working like Suwon; mostly around the tech places as far as I can tell.

  234. *raises hand* Please!

  235. haruchi

    Oh corn… You can find it in a lot of places in Japan too. I don’t even like corn. *sigh* And things like salad which is pretty rare here they will offer you corn salad. No that is not salad it’s just corn where is my green stuff!?!?
    Ahem… Korean garlic bread… Yeah one of the first things I ate when I came to Seoul was small pieces of garlic bread. I joked to my friend that I bet it’s gonna be sweet, and it was. OTL I also ate cheese cake in Korea and yup it tasted kinda cheesy, not that good but ok.
    As for Korean food in Finland, I don’t think we even have Korean reastaurants in my city… I also haven’t eaten Korean food in Japan. Maybe I should try is it the same as I’ve eaten.

  236. I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the southeast Asian food. I get the impression that Koreans can’t handle spicy food unless that spice happens to be red pepper paste. Because that’s in 80% of the food and they’ve built up an immunity.

    When someone in a restaurant warns me that the food is spicy, it never is. When they don’t warn me, sometimes it blows the top of my head off because it’s, as one example, a big pot of gochujang with a little bit of octopus for decoration.

    • You know, I don’t even find Korean food spicy anymore. I get a bit annoyed when we order spicy food and they say “really? It’s spicy! Can you handle it?” I wanna be like “I CAN RUB THIS IN MY EYES IT AIN’T SPICY!” But I know they’re being considerate. Most people can’t handle the level of spice we can handle, but I also think most Korean people can’t handle the spice we can handle, either. Mexican spice? Indian spice? I don’t think so…

      • Wishy

        I remember when you guys talked about the ahjumma with the food stall that told you “No, it’s too spicy, not for foreigners.” XD Been sooooo long.

    • I think foods of a country make outside the country is never going to be the same as them made in the country. The spices are always going to be different. Even the ingredients of the foods are going to make it really different thus taste different. Its actually hard to be the same and as the need to change it to make it more acceptable to people who aren’t used to the authentic taste. After it is a business, they cater to 90% of the people taste bud. Thai + Vietnamese foods are pretty spicy if you find the right restaurant. Sometimes, you just have to add the oily red spicy paste that they have, it really helps. Most people can’t really handle if it is too spicy so I think restaurants really cater to that. A lot of foods I don’t find spicy at all but my friends are like too spicy already.

  237. PunkyPrincess92

    HEY!!! i love corn!! and i love it on my pizza!!! as a British citizen i now disown you!!!
    i have this problem when i go to Bangladesh! when i wanna eat normal bread or nice pizza it tastes sweet!! it’s…Bengalified?

    i was taught that tomatoes are fruits!! but i don’t think anyone hardly eats it as a fruit….it’s more used like a vegetable!

    • Wait… They ACTUALLY put corn on pizza in the UK? I’ve never had any like that.. But then again, my mum is obsessed with Italy, so I guess she would refuse to take us anywhere except a ‘proper’ Italian place.

      • I’ve never seen corn on pizza here in Scotland. :O

      • PunkyPrincess92

        i’ve never went to a proper Italian place to eat….haha! the ones in the city centre seem too posh and..well…the prices…not for me and my friends!!
        i usually eat at Pizza Hut and now that i think about it i’m not sure if i have corn on the pizzas there, BUT i always get corn on pizza from the local pizza stores for definite!

        the one thing i HATE on pizza is pineapple!! WHY WOULD I WANT FRUIT ON MY PIZZA?

        • Except tomatoes are kind of fruit, and those are smothered all over the dough.

        • PunkyPrincess92
          PunkyPrincess92

          haha yes, yes it is! but like i said it’s used more like a vegetable!
          tomato on pizza is also the only time i can stand tomato!! i don’t even have tomato ketchup!

  238. I don’t want to make matters worse… but do you know that if you call a tomato a fruit, you’ll have to call many other vegetables fruit? Like avocado, cucumber, squash, etc… All those things are technically a fruit because they came from the flower and contain the seed(s). Sorry if it’s not clear, English is not my first language.

  239. Smerk …”Ranch is an accessory to food”…… like it was driving the get-away car

  240. I am a legit Italian (watching your videos from Rome since the beginning) but I’ve been to the US and UK a lot so whenever I had Italian food withdrawals, I tried their versions of pizza or pasta and let me tell you it is not nearly the same thing. They tend to add so many ingredients to make it more suitable for American/British palate. Therefore I’m not surprised if Koreans do the same but I guess adding corn and giving pickles with every meal is a bit too much…first of all, we don’t really eat pickles; corn is used in salads and also, sweet potatoes are not that popular here in Italy. They’re not something you can easily find at your local grocery store…
    Also, garlic bread- as much as I love that stuff, to the point that I would only eat that when I was in Cali- is not really something you can find on the menu at any Italian restaurant in Italy.

    Nevertheless, I would still try Koreanized Italian food whenever I get the chance to visit Korea. I love Americanized Italian food, especially Domino’s pizza.
    Oh…and I love you guys…like a lot <3

    • Cyber_3

      Does this mean that garlic bread is the Italian version of fortune cookies (which you don’t get in China but everywhere in North America with Chinese food)?

      • Garlic bread is not even served as a side dish at restaurants. It’s like something my grandma would eat whenever she doesn’t feel like cooking or when there’s not much food around. I guess it’s because when she was young and Italy was at war, bread was all they had (if they could get some) and garlic made it taste like they were actually eating something.
        Chinese restaurants in Italy don’t serve fortune cookies; as a matter fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chinese fortune cookies anywhere in Italy, not even Asian supermarkets.

        • Oscar_de_Jarjayes

          Isn’t garlic bread made with pizza dough leftovers? (Because, pizza dough is basically the same as bread dough, right?)
          I love italian pizzas, they’re thin and made with fresh and simple ingredients! Plus they’re cheap (in Italy).

        • Martina Paletti

          Actually that’s not something we make in Italy. I even looked it up in Italian and all the cooking sites referred to the American “garlic bread” that you can get at Domino’s or places like that. Pizza and bread have almost the same ingredients but the preparation is different. Bread takes a long time and certain techniques to make…I wouldn’t know though cause I’m the worst at cooking hahah

        • i think you’re talking about garlic knots (i think it an americanized italian food though)

        • Fortune Cookies are a purely American invention. :) I believe it began somewhere in New York.

        • Actually it was popularized in California in the San Francisco area. It was originally based on a Japanese rice cracker thing and was actually likely brought over by Japanese immigrants. It just became really popular among all asians and were sold at Chinese restaurants. And for a lot of Americans at the time Asian immigrant=Chinese……

    • Is it wrong then sometimes to get Italian food withdrawals, when you’re not from Italy. Personally, I think Italian food is among the best in Europe. ;)

      • Hahah I don’t think it’s wrong. As much as I dislike some aspects of my country, Italian food is something I’ll always brag about cause it really is the best food ever, especially in Europe. Don’t get me wrong: I love me some Andalucian paella or German sausage but Italian food has that something that makes you miss it so much when you don’t get to eat it on a daily basis.

    • I am an American, and I visited Rome a little over a year ago. BEST FOOD EVER!!!!! (And not forgetting the best cappuccino I ever had in my life!!!!) : D It totally ruined me to Americanized Italian food and American coffee shops. When I came home I had withdrawals because there aren’t that many authentic Italian restaurants where I live. I think it’s because so many of the ingredients are either not available or they are expensive. So far I’ve only found one authentic Italian restaurant – it’s pricey, but worth it! Wish I could eat there everyday….

      On the positive side, there are some specialty Italian grocery stores in my city. The selection is limited, but it is definitely possible to make some dishes better than what’s available in restaurants. : )

      • Oooh that’s awesome!!! I’ve never heard of specialty Italian grocery stores…sounds like expensive though. When I was living in London someone told me they sold Italian biscotti but they were freaking expensive so I passed on buying those :( If you get the chance though try them at least once: they’re different from American cookies and all that stuff (which is amazing anyway eheh) ^^

        • irritablevowel
          irritablevowel

          Usually you can find a specialty grocery store when an area or neighborhood has a large number of people from a particular group. Chicago has a lot of Italians and people of Italian descent, so there are a couple of very large, very nice supermarkets that specialize in Italian food (that’s not including Eataly, which is a like Ikea for Italian food, but extremely expensive). There are also supermarkets that specialize in Indian food, Japanese food, Korean food, Mexican food, Puerto Rican food, Vietnamese food, etc. etc.

        • Martina Paletti

          Eataly is expensive in Italy as well. Maybe cause they sell organic stuff and a lot of products are “home made” and you can’t find these small businesses, they have a partnership with, in regular supermarkets.
          We also have specialty South American and Chinese grocery stores and it’s understandable cause there are a lot of South Americans and Chinese people living here but what surprised me the most was finding two Korean grocery stores. I am so happy about it and I never mind going the extra mile to fill up on ramen and kimchi but what’s weird is that I hardly ever see the Korean population that should be living in that neighbourhood… I mean COME OUT O’DA SHELLS PEOPLE!!!!

    • you went to cali and ate domino’s? shame on you! so many better pizza places in cali than that crap

      • Actually I’ve never tried Domino’s in Cali (at least I think…I didn’t look at the box when they were feeding me pizza lol) but when I lived in London I tried it cause it was one of the few names I was familiar with.

    • Interestingly, from what I’ve heard, Pizza is actually an Italian-American invention. So it moved to Italy rather than originating there. That being said, Italian pizza is 100x better. :)

      • Pizza definitely originated in Italy! The “modern” pizza originated in Naples (aka the traditional thin crust kind) and was brought to America by Italian immigrants. However, all the other kinds you can get in America (like deep dish etc) were invented by Americans, haha.

      • Omg really?? Pizza actually originated in Naples in the XVI century. The only American contribution was the tomato which was brought to Europe and even though it was considered poisonous at first, poor people would use it as a topping for this kind of flat bread.

      • YES. The taste of real, Italian pizza made in a stone oven in Rome is a taste I will never forget. I was so impressed!

    • Hi Martina, what was Italian food like before the tomato? Is it the main ingredient in most real Italian food or just Americanized Italian food? Thanks, Brandon

    • I’m Italian too, but from the North (Verona) and I’ve never seen garlic-bread before! We have onion-bread even though it’s not that common.
      I travelled a lot trhough Europe and what I noticed is that all the “Italian restaurants” are run by Turkish who pretend to be Italians…and pizza is more like a focaccia full of things on it. And Pasta, well, let’s say I had to eat what they gave me. It’s rare to find somebody that can cook real Italian food.

      • Hahahah I know!!! Pasta is the worst thing they make in a foreign country…that’s why I prefer to eat pizza: even if the taste is not the same, it’s better than having any pasta plate they would try to sell as “real, authentic Italian pasta”…comunque ciao finalmente un’altra italiana hahaha

    • Yeah, my dad is in the Navy so I lived in Italy (Naples, home of the real pizza :) ) for three years. Italian pizza is sooo much better than American pizza. It’s all about the sauce – a basic pizza doesn’t even have cheese on it, it’s just the crust, sauce, olive oil, and herbs like basil. When they add cheese it’s mozzarella di bufala and it’s sprinkled on in small pieces that don’t cover the entire thing – American pizza sauce is usually meh and they always cover the whole thing with cheese haha While I’ve had really good pizza in the States, the only time I’ve had something close to my Italian experience is when there was a family from Palermo, Italy that opened up a restaurant here and made pizza (until Hurricane Katrina destroyed the restaurant and they decided not to rebuild :( ). So, since you’re still living in Rome, I am totally jealous haha Italian food is still my ultimate favorite :)

      The Korean sushi you guys mentioned sounds a lot like the sushi they sell in Japanese style restaurants in America. Even the local one which is owned by a Japanese lady tends to have specialty sushis that have lots of sauces and stuff put on top, although they usually have more basic rolls like tuna as well. Problem with most of the Japanese/Chinese places in my area is they tend to be owned by Vietnamese families since we have a large Vietnamese population so I’m not sure how “authentic” they are haha. When it comes to Mexican, my favorite Mexican restaurant is owned by a Hispanic family and I like it a lot more than chain restaurants. Not sure how authentic it is to Mexico but I like it :) I actually have a local Korean restaurant I really like to go to that is owned by a Korean family – we have a small amount of Korean residents in our area and the waitress there says they get a lot of military members coming since their kimchi tastes like what they had when they were stationed in South Korea. So although it’s my only real experience with Korean food I assume it’s pretty authentic (and it tastes really good :) ).

    • Australian pizza is definitely not “traditional Italian” by any means but I had a bit of a “WTF? this is not what a pizza is meant to be like!” when I went to Vancouver Canada (!). My partner and I went to Domino’s which is originally Canadian and for a start the whole process of ordering a pizza was different. This was 2005 so it may have changed but we were kinda shocked that you could only select up to three toppings for your pizza and then it was extra after that. We’re used to pizza being sold according to a type of pizza flavour combo e.g. Supreme etc. which contains AT LEAST three toppings. The pizzas in Melbourne where I’m from are better than other states in my opinion because there seems to be a lot more Italian food influence through immigration.
      Fun facts about Pizza in Melbourne Australia:
      1. International Pizza Franchises are really unpopular here! Hardly any Pizza Huts anywhere more Domino’s but even then just a few.
      2. There’s a trend in Melbourne to have gourmet pizza. Small pizza businesses thrive and they tend to have a gourmet selection including a signature pizza of their own creation that is often a bit weird and experimental. For instance my local place has a butter chicken pizza which is divine! I’ve tried a nacho pizza which was not so good because the corn chips were soggy :P

      3. It’s typical for a pizza place especially small businesses, to sell an “Aussie” pizza which always has a fried egg on it. I’m not sure what makes this Aussie except that maybe it represents our sunny weather? Fried eggs also appear on burgers and they become “Aussie” burgers too.

    • I’m another legit Italian (from Naples) and I agree with you. Even the most “traditional” Italian food (cooked in foreign countries) is very different. Some dishes don’t even exist xD The best example would be that cooking show with the Cake Boss… It makes me shiver xD Anyway, you should come to Italy and eat the real deal!

      P.S. I’m a great fan of yours, especially of your FAPFAPs :D

  241. How about chinese food? Like jajangmyeon? I heard it tastes pretty different in korea and china…

  242. hapagirl

    Well it’s official, I can’t come to Korea because I’ll starve to death because I am such a picky eater. I can end up disliking a place when they get the taste wrong for a meal I like, I will never order it again.
    I think it goes hand to hand with the fact that not only you, but a good chunk of us come from places where it’s more “authentic”, even though we know that foreign food is bastardized everywhere. like I know I can head to a restaurant in the next town over and get some fairly authentic food. Especially living in Hawaii where there’s a lot of places that still stick to their roots and there’s immigrants who move here and it’s easier to get things that are needed to make some of these meals.
    But seriously I got the shudders when you guys talked about the Korean version of foods, that seems horrible. Especially when you have serious cravings. No wonder you hear people who just eat when they get home, I would too

    • You’d have to break out of that picky bubble and try a bunch of different places until you found a winner! For example, the Korean style soupy pasta is not our thing but we’ve found some awesome pasta places that make their own pasta from scratch and taste amazing. You just have to explore like in any other city. Don’t give up!!!

  243. I have no problem here in Russia (Moscow) with some authentic restaurants (Mexican, Thai, Korean namely) because most of them are run by native citizens or someone who knows the business. Japanese food on the other hand is a bit more complicated – there are some really nice authentic places, but probably because of the fact that Japanese food is waayyy too popular in Russia, we have much more bad and westernized so called Japanese restaurants and I really don’t like them :( The fun fact is though – I have a couple of Japanese friends who have tried these ‘kinda Japanese’ food, they say it’s not japanese at all but it’s delicious. I think they are just being nice :)

  244. in england we have a main stream japanese restaurant called yosushi. I think its a nice place that does grate food but i find it can be rather cosytly. i perfer to go to the cheaper wasbi chain restaurants instead that not only lets you eat in store but also has a take out section. wasbi even taste just as good as yousushi but also at like half the price. The only down side is that my local wasbi is in london which is like 4 hours away from me but my local yosushi is like 30 minutes from me. i also went to a nice korean resturant in london but I havent been too see if there are any nice local ones yet.

    also i have a question do they have any English styled pubs in Korea?

    • oh my god wasabi is so bad…im sorry to tell you but every single chain east asian food restaurant in london/england is not authentic At.All. yosushi, wasabi, wagamama, itsu are the biggest 4 i can think of right now, and anything east asian you might find in Eat or Pret a manger, they are unanimously godawful in the eyes of people whov come from east-asia. it would be fine if it was at least yummy but just not authentic, like how simon and martina spoke about koreanized food, but its not even that… iv tried a few things at each of these places before out of desperation and like the watery pasta s n m mentioned, its sorta like that, everything is watered down and not even a watered down version of the real thing, just totally totally off and disappointing.. i ordered tempura once at yosushi and it came out looking like mini corn dogs, everything covered in something completely smooth and dark brown, i was so mad already after the sadness of my water ramen that i insisted on not eating it and getting a refund because it literally wasnt tempura, the servers didnt really understand what i meant but they were nice enough to accept my request. even the texture of the noodles can be really strange at these chains, it tastes like certain hardernoodle brands of instant noodles, just really cheap and plasticky.

      im sorry if i sound like im coming down too hard but seriously all my east asian friends hate these places as much as i do and i really really suggest trying to find a non-chain place thats packed with east asians rather than caucasians/british if you want to try real ea food

      • Dana

        dear god, i hate yo sushi as well haha. the quality is the WORST. that said, the whole idea of the place is fun, but the food itself is terrible. i hate wagamama too. but i must say wasabi is not horrible, the fast food/hot food aspect is terrible, but the premade sushi are not bad for the price you pay! i’d much rather eat wasabi sushi packs for a quick on the go lunch than whatever other weird stuff you find on the high street haha. btw – if you guys are ever in london have a look for the KIMCHEE chain – it’s kind of a korean version of wasabi. i haven’t had a chance to try it yet though.

  245. I am from Indonesia and I never tried Mexican Food in my whole life… I can’t find any Mexican restaurant in Indonesia and I think it’s not really popular there
    until I went to Australia to continue my study, I had nachos, burritos etc (I just knew their existence at that time except nachos, but I only eat it as a snack before, not as a whole dish). it’s like Mexican Food just flood into my life in a short time

  246. Emily

    THE COSTCO ONION PLATE. That thing is a cornerstone of Korean innovation. I’ve also seen a to-go version where they fill the soda cups with onion/mustard concoction and take it on home with them.

  247. Ohmahgawd! I know the restaurant you’re referring to with the whole burrito-with-only-rice-and-heinz-beans… it’s in Hongdae across from that park. My stars, they do their own take on Mexican. Luckily Dos Tacos in just around the corner, and it may not be muy authentico, but they knock out a decent taco al pastor!

  248. Tina Baynes

    Ramen has fast become one of my favourite foods! Got no idea if the stuff I get in Australia is accurate, but it’s delicous nonetheless. Pork/tonkatsu ramen fo lyfe!

  249. two hands up !!!!! pls come to germany !

  250. Hey, I live in Cheonan, I’ve been here since August. I’d say that most of the Vietnamese and Thai food I’ve had here has been pretty inauthentic. The noodles are just… wrong and the substitution of lemons in place of limes is also not so good. Here in Cheonan, we do have some good Indian places. I’ve noticed that Indian restaurants in Korea seem to be about the only foreign food places operated by foreigners who are from the same country that the food being served is also from. This seems to help a great deal. Also, we do have one GOOD Japanese ramen place here and also a Mexican place owned by Americans that serves really good California-style Mexican. So, if you’re ever in town, give this girl a call and I’ll show you around! ^^

  251. A friend of mine put tomatoes in fruit salad once, I found it so weird! By the way, you guys should totally come to Malaysia sometime and check out our awesome food! It’s literally a food haven :D Oh and about inauthentic foreign food, I’m studying in Melbourne at the moment and whenever I go for Asian food, I find that it’s been tailored to Western tastebuds, especially when it comes to spiciness levels. One thing I’ve noticed that restaurants here like to do when they want to call something Asian (okay more like Malaysian) is cook it with or drown it in satay sauce. I’ve seen some really bizarre combinations of stuff with satay sauce that don’t sound appetizing at all! I have no idea where this idea came about that Malaysian food = satay sauce, we really don’t put it on everything!

    • It’s a shame, really. I’m guessing cultural exposure is what left the satay sauce impression on Australian minds, as is evident at my uni food court, where they serve crumbed chicken with satay sauce. NO, JUST… NO. My family and I (and my Singaporean friend) always say that there’s not enough lard in the dishes to make it taste like the real Singaporean/Malaysian foods. Also, completely agree on the spiciness.

  252. Dana

    i think this is pretty common everywhere around the world! as countries start opening up they create versions of foreign food that they think will cater more to local palettes and it takes a while to get people used to more unusual flavours.
    i lived in poland for a while, around when some of the first “authentic” foreign food was appearing (not including french and italian food) and there were some truly amusing/crazy interpretations of food, the most baffling of which were things like cabbage replacing lettuce (it’s green and crunchy, SAME THING RIGHT???)

  253. Hrm… yeah. Luckily for us Aussies (this is Brisbane I’m speaking of), we have ‘some’ authentic Mexican restaurants/fast food chains like Montezuma’s (wasn’t a terribly good experience for me) and Guzman y Gomez (now this I can vouch for). Italian food is plentiful, mainly because of the large population (mainly in Melbourne/Sydney). Indian food is quite nice here (although you can now get it ready-to-eat at supermarkets), though obviously the heat is toned down. Japanese food? If you don’t want to pay $15-30 for what I’m assuming is the genuine, real deal stuff because you’re a cheapskate or a uni student, then there’s decent cheap Japanese food if you can find it. Most of the sushi roll places, though, are owned and staffed by Koreans (Mayo in almost everything is probably a good sign). Lastly on desserts, the gelatin sugar glaze is staple in any Western-style cakes (with a few exceptions).

    Question, Simon and Martina: Have you tried the gloriousness that is a Japanese Cheesecake?!

    P.S. Should really be doing my genetics assignment but I think if I do any more tonight I’ll be on the verge of a meltdown.

  254. Living in Los Angeles I’m lucky to have great Mexican food. Since I live in the koreatown area, I have a lot of Korean friends and we try places just to see how Korean the food is. Most of the time, they tell me it’s just Americanized versions, even though most of the ingredients are readily available. In all honesty, I think only twice I can think of when my Korean friends were blown away with Korean food here.

    Now I’m ruined by Indian food. My friend’s mom made the best butter chicken and I just can’t find any place that comes close! I guess I’ll keep trying until I find something.

  255. Oh yeah. We Brits defo like corn on our pizza ;)
    I think what sucks in England is the Chinese food; it’s generally really bad and stuffed with additives that turn it all florescent orange…
    You learn though; head for the restaurants where all the Chinese students go :D
    There’s also a distinct lack of Korean food here, which is really sad :(
    I want to try bubble tea so badly, but I have yet to find a place that sells it…

    • as far i as i remembered i believe there is a bubble tea place in china town in london, they also have a nice Korean restaurant there too called corean chilly that is quite cheep. Though there are lots of nice looking restaurants and shops in china town. im hoping to go back in the summer.

      • Aha. I shall have to make a trip to London in the summer. I’ve heard there’s Korea town as well as China town, which would be a lot of fun to visit :D

        • Lizzy Holbrook

          there is a Korean town but its just outside of central london, a tube pass will get you there but its not the easiest place to get to. I found that china itself had a nice range of Korean stuff though as there where a few supermarkets there that sold a whole range of asian food. then i found a shop that sold expensive kpop cds and then there was also a nice small kpop shop. i didnt have enough time too look round the whole of china town but it has a wide range of different asian stuff to offer.

  256. Oh yes. Come back to Singapore for more food. Food makes the world go round. I live in Singapore and I have no idea if any of the food is actually similar to any of the food as it is from their original country, except for Chinese food, but they taste good to me since I’ve eaten them all my life so yeah. Plus that one time I had Jjajangmyeon and tteokbokki in a small shop at Plaza Sing and damn it was so good. I would want to go celebrate black day there but I have school hahah;;

  257. I don’t know if it’s a thing other places – but in Denmark everyone seems to love pizza with pineapple ^_^

  258. I moved from Japan to Korea and yes, not being able to find good Japanese food is so bizarre to me. My husband and I went out of our way for some ramen that SeoulEats said was good and it ended up being pretty disappointing. The broth wasn’t that bad but the noodles weren’t fresh at all. As far as sushi goes, some Japanese sushi has toppings on it, especially if you go some place like Kappa sushi (100 yen per plate sushi) but yes, traditional sushi restaurants would never carry that and I think Korean sushi takes it to the extreme. What’s even more disappointing is how thin the nigiri sushi is sliced. Don’t we live on a peninsula?

  259. I’m fairly certain that most foreign restaurants have authentic food here in The Netherlands, although I’ve heard that some do not. I have a Thai friend who says Thai restaurants where I live are not authentic, hehe. But I haven’t ever had a chance to try the local Japanese place cause it’s so expensive…But at my bookclub once, the host lady ordered some sushi and Oh man, it was soooo good! I was about to dive into it Simon piggy style but..I didn’t want to be rude, so I didn’t. And that’s my story, yay.

  260. *raises hand* You guys should come to Germany!! That whole GEMA thing really freaking sucks since you can’t watch like 95% of any kpop mvs :/ I always have to wait for someone to eng sub the song before I can watch it.

    I’ve only ever been able to watch one of your livechats live, and that was when I still lived in Canada a couple months ago xD

    And about the corn on pizza: my family it Russian/Polish/German and we have corn on our pizza all the time. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact we’re Russian/Polish/German, but whatever, I really like the corn lol. Normally on pizza we’d have regular tomato sauce, tuna, cheese, and then corn on top. It’s really good^^

  261. You lie!!!! Koreanized garlic bread is actually the worst thing on this earth. It should all be thrown into a landfill and burned. Sweet bread slathered in sugary garlic flavored I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter… I’m gagging just thinking about it ew ew ew. And the pasta is always really sweet too. Unnecessary amounts of sugar in everything here…

    Koreanized Chinese food is pretty good though. Jjajangbap and Tangsuyook… yum

  262. I think some of the best Korean food I’ve had (apart from the restaurants I’ve visited in Korea) was a restaurant in Geneva, Switzerland called B.A.P. Seriously, that was its name. All the food was delicious and they played K-Pop music (SS501 and Super Junior, hells yh) and the quality of the food was delicious, however slightly less spicy than the foods I had in Korea. If I ever go back to Switzerland I will definitely visit there again!

  263. I learned in my YR11 food tech class that tomatoes are vegetables but under the “fruit” category of vegetables (with other categories like stem, leaf, etc….)

  264. I’m pretty sure that what we call Chinese food in Denmark, isn’t Chinese – a friend of mine had a Chinese exchange student live with her, and she laughed at our Chinese restaurants – and I think I heard something about that it’s more like Thai food – so yeah xD

  265. Also, i love the extra parts at the end of your TDLRs where you answer extra questions. I did noticed how cluttered Korean/Japanese sites seem to be but I thought it was just because I don’t recognize the language.

  266. vilija

    We have all sorts of foods here. Korean included. I thought it was quite good, but later on I made one Korean friend and he said it was complete crap. So I have No Idea if it tastes the way it should XD

  267. Carolynn

    I live in the united states (Virgina) and the mexican food here is soooo not authentic! Neither is our japanese food. Actually, most people that work at Japanese restaurants here ARE Mexican and Chinese. It’s weird. One of my good friends from Thailand says the Thai food here is very close to what he has…and it is super yummy! I love our Thai restaurants in Virginia.

    Mostly, I do not eat out because of the way people prepare food here. I’m a super clean eater and like to eat only organic food, and you don’t know what you are getting when you go out to eat.

    Awesome TLDR, very informative! Thank you!

    • I live in the Virginia/Washington DC/Maryland area, and I was actually just discussing this with a couple friends recently. I have a friend who is from California who always complains about how our Mexican food is not authentic. She is from LA, which has a large population of Mexicans, thus I would assume it is why they have more authentic Mexican food. In the DC general area you will find you have a larger population of other Central American countries as well as South American (Costa Rican, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, etc..), but they’re all generally lumped into one restaurant which is “Mexican.” So basically, my theory is that it depends on who is making it.

      Other than that, in this area we apparently have good Ethiopian and Korean food? I’ve never been outside the country other than Canada or England, so I can’t judge for myself whether restaurants are accurate or not–I base them off of travel shows who come to the area (and have been to the countries the restaurants origin from).

      It’s cool to know our Thai restaurants are close to authentic, though!

  268. Ash3070

    I’ve never had ranch before but the lack of ranch in Korea makes me worry; how well stocked is Korea in terms of red sauce (tomato ketchup)? :S x x x

  269. irritablevowel

    I know that Italian food in the US is far spicier than it is in Italy, and that Italians consider Italian-American food its own thing, and not authentically Italian. Same thing with Mexican food. There is Mexican, and then there is Mexican-American (there is also Tex-mex). I think there is always going to be some fiddling with food outside of their native land. Yesterday I went to eat at a cool hipster-y restaurant, and they had pajeon with pork belly and Cole slaw. Not authentic for sure, but tasty!

    • irritablevowel

      This isn’t supposed to say Italian food is spicier, it’s supposed to say “SAUCY-ER” or saucier, but I was writing on my phone with the stupid autocorrect. 11 hours later (oh, working life) I finally get to correct it. Now my mind is at ease.

  270. Ritti

    we have corn on pizzas too!! I didn’t know that could be strange for anyone… :D Corn is so tasty!!!

  271. First of all, I haven’t found ANY good Mexican food in Korea. Not even in Itaewan. It does not exist. Second, Indian food is way too expensive and mediocre here. Finally, that pizza place under your studio is amazing! It’s the best pizza I’ve found so far in Korea. Next, I’m going to try that new grilled cheese place in my neighborhood and see how it is. Now i’m hungry.

  272. vannia

    I know indian food tastes the same in Vancouver as it did in India…I’ve noticed that a lot of sushi places I’ve tried that had korean owners/chefs are sweeter?? than other japanse restaurants…odd

    • vannia

      ALSO YEAH THEY PUT SO MUCH SAUCE AND STUFF OVER THE ROLLS???? its like a sea of mustard on my sushi that im like….no….just….noooo

      • Mustard… on sushi?! Yikes… they lather sweet chilli sauce on some here too (and call it spicy).

      • Cyber_3

        yeah! I had something called “Rocky Mountain Sushi” at what turned out to be a Korean sushi place a couple of weeks ago in Toronto and MAN! It had layers of sliced jalapeno peppers and sweetened coconut on top of the salmon, it made me cry it was such a waste (and awful! so so awful!). Do they eat that in B.C.?

        • vannia

          Luckily the places I’ve been to outside of Vancouver have been only submerged in sauce…I’ve never had odd toppings before and this is the first time I’ve heard of putting coconut???? on sushi????that does sound awful

  273. When you mentioned Italian food it reminded me of the Kdrama, “Pasta” (where they severe pickles with the pasta? You wha!?!?!) EDIT: Yep, okay pickles is a real thing that happens (Huh the more you know…)

  274. I find koreanized food somewhat…special. I remember when I first saw your video for Korean Pizza and the thought of any cream cheese, sweet potato or cookie crust mind boggling. But ever since I have tried Korean French Pastries (minus the butter unfortunately) and Korean Chinese Food, I have began to love it! Great video guys!^^ Very insightful <3

    • Oh man! I remember that video. We actually want to do another pizza video, because there’s…there’s just so much to talk about!

      • The toppings were just as odd though…ribs? Sweet pumpkin? Oh no…however, the sweetcorn didn’t bother me as much as it seemed to bother you guys >.< We love sweetcorn on our pizza in England! I look forward to more FAPFAPs, and I would love to see an updated Pizza video! Also, Martina, is your hair pink again? Because I thought you dyed it other colours?

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