Tuesday, May 05, 2009
A couple of weekends ago I went off to somewhere south of Daejeon (I'd be more aware of where it was had it not been on a wine train excursion). We were taken to a ginseng museum and market - which is where you want to go if you'd like to eat something that tastes a lot like dirt.
The market was in quite a large building. As far as I could tell, all the vendors were selling pretty much the same stuff, just in different sizes. I haven't a clue how one might go about choosing the best ginseng.
I certainly wasn't in the market for any. I've had some ginseng suppliments and hangover cures and they have all been quite nasty. Ginseng tea doesn't do anything for me either.
This lady was old and that looked heavy. I guess new ginseng, in from the farm.
What are these three doing? Who knows! In their defense, we had just been drinking wine on a train all morning.
Apparently ginseng must be kept moist. Everyone seemed very busy spraying their merchandise.
I have no idea what this sign is telling me not to do, though in retrospect perhaps it's telling me not to eat things that taste like dirt in batter.
There wasn't much action going on in the ginseng market. I wonder if ginseng has a special season?
Look how much this stuff costs! But it tastes like dirt! I don't get it.
The makoli man wasn't the friendliest, but then a group of about fifteen people showing up, moving all your tables and chairs, and speaking loudly in English can put off your game.
Koreans are very practical people and scissors are provided to cut up all kinds of foods, especially meat. And the deep fried ginseng that we were served. I had all of one bite - my need to eat dirt-flavoured things is quite low, apparently.
Ahhh, makoli. I'm not much of a fan, but this one had a little less floating material than most. Plus, nothing was going to top the deep fried ginseng in nastiness.
Perhaps one day you'll be in a ginseng market. Perhaps they'll have out some free samples of ginseng cookies. Perhaps you'll give one a try. If you do, however, your face will look much like this. They are not delicious.
I've figured out why the totem dudes all have those looks on their faces - they've all been out eating deep fried ginseng and washing it down with makoli. Not something I want to do again any time soon.