Seeking a little bit of home abroadHaving been brought up abroad most of my life, I can go for weeks on end without eating Korean food. Yet, when I’m feeling ill, the thought of having some rice with seaweed soup makes me drool. Nothing can compare to the taste of Korean food.
I recently read an article in the Korea JoongAng Daily about how two restaurants in Busan were included in the “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” by The Daily Meal, a U.S.-based food web site. According to The Daily Meal, more than 50 experts who live in Asia or often spend time here nominated and voted on restaurants to create the list. Restaurants were judged based on many factors such as innovative menu options, freshness, and taste.
Colman Andrews, the editorial director of The Daily Meal, commented on how he was surprised that more of Korea’s top restaurants didn’t make it on the list, and so was I. There are restaurants in Seoul and all around Korea that deserve more attention, which weren’t mentioned on the list.
During a recent trip to New York, I saw countless foreigners enjoying Korean barbecue and various broths and noodles in Korean restaurants. I was intrigued and somewhat proud at the same time. I saw a similar sight in Edinburgh, where I have been studying for the past nine months. One day, I was eating some gimbap with bulgogi in the common room of my dorm, and my friends from the U.S. and Wales came in. I still vividly remember my friends gulping down the food with joy when I offered some to them. In cities like New York or Tokyo, where I lived for eight years, Korean food has already gained popularity.
However, what I noticed during my stay in the UK and travels throughout Europe is the small number of Korean restaurants in comparison with Japanese and Chinese ones.
That is why I was so glad when I heard the Korean government and private sector have started systematically promoting Korean food in places that have never heard of kimchi. I look forward to seeing their efforts succeed soon so I can feel home wherever I go in the world.
By Cho So-young, Student at Sophia University