Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What I wanted was comfort food...

I have been busy and busy means less time for other things and more time for less things. It is a bit difficult to explain. I’ve been writing a great deal of stuff but none of it very interesting any hardly any of it for public consumption. Aside from a short trip to Seoul I have done little of note. My last week of classes has come and gone, the students will have a month off, as will I. I might take a trip cross the ocean, do a little dance, shake my little bootie, and get down tonight, but all of these things are at the moment unsure. I love advanced planning.

Since I have nothing super exciting to talk about I shall talk instead about food. Or at least really strange food things I see in Korea on occasion. It’s not strange like perhaps you might think. Korean foods can be pretty weird, we have things like eating sea cucumber that I find very odd, or blood sausage which is very popular. However these fall under the realm of, for at least me, traditional Korean weirdness so I’m not overly concerned about it.

However there is the secondary trend of Fusion Foods and those things are downright scary, which leads me to a topic of some mild discussions for this writing. What set me off was Shrimp Crust Pizza. I admit that for dinner I wanted a little taste of home so I ordered a thin crust veggie pizza from ye ole Pizza Hut. It as duly delivered and paid for an I was settling down to eat when the menu flyer that came with the pizza cut my eye. The flyer was for the new, Pizza Hut shrimp crust pizza. Apparently they decided to combine the already popular cheesy bites pizza with shrimp. At first I thought it might be shrimp crust like they have shrimp flavored chips, but no, it’s shrimp, a ring of cooked shrimp baked into the cheesy bite pizza.

Now perhaps you are thinking that might not be so bad, but let me tell you about the cheesy bites pizza which I decided to try once. I don’t know why, I think I was homesick and thinking this might be the equivalent of comfort food. But what I got was a pizza ringed with cheesy bites. However a pizza ringed with cheesy bites in the American fashion (which I’ve honestly never had but suspect is a heart attack waiting to happen) would be too salty for the Korean palate. We’ve talked before about how foods range from bland to super spicy with no middle. I did not think about this before I ordered the pizza, I just thought, mmmm heart attack waiting to happen. So when my pizza arrived and when I pulled off one of the greasy little bites thinking of my arteries clogging, I bit down only to find my mouth filled with a combination of stale cheese, sweet potato and something that I think might have been red bean. It was, in a word, a crushing blow to my heart attack inducing dream. I ended up tossing the pizza and making a bowl of cous cous (now there is a comfort food).

The thought of a shrimp crust cheesy bite pizza really does churn the imagination of my gastrointestinal track. I’m not buying it. Just as I will not be buying thousand island dressing green salad pizza, chicken tandori pizza, or chestnut and sweetpotato crust pizza. I can’t begin to describe how much yuck I experience when I think about these wonderful selections. But it’s not just pizza that hits the weird fusion foody center.

So I’m in Starbucks the other day, I am, ordering a coffee because occasionally I enjoy an overcooked bean to remind me of my fair country when while reading the menu I catch site of an advertisement for not one, but two fantastic taste sensation flavors that I can think, only in Korea. The first flavor sensation was a Red Bean Frappacino. That would be red bean like baked beans at lunch red bean. That would be red bean in my coffee. That is, in my book, the end of appetizing. They were also advertising the new banana Frappacino which I found to be equally unappealing but at least slightly more believable as a beverage of choice.

Drinks can be a tricky thing in Korea, but more often then not things are okay. Unless you might be drinking something like Milkis (milk soda) or McCola (barely flavored soda) or maybe washing down a refreshing Vita C sports drink (with tobacco for extra flavoring) or perhaps the actually tasty but unfortunately named Pocari Sweat (think Gatorade with grapefruit flavoring).

One of my new favorite drinks out yet which I have yet to try is the new ExFeel Beer. I actually like the original ExFeel beer which is sort of a fun light beer that is kinda tasty when I want a beer which is not very often. I really don't drink beer very often at all anymore as I'd rather drink tequila. However the new ExFeel, which before was hardly marketed at all, is now back and marketed harder then ever. It's now the new ExFeel-S the beer with fiber. Because you know, nothing says a night of partying like a nice colon cleansing. And because this beer is still a light beer and now with more fiber it is being marketed as the perfect drink for the ladies. Of course, if you want to market a drink to the ladies nothing works better then an excellent shaped Korean girl. Apparently the ExFeel-S is called S as a way of promoting the arbitrarily created standard of beauty the S form. I don't really get it but hey, Girodano girl is on my of things to do so why not ExFeel-S girl.

As it were I did enjoy my vegetable pizza and now I’m enjoying my nice wine and I’m going to skip any interesting taste adventures for a few days. As for other adventures, people will be kept posted, this week should prove to be much more exciting.

Of note I did finally get to meet T S in Seoul (this apparently stands for Totally Available Stud-muffin). I found him to be an officer and a gentlemen and I would highly recommend him to everyone I know. He really is a lovely chap I look forward to drinking with him further when I have less homework to do.


total-spender said...

A public school gig really is the way forward (so much holiday!)

As regards the 'meat and two veg' of your post (I think that's an English expression so if I've lost you already then apologies), then I have to say that Koreans are the masters when it comes to 'pizza bastardization' (can you imagine serving it in Italy?!!)

With respect to beer then I will always argue that Cass Red (6.9%) is where it's at (there is no substitute).

(Oh, thanks for referring to me as a 'stud muffin'. I've always been of the belief that honesty is the best policy!)

Roger said...

Good stuff Sara! Hope that ya have a great weekend :D