Friday, February 12, 2010

A Lack of Cows

One of the most striking features of the restaurant business here in Korea is the predominance of pork over beef as a food choice. Pork is abundant and cheap, while servings of beef are usually smaller than servings of pork and can be up to five times more expensive. So, what's the deal? I asked my friend if there were any cows in Korea and he said there were, but, in my opinion, there are obviously not enough. That's not to say that the pork here is necessarily bad. There is a wide variety of pork cuts available (luckily, not a pork chop to be found), and I have made done a complete 180 in my eating habits as a result. I would venture to say that I ate pork as a meal maybe 5 times a year in the US, not counting dishes with bacon on them. Here in Korea, I eat pork almost every day. I have certainly been satisfied with the pork, but a person does start to yearn for a steak after a while...

The lack of cows is also seen in the sometimes outrageous pricing of dairy products. While milk is fairly reasonable, cheese and ice cream are significantly more expensive than in the United States, I would guess anywhere from 2-4 times pricier here. Even the milk is not the same as in America, however; there is a disturbing lack of skim or lowfat milk, and the stuff I use in my cereal bears a closer resemblance to cream than to the milk I've used for the past 15-20 years of my life. Perhaps this is because cereal itself is still a relatively new phenomenon in Korea.

My proposal is a steady influx of calves to Korea. If you come visit, please remember to pack a baby cow in your suitcase.


  1. "If you come visit, please remember to pack a baby cow in your suitcase."

    Sentences like this make me miss you, biatch!

    Dairy was pretty expensive when I was in Italy as well, although that was more along the milk and yogurt lines -- cheese was pretty inexpensive. Do they make up for it by having inexpensive wines, or was that just Italy? *bg*

  2. Can't you just use water in your cereal? That's what I do when I'm too lazy to buy milk (often).

  3. Now you're crazy talking Jess - they would never fit in the overhead.

  4. Make Julia come with me to Korea this Spring/Summer and I'll see what I can do about the shortage of cows