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One of the strangest things we ate on our recent trip to Korea was a plate of very fresh raw octopus. This stuff is so fresh that it is still wiggling and squirming. It makes for a strange meal as you have to try to hold on with chopsticks, dip it in hot sauce and then chew into the rubbery flesh as it moves inside your mouth and down your throat as you swallow. The video is quite telling as you can see Rory’s friends and I trying to keep the damn thing on the dish.

Anyone else eat this before?

You will get something like this which will allow you to eat at the wedding

Rory and I had a bit of a fun argument last night. We were looking at options for wedding invitations and the websites we were looking at also were selling food tickets as well. I was a bit confused about this. Rory explained that it is customary for guests to receive food tickets when they turn in their wedding gift (money stuffed into a small envelope.) While I knew that money is supposed to be given instead of toasters and glassware I didn’t understand the whole ticket thing. As long as there are no wedding crashers, we should have a good sense of how many people will come to the wedding and can just let people eat without having to give them tickets in exchange for their gift. Rory explained that it is a way to keep track of how many people are eating and because it is what everyone is used to doing. Who am I to argue with that?

This is what Rory and I will look like at the wedding (minus the whiskers)

Now I received a slightly related link to a New York Times article about the tradition of giving money at Korean weddings and it interests me further to find out that the tradition is to open the envelope in front of guests and mark how much they paid in a ledger. I find this to be a bit insensitive and slightly unfair but I don’t think it’s done to purposely shame people into giving more, it’s just a way of doing the whole wedding present thing in a simple, quick, efficient and open way.

I find the article interesting mostly because of the idea that some people were using the wedding ceremonies of politicians and their families as an opportunity to bribe them with large cash gifts. I don’t expect anything similar to happen at our wedding but I think Rory and I agree that we can be bribed pretty easy 😉

Red envelopes with money are the standard gift at traditional Korean weddings

Here is a link explaining some of the Korean gift giving customs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us.

 

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Beondegi (silkworm larvae)

Beondegi is available pretty much on every corner in Korea. Kids love 'em

The first of a long list of strange Korean food posts belongs to Beondegi 번데기, which is silkworm larvae. I’ve seen it in this soupy form but I think it can also be eaten in a more dry, crunchy state. (update: see pic below) It is a favorite amongst Korean school children who buy them by the cup-full on busy street corners. I’ve tried it. Can’t say I enjoyed it.

canned
Also available in cans.

Related posts:

http://www.sixthseal.com/2009/10/beondegi-korean-silkworm-pupa.html

http://benchilada.livejournal.com/569298.html

Dry cup of silkworm larvae

The after-school snack kind.