10 FUN FACTS ABOUT SOUTH KOREA
1. Fruit is a luxury item. Fruit in Korea is already absurdly expensive, but especially due to the high levels of rain as of late, it’s costing Koreans even more than normal. (What is one of the most expensive fruits? WATERMELON – at about 30,000 won, which is equal to about $30.00 in Canada.) 2. Koreans eat SPAM like it’s going out of style. Why is it so popular? Well, during the war, soldiers were supplied with a lot of canned foods, so they ended up creating something we know now as 부대찌개 (Military Stew), which has water and spices as broth, with all of the various canned foods and vegetables boiled together to make a hearty feast. The population ended up picking up on the SPAM after this creation and starting adding it to other soups and recipes. It ended up becoming somewhat of a staple, and is now essential in most homes. Expect to see a lot of SPAM gift sets during important holidays, too. It’s a strange sight, but a common one in Korea. 3. Koreans LOVE 고구마 (sweet potato) and sweet potato-flavoured things. Just to give you an idea, here are a few varities of sweet potato snacks, desserts and main courses. Deep fried sweet potato, sweet potato cake, sweet potato crackers, sweet potato chips, sweet potato bread, sweet potato latte, sweet potato salad, sweet potato pizza. You get the idea? Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not knocking it. I actually happen to love all of the Korean sweet potato creations… except the latte – that’s just gross. 4. Tipping is not required in Korea. If you tip a server or the owner of a restaurant, they are more likely to chase you down the street with your change, than to think that you left it behind for them as a token of your appreciation. 5. Stores, shops and services are open considerably later than in North America. Most stores are open until at least 10:30 or 11:00 pm. Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and Street Food vendors stay open even later. Koreans LOVE drinking until all hours of the night, so...
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