My Lunch Speaks

hey. psst. hey.

yes you, whitey

come'er. closer.



God help me, I did.

That’s 번데기 – beondegi –  silkworm pupa, pretty popular snack in Korea. They taste exactly like the word “pupa” sounds – repulsive. You see street vendors around here cooking these bad boys up (you will know them by the rank odor of death that accompanies them), but for obvious reasons, I passed on ever putting one in my mouth. Because, dudes, why? WHY?! Why in a land of plenty would you ever resort to eating bugs?

But then these appeared as a side dish at lunch with my coteachers, and I was riding on the high of a good day at English camp, and I decided to be a little adventurous. After all, I like pretty much all Korean food, even the stuff considered weird in the States (like this, this or all this delicious business).  But you, beondegi…you are the weirdest. You are something special. First, beondegi is usually boiled, so there is no crunch when you bite one, but there is an explosion as the chrysalis bursts and the silkworm innards assault your tongue. Second,beondegi tastes like it is actively punishing you for eating it – only a sander across the tongue will get this taste out of your mouth.(Note: it’s a rare lunch that comes with more than an accompanying tablespoon of water. You cannot drink this away.)

These are the appetizers served in hell. Repent, readers, or you too shall know the piquant flavor of the silkworm.

Silkworm: how you like me now?

7 responses to “My Lunch Speaks

  1. You’ve tried hoe…have you had this nastiness yet?
    It’s called hongeo and it is absolutely foul! I tried it and it put me off Korean cuisine, possibly forever.

    • Oh man….I had SOME kind of raw fermented fish when I first came to Gwangju. It was a cruel trick; no one told me it was fermented before I decide to daringly go for it. Have not made the same mistake since; always ask before you eat. I’m not sure if it’s the same kind you had, but yeah. no thanks. It’s the fermented part that’s just…boo. The rest of the (fish) hoe I had was really great – I’ve had the raw beef liver too, and that I’m completely behind. My midwestern heart thrills at any piece of cow set before me, I think.

  2. LOL!!!! Alot. Its that picture at the end that did it! You are one brave woman; I applaud you.

  3. Erin – come home…NOW!!! This post frightened me, can’t wait to share it with Brady..heeheehee….nightmares, here we come!!!

  4. Dude, that is the grossest shit ever.

  5. Also, Aunt Shirl used to bring home dried bugs and shit for us to try back in the day. Kinda remembering.

  6. Pingback: The One Where Megan Eats a Bug | The Wanderlust Diary

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