Koreans for the most part, from what I have seen, are thin. Skinny even. So it came as a huge surprise to me that their favorite activity seems to be eating. Most women do not exercise. I met a girl who 'didn't like walking'. Here, you can easily spend an entire day having meal after meal, and snacking between and realize at bedtime you did nothing else.
Shawn brought us for Ssum yup sal for our first meal in Korea and I decided then and there that I love this culture. Meals are served family style, with a main and then several myriad side dishes. These are usually some sort of kimchi, or fermented vegetable. (Fermented one month, but sometimes up to 6 months.) Ssum yup sal is pork, which you fry yourself, with garlic (oh! the garlic!), onion, and mushrooms. You take them and wrap them in lettuce leaf with sesame leaf and any number of sauces and side dishes. You also receive a hefty bowl of soup, and two to three types of salad. Here is a photo of Ssum yup sal, during the fry part. The pork is very fatty, like bacon, but THICK.
Another traditional part of the meal is like a pancake, but has vegetables in it. It's DELISH:
Then, when you are so stuffed from salad and pork wraps and soup and pancake you can't even breathe, your after-dinner snack comes. You choose between a HUGE bowl of burnt rice in hot water, ice cold noodles, or sticky rice. I chose the cold noodles. The red bottle is vinegar, which you add to the noodles, along with hot mustard. I kept my hand in the photo to illustrate the size of the bowl:
(I got complimented on my excellent and proper use of chopsticks, so thanks mom and Kim for teaching me when I was a kid how to do it right.)
Then, you leave that restaurant and go for a walk, to the next restaurant, where you start out with snacks of tomato and corn. Summer is smiling because she is allergic to corn, and a plate of corn to her is like looking at vomit, it grosses her out so much.
Then, soup is ordered. Seafood soup. Tofu, fish eggs, oyster and fish intestine soup.
Here is me, eating fish intestine. I really ate it. It was kind of like eating squid, just a little chewy. And looked like a brain.
Look at these tiny tiny people. I plan to move here an eat my way into a size zero.
This last one is from a totally separate meal, but just look at all the food!: