Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

They're winding down. Not that it's any less hot here,...not really. YET. But soon, soon enough Summer will loosen her fiery grip on us.
Different foods here correspond to different circumstances or seasons. There's Jjajangmyeon Day on April 14th, when losers (like me) with no loves can cry into their noodles with black bean sauce.
There's Seaweed Soup, favoured by pregnant women and students. (Actually, the website I've linked notes seaweed soup is eaten by students before exams, but I think I've heard the opposite,...that students are supposed to avoid seaweed soup, because it's slippery and can cause the answers they've learned to slip out of their heads. I'm going to have to check that in the morning.) (But, in that same vein, mightn't the baby slip out? I'm confused.)
Just last week I was asked what foods go with what seasons in Canada, and I couldn't think of any hard fast traditions like there are in Korea. I mean sure, there's more BBQ's happening, but that's more a weather thing than a season thing, eh? Soup's nice in the winter,...but one doesn't feel compelled to eat it.

Anyhow, here in Korea the "dog days of summer" are called so with good reason. Bosintang is dog soup. Here's an older article from AsiaWeek, and here's a newer hilarious piece disputing the benefits of dog soup from o'er yonder at The Party Pooper.

Not to worry. There shall be no eating of any dogs by Jelly.

But, I do really love the other summer-go-to-food, samgyetang. Little baby chicken ginseng soup. Yummers! Recently I got to have a nice summer meal with my former co-worker Joy. Let's have a look!
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I love how there's always a little bowl of roasted salt to dip the chicken in once you've picked it off the bones. The panchan (side dishes) were all great, too. All various kimchi and vegetables.

Let's crack that baby chicken open!
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Inside is a bunch of nice glutinous rice.

Truthfully, I think this seems more like a winter dish. It's so comforting and warm and soothing. Seems like a wonderful thing to eat on a dreary cold night. But regardless, this was delicious, and I really enjoy the time it takes to eat. One must be patient picking that chicken apart. The only thing I don't enjoy is the skin. I've never liked the look or taste of boiled chicken skin.

But this was cute.
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A complimentary bit of bamboo wine you drink from a teeny tiny cup, and a little cup of raspberry wine from a bottle Joy and I shared.
Good eats, good company.

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