Saturday, March 13, 2010

Korean food!

My writer friend Annie got me thinking about Korean food on both Twitter and my blog. I absolutely LOVE Korean food -- it's one of the things that I miss most about being away from home and at college. 

I grew up in Kansas, where finding Korean ingredients or Korean restaurants was impossible. My mother had a garden where she grew peppers, sesame plants and cabbage. But when we moved to the Washington D.C. area, I was SO shocked to see 1) Korean restaurants and 2) Korean grocery stores.

Lotte (롯데) is one of Korea's largest conglomerates. They have department stores, hotels and fast food chains. They also make electronics, gum and provide financial services -- they're HUGE. They also make amusement parks. When I visited Korea, we went to Lotte World, which is like an indoor theme park, although there are some "outside" rides, too.

Anyway, they own a chain of grocery stores all over the world, and one of them is only a few minutes from my house.

"Grocery store" is a bit of an understatement. They have a live seafood market, selling everything from flounder to shrimp, squid to sea cucumber. They sell clothing, makeup and accessories. They have several restaurants inside,  and a bakery. The fresh produce section includes perennial supermarket wares like apples, oranges, etc. But they also stock durian and kelp.

Anyway, it absolutely blew my mind the first time I walked into this place, and now, I honestly can't imagine my life before international grocery stores like Lotte. 

That's why being in Charlottesville can be super tough for me, eat-a-holic. The tofu at Harris Teeter just doesn't measure up to what my spoiled taste buds are used to. LOL. Spring break is finally coming to a close, and I'll be going back down tomorrow. Sigh. While I'm ready to get back into the swing of things, I'm not looking forward to bad dining hall food and my worse cooking. 

Farewell, spring break (and yummy food!) It was nice knowin' ya.


  1. Haha! I like it when I casually read someone's blog and my name is mentioned in it. *grin*

    In New Jersey, we have a store called H-Mart (previously Hanareum) where I go to buy some oriental food sometimes. From your description, it's similar to the store you mentioned.

    I buy a huge bag of Japanese rice, curry sauce, kimchee, sliced beef for bulgogi and a lot of other things. Mmm! Now you're making me hungry.

  2. We have H Mart in Northern Virginia, too :)

  3. Annie! You're famous! LOL.

    Thanks for commenting! We have H-Mart too, like Anon said.

    I love shopping for food. Yumm...

  4. By the way, there's a blog award for you on my blog:

  5. I've only had Korean food once before - in NYC - years ago - it was gooooood as I recall. We cooked some meat at the table, I think. SO many fewer brains cells left. Anyway, I too have hurled a blog award at you, but it's not the same one as Annie did!

  6. Hi Rachel :)

    I hope you find some suitable grub when you come to visit us here in should be okay though, there's a diverse community in London.

    Personally, I hate the stuff :D I'm a proper boring Englishman where foods concerned.

    Thanks for the blog award, by the way. A little late, I know *blush* I'm worse than you a blogging haha!!

  7. And now I have hurled yet another blog your way! Update your blog, Rachel, update!!!