HOMESICK TASTE-BUDS

Kathy Pham

             Depending on when you read this, you may or may not already understand what “homesick taste-buds” means. For me, it started by the third week I was in South Korea. As I come from Canada and especially from a Vietnamese ethnicity, I am used to eating foods that is saltier. However, you may have probably noticed by now that South Korea offers many foods that are sweet. This includes their snacks such as potato chips and even Western foods such as burgers!

At this point, I have already been searching for salty snacks and entrees, but have had no success with the snacks! I was able to find different food items such as kimbap, burgers, and fried rice that was more salty than sweet, but, as a University student, you always want to be snacking, right? Additionally, even though South Korea has Cheetos, they do not taste like what you think they do because (surprise) they are sweet tasting. They have flavours like BBQ chicken and sweet chili, but no plain salty cheese flavour like North America. They even have Pringles (sour cream & onion) which are actually on the salty side, except they have a stale texture and odd taste to them. Along with the topic of Pringles, they even have odd flavors like butter caramel, which sounds like candy to me! In conclusion, South Korea tends to offer more sweet food items than salty and if you’re like me, you will have a hard time adjusting your taste-buds and satisfying your cravings.

Therefore, my suggestion is that you pack lots of snacks from home to help with your cravings! Pack all of those salty potato chips, pack all of your favourite candies, and pack all of your favourite everything! If you have doubts whether you will be able to find that food item here in South Korea, then you should just pack it with you! It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Alternatively, if you have no space in your luggage you can pre-pack your snacks and have a family member or friend send it to you once you get settled in!

As for me, what I had to do was ask for a “care package” from my family, in which I gave them a list of what I was craving and any other essential items I forgot to pack with me. My family and friends were kind enough to do this for me, but keep in mind the costs of shipping!

Now, I am not saying that this happens to everyone and I guarantee that you will find so many delicious foods here, but sometimes, you just need something from home.

P.S. if you’re a Canadian and like eating ketchup chips, make sure to pack them with you as only Canada has them! You can even share them with your new friends! And I know what you’re thinking, “ketchup chips?? What??” But, trust me, they are worth a try and taste really good (to most people, not including my American roommate).

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