Sunday, October 14, 2007

Street Foods.. Good? Safe to eat?

The other day when I was finished with my physical T appointment for my hand, I saw a street vendor selling this from his cart:

I was quite surprised and immediately bought two. What are these and why was I surprised? And, why did I immediately buy two of them? All good questions- 'grasshopper.'

They are made by inserting a small amount of raw brown sugar into the center of a small ball of dough. They are then flattened and cooked w/out any oils on top of a metal drum/container. The heat source is under the metal container. THEY puff up and are turned quickly and often. In mere minutes they are ready and handed to you in a folded paper sack or even rolled into a cone made out of recycled paper. *I once got a recycled math assignment as my paper carrying cone.

They are hot and for safety reasons.. you smush the air out of them before eating. The heat has caused the sugar to carmelize and the outside dough is now crispy. It's sort of like a 'crispy, healthy dounut.' They are great for winter snacking- because the 'heat' will keep your hands warm for quite some time.

In the past, the only time that I have found them is in one place in the huge Tondaemun Market area. So, I was quite happy to know that I can now find them on my own street. It's been almost a year since I've had one.. and that's why I immediately bought two. Well, I meant to only buy one- but, the vendor handed me two instead of giving me my change. I didn't mind and didn't try to give one back either. :D And, it was almost dinner time.. and what could I do?? But, eat them then.. since, this type of treat has to be eaten before they get cold.

Most of the time, the food street vendors don't start selling their products until early evening. In the fall and winter, you'll find vendors 'roasting' chestnuts. I tried them once.. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about... from all the years of singing and hearing the Christmas song.. 'roasting chestnuts on an open fire.' (or is it: open flame?) Let's just say.. I think that if you grew up eating them.. you'd love them.. myself, not so much.. we had pecans to eat in the south and.. I just didn't like the HOT, MUSHY taste of the hot freshly roasted chestnuts. Ok, the truth is out- I actually spit the first one that I tasted out. My mouth did it- I wasn't in control- since, I know not to spit my food out.

There are so many different foods for sale from the street vendors.. some are yummy.. and some.. just by the looks.. I don't want to taste them. *I know, I know.. they might be good and you don't know until you try, right? Well, the way that I look at that is.. "There are plenty of street foods that look good and I'll try those and that leaves plenty of other varieties that I don't want to sample for those that wish to sample the foods that I pass on." See how generous I'm being?

*I have never gotten sick at any time, in any country, eating food sold on the streets. I usually always buy any fresh fruit that I see sold. *Disclaimer, I'm sure that there are many horror stories of others getting very sick- I guess I've just been fortunate for 18 years?

Now, look at this and decide would you 'try these?' or would you be like me and decide not to try certain things by looks alone?

You can also buy and munch on freshly steamed silk larve. No photos because the smell and sight of them make me sick to my stomach.

I thought I had more photos- but, I tend to forget to take my camera to places that I've been to again and again.

Now, think of me.. the next time you're at the county fair or trying the samples at the grocery store.


Rissa said...

I like the first pic, but the last one.. I think I'm with you and would let others enjoy, lol! You'll be knitting soon!

Dale said...

Those brown sugar things sound yummy. I wouldn't go for that other stuff either.

That's great that you found a kitty that appreciates your knitting! The bed and mouse toy look cute.

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

Rissa-- some of the stuff 'available for sale' is pretty different looking for sure!

Thanks Dale.. for commenting. Yes, it was so funny.. how two different strays reacted so differently to the SAME things! I haven't heard yet to see if the Oklahoma cat "Troubles" liked his Korean Kim Bop toy!

Carey said...

Isn't it funny how sometimes street foods are the best around? I've never been to Korea, but in France you can't beat the street vendors for sandwiches and delicious bread... drool....

Carey (aka Abbily)

Cat Morley said...

Mmm, I love street food

iwouldratherbeknitting said...

Mmmm.. I love 'most' street foods too! :D