03 August 2010
...because that's how expensive good cheese is in Korea.
Korean food is delicious - Korean BBQ (we'd eat it every single night if my husband had his way), bibimbap (kind of Korea's answer to fried rice, but much fresher and tastier), the most flavoursome soup stocks I have ever had the privilege to eat. But sometimes I get a bit over the pickled cabbage and the spicy tofu and I want to eat some good old comfort food - which for me absolutely must involve cheese.
In our last home - Hong Kong - we had access to city'super: a breathtakingly expensive supermarket that sold the best cheeses, cured meats and spices from all over the world. In short, a foodies heaven.
In Korea...well...not so much (on the upside, the supermarkets here do have 30 kinds of red pepper paste...). The shelves are stacked with processed cheddar slices and the always mystifying 'cheese sticks'. And only if you're willing to take out a large loan and/or hand over your first born can you occasionally get your hands on some good mozzarella, or perhaps even a zesty reggiano. So the other day I was overcome with joy to stumble upon a small pack of proper English 'extra mature' cheddar in my local supermarket! Crumbly, tangy, tasty cheese! (And yes, it did have a security tag on it.)
Anyway, it made me think about the other foods I miss, the ones that are hard to come by in Korea. Here's what came to mind:
- chickpeas (seriously!)
- tahini (I'm craving some steamed broccoli with rice and tahini at the moment...)
- Sirena tuna (yes there is plenty of tuna here, but nothing that even comes close to Sirena)
- a whole heap of fresh herbs: sage, thyme, flat-leaf parsley
- a whole heap of vegies: broccolini, lebanese cucumbers, witlof
Oh, and Twisties and Caramello Koalas would have been on the list too but the lovely Pepe - jewelry maker and mother of the step-sons - keeps our cupboards well stocked with those two necessities!
[image at the top by jtuason]