South Korea – Dog Meat and Kim Chee

South Korea is a beautiful place and the next few posts will briefly touch on dog meat, prostitution, Kim Chee, and the Joseon Dynasty.

Away from the metropolis of Seoul Korea the landscape quickly changes into a beautiful countryside of rice fields and modest homes. Any piece of land not occupied by a building, rice is planted. This is the little town of Asan.

Looking like Frodo’s home, graves can be seen dotting the landscape and backyards.

DOG MEAT

The custom of eating dog meat goes back to the beginning of time when very little protein was available however, it is still practiced today but is quickly fading as many Korean people have changed their attitudes. The consumption of dog meat, called Gaegogi, use only a certain breed of dog and I am told the taste is gamey and tough.

(Wiki)

This building near Ricks house is a Nureongi or dog farm. Dog barking can be heard in the distance.

It’s an aximoron to see so many domestic dogs as pets and still a small percentage of the population eat dog regularly. The larger population are against the practice of eating dog meat. And of course PETA has demanded that the Korean government re-address the issue. As superstition and attention to the issue increases it will soon be a part of the history of Korea. On to something a little more appetizing.

KIM CHEE

Kim Chee is a spicy, pungent, sweet and sour, traditional fermented vegetable dish and if you come to Korea you better get used to it as it is served at every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Traditional jars for storing Kim Chee (wiki photo)

The primary vegetable is napa cabbage but as you will see any vegetable can be made into Kim Chee.

Invented by the Chinese nearly 3000 years ago but updated in the 1500’s by the Koreans there are thousands of varieties and Koreans eat 40lbs of it each year.

Napa cabbage, seaweed, and radish Kim Chee

Rich in vitamins and good bacteria called lactobacilli found in fermented foods like yogurt, Kim Chee is a health food and can boost the immune system. Korea has become the authority when it comes to this high fiber, low fat, health food.

Every house has some Kim Chee pots on the roof fermenting away.

Kim Chee vendor in Asan

Dog meat is probably something you should NOT seek out but Kim Chee, being an acquired taste, should be experienced and savored, you will not regret it. Next, Seoul Tower and the best meal i ever had…

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