16 (Wed) December 2015
at Stall 65 (Jaseon-Ne)
The Prodigal Son Returns for Xmas, Day 1.
In Seoul. Today through Christmas. Going back on the 26th with the family to Manila, where we’ll finish out the year.
Hanging out JL, who happens to be in town on holiday.
For starters, dinner. Joined by the wife and kids. To introduce him to high-end Korean beef barbecue, we took him to Saebyeok Jib. Though he appeared to enjoy the meal overall, his reserved reaction suggested a lack of wow. Oh well. In fact, we all felt the same, the wife and I later vowing never to visit the restaurant again, at least not on our own dime.
JL is now the 12th colleague from WPRO with whom I’ve broken bread in Seoul.
- SM (5.265 Happy Medium)
- RD, SM, KP, HS, BK (5.277 Stars for Stars)
- JR (5.295 Grilled Hangjeongsal)
- KK (6.088 King Crab)
- AL (6.177 Bulgogi)
- RD, TK, AL (6.179 Shrimp Tempura)
- MK (6.320 Sacheon-Sik Tangsu-Yuk)
- JL (6.345 Painting the Town Pink)
Thereafter, more memorably, a round of postprandials drinks and snacks. Just the two of us. Gwangjang Market. Among the myriad of options — which I’ll document individually per subsequent visits — I steered us to a stall specializing in classic street food (see generally 4.166 The Quad). The food itself was kinda mediocre, but JL seemed to enjoy the experience. As did I, the market being a food haven for tourists and locals alike.
Whereas sundae in its various forms ostensibly represents the sole traditional sausage in Korean cuisine, the country’s first Western-style sausage is uniquely Korean as well. Made predominantly of flour/filler, resulting in a doughy texture, vaguely similar to liverwurst. No real nutritional value, though it may be less unhealthy than “real” sausages containing fats and meat byproducts. Distinct artificial flavor, nothing else like it, maybe something like cheap baloney, but not even close. Food coloring provides an odd pinkish hue. The most common method of preparation – in fact, the only one that I can think of – is jeon, often found in packed school lunches, back when students still brought their lunches from home. Developed during the 1960s/1970s – no idea, too lazy to research, but sometime during the 20-year span should be right – presumably as a meat substitute when actual meat was scarce. Nowadays, even when meat is relatively affordable, these sausages of yore are still popular, probably more for nostalgia than any intrinsic/objective good (see also 4.044 White Bread Baloney Sandwich).
After all these years, I still haven’t decided whether I like the stuff.
Here, the jeon were greasy.