My policy regarding food in Korea has always been "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but this morning -- after taking a pass on a plate of "Spicy Steamed Gastropods with Vegetables" -- I finally worked-up enough courage to ask my colleague from China what she was eating.
Me: What on Earth are you eating? It looks like it just washed-up on the beach!
Me: Yuck ... I've had that in Japan. Unless it's wrapped around a piece of Sushi, I'm not a big fan.
Judy: Korean Seaweed is much better than Japanese Seaweed. It's good for you, too. You should try some.
Me: Silly me, I thought Seaweed was Seaweed.
I decided to give it a try. Korean Seaweed comes in handy, foil packs, sealed with a Gold Sticker proudly proclaiming that it has been "Triple Inspected" by a panel of experts. I tried not to think about why they would need three separate inspectors to examine a piece of seaweed -- or what qualifies someone to be a "seaweed expert" -- and I took a big bite. It was delicious: Tangy but not too overpowering. Salty, with just a hint of plankton. It melts in your mouth. Who knows, when I get home, perhaps I'll swing by the Santa Monica Pier and scrape myself up a feast ...!