This weekend we went to Mokpo, a city on the coast southish of Gwangju. I liked Mokpo because 1.) I enjoy saying “Mokpo”; it’s like having a marble in your mouth, 2.) I love being near water and 3.) there’s a very large fish market there that gave me a chance to stroke my foodie boner.
We strolled around the fish market, ignoring the ajummas’ suspicion of our interest. Table after table of raw fish, stall after stall of hanging fish splayed for drying (ack). There was plenty of crazy shit to be eaten in those parts.
For dinner we settled on hoe (pronounced hway), which I only understand as Korean’s failed attempt at sushi (yes, snoot snoot). It’s pretty much just raw fish but when served up next to the fresh fish market, you can’t really go wrong. Among all the crazy weird sea animals that could’ve made it to our plates though (we have no idea what we’re ordering guys, come on), it was a bug that ended up making a splash at our table.
Remember back here when I went to California and Erin, left to her own devices, had to eat those bugs? Well that’s what I ate. My ego is never bigger than when there is a legitimate food challenge presented to me. That is to say, yes, I will tell you to piss off if you think I should try to eat a burger the size of a baby for shits and giggles. But if it’s something exotic or strange that exists because there are a people who legitimately like it, I have to try it so I can say things like, “Um, yeah, well, when I lived in Asia, I totally ate traditional silkworm larvae”. (Everything we Wanderlusters do is so that we can later one-up someone).
So this was the first time I’d encountered the bugs. For those not in Korea, you don’t get to choose your side dishes, they bring you like 10 and hopefully you like about five of them. Usually they don’t bring you bugs. But this time they did and so I had to eat it. It went like this:
Honestly, I didn’t keep it in my mouth long enough to really be able to describe the flavor. It was just long enough for my neurons to send a message to my brain, “EW. THIS IS SQUISHY. EW THIS TASTES LIKE EW GRASS AND DIRT AND OTHER DISGUSTING EW EW THINGS FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD. SWALLOW NOW. SWALLOW. NOW.”
~Stay tuned for “The One Where Megan Eats Live Octopus”~