Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It Ain't (Korean) Soup Baby (it's Sungnyung)

I thought it was soup. The waitress served it in a bowl. I swear. Not the tea cup bowl thingy but a real soup bowl. When I asked her, she said something in gibberish. Further inquiry only elicited the kind of hysterical giggling that said don't ask, just drink!


I got rice though. I thought I heard her say rice. So I gathered she served me some kind of rice soup dessert. I asked if it were. More hysterical giggling.

(ok, ok)

Anyway, I drank it like one would Miso soup - no spoon, just lips to the rim of the bowl and slurp. Okay, I didn't slurp.My grandmother (gbhs) would turn in her grave if I ever slurped my soup. She needn't worry though - I think slurping is just nasty.

It turns out the soup is lightly sweet and a little smoky. Delicious. I finished the rest immediately. Then I remembered.

Oh no.

I should have drunk slowly to make it last. (four letter word)

You know how the saying goes, time waits for no one. Fortunately food is not so rigid. Even the smallest amount can be made to last forever. (exaggerating again, as usual)

But anyway, doesn't matter anymore. I forgot to stall and savour. (another four letter word) So with the sweet taste still lingering in memory, I said to myself, I must go back and find out what this soup is called.

(Gone in a matter of seconds)

I google Korean Rice Dessert. The closest match is rice tea. Well, well, well. So that's what it is. Sungnyung. Lovely.

I click on a website that says Korean Table Manners and I discover I had commitment many many crimes against the art of eating and drinking Korean.

No wonder the waitress was giggling hysterically. I was actually joke of the day. Ekkk.

So anyway, here is the list of do's that I didn't;

1. It's rice tea, not soup (scorched rice tea to be exact)
2. Pour the tea into the rice bowl and THEN drink
3. Use spoon for rice, chopstick for other food (I used chopstick for rice as well)
4. After a meal, put spoon and chopsticks on the spot where they were first placed
5. Do not hold spoon and chopsticks at the same time
6. When using chopsticks, place spoon on table
7. The spoon and chopsticks should not rest on any bowl or dish during the meal

So now we know.


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