So, just some random pictures of food and whatnot.
Boboli pizza shells and shelf-stable bacon travel VERY well from the U.S.! Yippee!!! I approached the communal convection/microwave/what-the-??? oven with not a little trepidation today but was determined to make a pizza. First job- figure out what the buttons/dial say…. (aka keep pushing/turning things til the oven made noise!)
Finished product (got two bites in before I remembered that I wanted to take a picture for my daughter and her fiance since they sent me the deliciousness!). And NO CORN! I do enjoy corn quite a bit, actually, but was happy this pizza was sans maize:
There are lots of food choices in Korea and if you aren’t successfully reading labels yet then in my humble opinion I think it helps to know what a few of the not-awful things in the markets and shops look like. Like giving directions with landmarks instead of street names… Subjective information, of course, but in my experience so far the following fall into the not-awful category. =D Actually, some of them are fan-freaking-tastic!
Paris Baguette shops are everywhere here and they have some delicious items that I really like. The vegetable croquette is fantastic (a tiny bit spicy). In fact, it’s so fantastic that it was in my belly before I remembered the camera…. haha! In this pic:
(Left)- a twist of some sort (a bit like a deep fried, crispy croissant with a hint of cinnamon and sugar)
(Center)- Pie sticks? Fantastic if you love pie crust (I do) as they are only lightly sweet with a very thin layer of brown sugar icing on top. Very flaky and 10 kinds of fabulous
(Right)- Sesame, rice flour, sweet glazed chewy stick (no, that’s not what it’s really called). I don’t remember the name but it was lightly glazed, only lightly sweet, plenty of black sesame seeds, and had a fantastically chewy bread texture. Just look for the stick with black specks.
Red bean paste is one of my favorite treats so I was incredibly happy to find the Coco Hodo shop in Chilgok. Only 5,000 Won for a bag of 20 (plus a number of free ones since it was my first visit!) and they are fantastic. Like many other foods I tend to really like, they aren’t overly sweet and the 1/4 walnut piece tucked inside just makes them heavenly. The waffle-type coating on the outside is great! Warm and crisp at first and much softer as they sit in the bag for a while (or in the fridge overnight). Fresh is best but they were definitely still fantastic three days later. Just keep them in the zipper baggie.
Maybe not for everyone, but these tiny hard-boiled quail eggs are a great snack. They aren’t really spicy and are a bit salty. Tastes like a bit of soy sauce and brown sugar syrup in the can with 1 pepper thrown in (but still- not very spicy). These are so good cooked with carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions. I like them right out of the can. =P Yum!
For pre-packaged food, this next dish is pretty darn good! Spaghetti noodles with a cream sauce, bacon, mushrooms, and garlic. I didn’t really notice the broccoli much so they must have been tiny pieces. I’ve had MUCH worse prepackaged food than this and now I keep a package for emergency meals. Microwave package.
Oh, there was an elderly gentleman selling giant bags of snacks out of the back of his truck and I found these. It was 3,000 won for a huge bag of the 4-5 inch rounds, and they taste just like crispy waffle cones with a couple of tiny peanut bits in the center. Incredible with tea!
And crackers from the grocery store. These are pretty cheap in those small markets you find on the streets that spill out onto the sidewalks under awnings. I picked up a large box of these for 2,000 won (and a fairly large bottle of makkoli for 900 won- about 90 cents- but that’s neither here nor there…). They are crisp, a bit sweet, and heavy on the sesame so if you love sesame seeds, you will want to try these!!! I go by pictures a lot at this stage, so just look for the girl on the bicycle riding across the yellow box! These are strangely addictive…
Okay, so before I came to Korea if I heard the word ‘cider’ I would think of apple cider. Or, preferably, 2 Towns Ciderhouse hard cider!!! But here ‘cider’ mostly seems to mean a Sprite or 7up type soda. I now have two favorites. One is a diet soda that tastes like 7up and is fantastic for a 0-calorie drink: Narangd Cider zero. The other is Cheon Yeon cider and it doesn’t taste at ALL like a citrus soda. It’s somewhere between strawberry, raspberry, and bubblegum….but not sickeningly sweet. Love it. The bottle on the far left is a cute water bottle I got from Paris Baguette that I’ve been reusing just because it reminds of a little android…
Now, for some non-food favorite things so far…. (I have many so I will just put a couple here for now)
For some reason I have a hard time finding non-aerosol hairsprays here- maybe I’m just not looking in the right places yet, but I am happy with this Mise en Scene pump hairspray that I found at HomePlus. A little spendy- I think it was about
6,000-7,000won (update: it was 9,000won) for a 200ml bottle, but it works! I think the giant poof on the model was what reeled me in! It smells vaguely of juniper and grapes, unless my sniffer is broken, and stands up well to a very light, misty rain as long as you DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR until it dries. That was a tip my grandmother gave me and it’s still one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten.
If you are an unscented-all-the-way type of person then this hairspray will NOT please you. It is definitely scented. I’ll post if I find an unscented one since I do prefer them (although, I love perfume…go figure).
A little bizarre maybe, but these snail face masks actually made my skin feel fabulous for a couple of days afterward! It’s messy and sure as heck ain’t pretty when it’s on…. but I’ll be getting more of these. I think maybe only 1,200 won or so.
Side note: Sunscreen is pretty expensive here but not cost-prohibitive. I spent about 20,000won on a 200ml/6.76oz bottle of Nivea ‘Sun’ with SPF50 but HomePlus has a lot of 1+1 items (buy one get one free) and this was one of them! SOOO I really only spent 10,000 won each for good sized bottles of sunscreen. I love to be outside so I’ll be using enough of it to justify the expense (and skin cancer would be so much more expensive!).