This is about adventure
I will try most things. I’ve tried bondaegi, a nasty little street snack. Eating octopus is old news now. Kimchi isn’t any big deal (in fact, I kind of like it). But today was the high point so far of my culinary journey in Korea.
I don’t know how much of the wastern world knows that Koreans eat dog meat, but they do. I guess this is really abhorrent to many, especially Americans considering how we treat our dogs. But, “when in Rome….” So I decided a while ago that I was game for trying 보신탕 (boshintang). Dog soup. But I wasn’t really going to seek it out. Long story short, a teacher at my school caught wind that I wanted to try it and he resolved to take me out for dinner. Tonight was the night. It was myself, the vice principal, and the head teacher. We went to a small little restaurant around the corner from the school. Sure enough, the menu on the wall offered boshintang! So they proceed to tell the lady who runs the place that I was an American English teacher, and that I had said I wanted to try boshintang…this of course surprises the lady. Then, when I busted out a little of my own Korean, this made her even more enamored with us. It’s amazing really…take an interest in their language and food, and Koreans might just think the world of you. Its possible that she hadn’t ever had a foreigner in her restaurant who wanted to eat dog.
She brought out the pot, which cooks right in front of you on a gas burner (very common). And it all started to simmer.
At last, we were ready to eat. I decided that I just needed to jump right in, so I picked up my chopsticks, and snatched up a big chunk of meat and greens, dipped it in the sauce, and popped in in my mouth. (I should make a note here that one of my friends who ate this meal before me said “Dog tastes more like beef, than the beef in Korea tastes like beef.”) I don’t really agree, but it does have a different texture than the beef here. Dog meat reminds me of a brisket, but not quite stringy. It’s chewy, and flavorful, but in a different way than beef. It does not taste like chicken. Oh, and there was probably equal proportions of fat to meat in the pot. Koreans do love to eat the fatty pieces.
All in all, it wasn’t too bad. If someone else said “You know, I’d really like to try some boshintang tonight.” I’d eat with them. But I do not plan on ordering it for my own sake again. I’m glad I gave it a shot, but it just wasn’t THAT delicious!