I’ve had it howled at me – yes howled, in a mix of utter outrage and disgust, no less – whenever I’ve mentioned South Korea and me moving to it, that people over here eat dog. The outbursts are also generally, swiftly followed by a shocked expression and variations on a theme of “don’t you mind?” when I so intelligently reply with “um”.
Because, really, 1) no, they don’t, and 2) there are strange cuisines all over the world. I mean, (and please take this with a great helping of humour) the French eat snails and frogs legs and meat so rare it’s practically still breathing; Iceland has a dish made with rotten shark meat; haggis is eaten in abundance in Scotland and let’s not forget the time when Tesco’s thought we all needed a little more horse meat in our diets. Every country has their own ~quirky~ dishes that a non-native may (or will) find odd – but that’s the beauty of food and culture and, well, things.
But my main point here is: South Korean people don’t actually eat dog meat. Or, at the very least, I haven’t come into contact with anywhere that sells it, just to cover all my bases here. It’s no secret that the east, especially East Asia, is seen as the ~wayward child~ when it comes to food (I’m looking at you, China) and Japan tends to fall into it’s own category of crazy 90% of the time, yet somehow Korea gets landed with the dog-eating stigma. Dogs aren’t even that big in Korea. As sad as it is, I’m pretty sure a large part of the population are still actually afraid of them. Pets definitely don’t seem to be as popular here as in England (I think it has something to do with the ‘r’ word, not going to lie…) though they are becoming more of a thing now.
Pet tangent aside, Korean’s are really rather keen on their meat dishes, 삼겹살 (Korean BBQ) is probably one of the things a couple of my friends have actually come to Korea for – and my instagram feed contains a rather large number of ~artsy filtered~ food snaps of various things I’ve eaten. Fried chicken is also insanely popular, so much so that when you have it with beer it becomes 치맥 (eww romanisation, but for those not versed in hangul that says ch’imek).
Though I’m fairly certain the king of all korean foods has to be 김치 (kimch’i). Fermented spiced cabbage. Ultimate yum. #heavysarcasm.
If you’ve heard of/eaten any Korean dishes, which would you like to try/is your favourite?