Water is not water; Dessert is not dessert

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Water is not water; Dessert is not dessert

Post  Jules on Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:47 pm

Originally posted by Daphne:

If you've ever been to a Korean restaurant you'll know that things are not always as they seem.

For one, if you ask for water (¹°/mool) expecting a glass of ice water (or at least cool water) you'll probably be surprised to get 보리차/bo-ri-cha (made by boiling barley in water) and it'll be anywhere from warm to hotter-than-the-sun (even in the Summer). Why is this? No idea, but I do know that it makes the taste distinctive and I think it was more of a nobleman's drink (as barley may have been hard to come by and considered a little extravagant to drink). As for the temperature, Koreans like 2 things: eating a lot and keeping warm (even in Summer, when it's actually considered healthy to have hot food and sweat a lot.

If you want ice water you have to ask for 냉수/naeng-soo (cold water) or you can say 아이스물/aiseu-mool (ice water) in a pinch.

After a meal many Korean restaurants offer fruit and/or 'dessert'. Of course, the dessert can be ice cream but it is usually one of a few traditional Korean beverages: 수정과/soo-jeong-gwa (a fruit punch made of honey, dried persimmons, pine nuts and cinnamon), 식혜/shik-hye (a sweet drink made from fermented rice--my favorite), 숭늉/song-nyoong (scorched rice tea-drinking water boiled in a kettle where rice has been steamed--this one takes a little getting used too) But, you also have 수정과 & 식혜 on holidays such as 설날/seol-nal (Lunar New Years).
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Jules
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