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TL;DR – Koreanized Foreign Food

April 9, 2014

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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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