What kind of things do you like to do when
you travel? One of my favorite things to do is eating
authentic local dishes I’ve never had before. I like browsing through a row of restaurants
to find good places to eat. I also enjoy snooping around local markets
to find out what wonderful surprises come from the local nature. I find it fascinating that you can experience
the taste, or the terroir of the soil by eating the things that come from it. When you eat
locally grown things you are able to taste the weather
and the very environment that you are visiting. On top of that,
the burst of flavors make me squeal with joy. I often find local dishes have a hidden wealth
of history behind them. It is simply mind-blowing to learn about the
story behind a simple dish which directly reflects the past and present,
the environment and the culture that we live in. We are in for a very special dining experience
today, a horse meat feast, or rather a “course of horse”.
I had not known that horse meat was part of the culinary world in Korea until three years
ago. A real food evangelical, my mother was the
one who had broken the news to me after her visit to Jeju with
friends. After hearing her account of the experience
I had added it to my list of dishes to eat. It pays off to have a family member who loves
food as much you do. This was my lucky day. My mom’s friend wanted
to treat us to this exotic local delicacy of Jeju island.
Horse farming on Jeju started in 1276 when the Mongols brought horses to Korea by ship.
Since then horses have been a cornerstone of life on the island. They have been used
for food, transportation and communication, during wars,
and for commerce. This vibrant red colored tartare was raw horse
meat seasoned with soy sauce and Korean pear. It tasted a lot like prime quality tuna sashimi.
It was lean, delicate, clean tasting, tender, and down right delicious.
It was followed with horse bbq with king oyster mushrooms and then
we finished strongly with a horse and radish stew. I loved that you could taste
all the different cuts of the animal with various preparations. What a wonderful way
to utilize all the parts of the animal without wasting anything. Jeju island is booming with tourism. It’s
not a surprise after seeing its natural beauty and the wealth of local cuisine and culture.
So visit Jeju island, when you yearn for an adventure.
You might find yourself awe inspired by its natural wonders as well some local dishes
you’ve never even heard of. This is the last episode of my trip around
Jeju island. Next time I’ll bring you more tasty morsels
from my trip to Kwang-ju province, the southwestern mainland of Korea. Thanks for watching.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of this Korean Adventure.
“Make your own kimchi” for the New year! Have you always wanted to make your own kimchi?
Making kimchi is easy and simple. I have put together, ‘3 Easy Authentic Kimchi
Recipes’, for you guys, so that you can make this global superfood
in your own kitchen. Follow this link to sign up with your email address and receive,
‘3 Easy Authentic Kimchi Recipes’, so that you too can “Eat Real, Be Real”.