Every country has its own taste. That simple phrase can be interpreted into many ways. But if we talk about taste, our minds spontaneously point to a specific food. Perhaps, some people think that they can eat everything everywhere, but some people are really picky. As a new foreigner in Korea, I have changed almost all my lifestyle including my ?ndonesian taste.?Did I suffer from it? The first time my answer was ?es.?But after several months of living here, how can I live without Kimchi?
Maybe you will think I am boasting too much about it. But as I have told you before, it was a big challenge for me. I spent 20 years of my life in Indonesia. My taste was very Indonesian. I even thought that maybe I would only eat bread in Korea. But I was wrong. Now I can eat everything like raw fish, raw octopus, and raw cuttlefish, which I never thought of eating in Indonesia.
So, what made me change? The answer is Koreans have their own way of making their food special. For example, Indonesia has some kind of Haemultang called Kepiting Rebus (boiled crab), with almost the same taste. So, what is the main distinction? The answer is the way we eat it. Korean food has ?anchan?as a dressing. We must share our food with other people who eat at the same table. This community has a big psychological effect to people eating together. Unity and having the feeling of being with a whole family makes this kind of eating habit as something more special.
Other kinds of food also impressed me very much, especially Kimchi that has a unique taste. There are so many kinds of Kimchi and each of them has its own distinct taste. With basic seasonings like red pepper, green onion, soy sauce, bean paste, garlic, ginger, sesame, they also can make various menu. If I say Indonesia also has the same variety of seasoning, still I cannot say that Indonesia also has the strangeness that I saw in ?aengmyon (Korean cold noodle).?I have never eaten noodle with ice nor ice with noodle. With the unique spiciness of ?ochu?mixed with vinegar, Naengmyon has become one of my favorite foods.
Another thing about Korean food is that we can find them everywhere. We can find so many ?ikdang,? ?ojang macha,?and ?unsikjom?in the streets of Korea. Every ?ikdang?seems like it has its own consumers. All of them have their own specialty to make some kinds of food. It was equal with Korean economic development that affected the self sufficiency of food. They can make, they can sell, and they can eat in proper amount, price, and quality.
Everytime we talk about ?aste for food,?we are not only referring to the foods per se, but also about culture. Food reflects the way of society and makes people appreciate their lives, cultures, and history. Finally I should honestly say that I was able to find all of those elements in Korea.
- Novrida Pasca Sarjanastuti (International Studies, 1)