Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Korean Food is Home

Fried Tofu and Dumpling Hot Pot or 유부만두 전골 ('Yubu Mandu Jeongoel')
via Matzzang

The main reason I love Korean food is that it is reminiscent of home to me. I was not exposed to great Korean fare until after college when I went to live in Korea and not truly until I took a great interest in the cooking. I grew up eating various kinds of food, but in my heart, Korean food has always provided a comfort that I could not find in some other cuisines no matter how familiar or delicious. Korean food is about family, connecting with others. This is evident in the custom of sharing a spread with others at the same table, eating from the same dishes of banchan (side dishes). Of course, one could say that sharing food with others in this manner is not completely sanitary and they would have a point. But the dining experience would be much different if people were to take what they wanted buffet style and focus on their individual plates. When people eat together, sharing the same dishes of banchan, there is a coming together, a sense of sharing and oneness. There is a Korean saying that food eaten alone is not delicious. Because food is a way to connect to others around you. When you make food with a true and loving heart, it does come out in the presentation and flavor of the dish whatever your cooking ability. 

Posted by tastingkorea
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