Photographer's Note

Beondegi : the ugly smell.

During a one and a half day stopover in Seoul, I wandered through Insadong market, this is where all the Seoul first timers go.
Insadong is about a main street populated with stalls, backside alleys, artshops and provides afterall a nice -if not original- little walk for a chilling winter afternoon... few tourists lost there, but yet a popular place for seoulites.. and naturally you may accidentally bump into the snacking they like most.

The human being underuses his olfaction sense, although it is said it is the longest remembered of all senses... more than sight for instance.

I since cannot help but associate Insadong with the stench pertaining from the sidestalls, like this one, which cater the Korean snack-eater with steaming hot beondegi. The ammoniacal foul odor is striking ; probably it's the humidity and thickness of the smell contrasting with the razorblade freshness of the cold winter air that makes it worse to experience.

What is this beondegi thing, would you ask? Ok, read this : Steamed silk worm... Yummy.
I suppose that making your most convincing deadly face and thinking of something else is mandatory to survive eating beondegi.

One guidebook says it's customary to find them canned in most korean supermarkets : I have asked for a can of these worms at the airport to carry back home. No way : the girls at the shop looked at me very oddly and grinned, like I was... uh... Korean?

Instead I bought kimchi filled chocolate, which tastes like someone had farted in your mouth. For those who wonder again, kimchi is chillied and fermented cabbage. Aaah... the delicacies of Korea, something not to miss...

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Additional Photos by Luko G R (Luko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2424 W: 490 N: 2900] (14000)
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