Young Koreans Pass on Traditional Food, Prefer Hamburgers

Seolleongtang, a traditional soup made by simmering cow bones for hours until they produce a rich, flavorful broth, may be disappearing from Korean dinner tables, according to an October 21st report from YTN. Younger people are leaving the seolleongtang restaurants for hamburgers at Lotteria, a reflection of Korea’s new food culture. The changes are reflected in the sharp drop in prices for seolleongtang ingredients such as cow bones and ox tail, and the steep rise in prices for luxury cuts of beef like sirloin and tenderloin.

In contrast to the reporters’ opinion, online commentary questioned the idea that changing tastes in young people accounted for the new phenomenon, pointing the finger at high profile scandals in the restaurant industry and the influx of cheap American beef.

Article from YTN:

Young people turn away from gomtang, seolleongtang…prices for cow bones and tails plummet

They say tastes change as people grow older.

As young people stop eating gomtang and seolleongtang, the price for their ingredients, beef bones and byproducts, has plummeted.

But as demand for bones and cow byproducts drops, demand for sirloin and tenderloin cuts of beef continues to increase, leading to price jumps that impact the consumer. Jeon Joon Hyung has the report on this new market issue.

Here we are at a seolleongtang restaurant in Seoul at lunchtime. A good reputation brings plenty of customers, but most of the people enjoying the rich broth are elderly.

Younger diners crowd into fast food restaurants, where the food is convenient to eat and they can save time. Of course, these are the same people who grew up eating pizza and hamburgers since they were a child, so they are accustomed to the flavor.

Our reporter asks Kim Ye-ji, a high school sophomore, which she would prefer to eat, a hamburger or gomtang. She answers, “a hamburger.”

“Is there a particular reason?”

“Well, it tastes good, it’s cheap, and there are a lot of these places around my school, so I think that’s why I eat hamburgers a lot.”

A high school student talks about her preference for hamburgers.

A high school student talks about her preference for hamburgers.

Indeed, as young people stop ordering gomtang and seolleontang in restaurants, families are also preferring to make quick meals, further driving down the price of cow bones and byproducts.

Prices for cow bones, [necessary for creating the rich broth that is characteristic of gomtang and seollontang], have dropped 80% compared with 2005 levels. Prices for ox tails and cow legs have fallen by 60-70% during the same time period.

The problem is that as the cost of beef byproducts falls, the cost of sirloin and tenderloin meat keeps rising.

Chart shows the steep decline in prices for cow legs, bones, and ox tails.

Chart shows the steep decline in prices for cow legs, bones, and ox tails.

While prices for cow bones have been dropping in recent years, in the same period the prices of tenderloin and sirloin have increased by 150-200%

The phenomenon is similar to pork consumption habits within Korea, where the cost of every part except for the prized samgyeopsal [pork belly], has dropped.

Hwang Myeong-cheol, President of the Animal Husbandry Research Department at the Nonghyup Economic Research Institute, said, “If you think about all the different parts of one cow, when the price for a particular part drops, ranchers have to make up that loss by increasing the cost for the popular parts. This means that the cost for tenderloin and sirloin will increase as the popularity of the other parts decreases.”

In the future, it will be necessary to think about ways to increase consumption of all the different parts of a cow in order to maintain a competitive price for domestic beef as well as to promote gomtang and seolleongtang, Korea’s traditional foods, to the rest of the world.

Comments from Daum:

블루라떼:

It’s not just the young people who don’t eat gomtang or seolleongtang as much anymore… Older people also don’t think about gomtang or seolleontang like they used to, they’re no longer delicacies. First of all, there was the mad cow disease scare…and of course people’s whole impression of beef byproducts as ingredients has gotten worse…Then the biggest reason is all the stories in the news about the low quality ingredients that seolleongtang franchise restaurants put in their food. That has made people’s trust in the quality of the food drop a lot. Essentially, older people just don’t eat these dishes like they used to

도도한:

When it comes to Korean dishes that you have to boil for a long time, [like gomtang and seolleongtang], restaurants will never use quality ingredients. The only way to get quality is to cook it at home. A little while ago they were talking about a seolleongtang restaurant that was using scraps to make their food on the cheap, so that something that cost them ₩1000 to make would be sold for ₩8000, it’s because of stories like that that people don’t eat it anymore

쩡아:

The reason I don’t eat it is because it’s expensive…but I love the taste…can’t they just lower the price???

Jitteriness:

I loved the taste of seolleongtang and gomtang and used to eat it almost every day.. then I stopped completely once they started using imported American beef. 99% of the seolleongtang restaurants that say they use Australian beef are using American beef. The national traitor Lee Myung Bak also changed the tastes of his country

야옹이:

It’s been a few years since I had gomtang or seolleongtang. Who eats that anymore? Now they all make it with American beef… I wouldn’t eat it even if they were giving it away. I also tell my kids not to eat it…

삭풍:

The owners of gomtang and seolleongtang restaurants must be happy. Their prices have doubled over ten years ago while their major ingredient prices have been cut in half.

꾸꾸리:

There are no nutrients in bones. Anybody who knows about nutrition stays away from it, what’s the point of eating those foods?

korea-gomtang-soup-bone-feature

SinceThen:

If it was cheap and made with real ingredients then who wouldn’t eat it? This article misses the point when it focuses on changing tastes

cjsdhahrvy:

Up until this spring I made gomtang often for my high school age child. I thought it was just warm and full of calcium.. And it was easy to heat it up and mix in a little rice for my child’s breakfast.. But once I heard that it was mostly fat I immediately stopped making it.

낙랑:

I’m in my fifties and I feel the same way about gomtang and seolleongtang… There are so many restaurants that tell people they’re eating Korean beef but then use whatever they want in the kitchen, so now even when I want to eat I stay away. Who can you trust anymore!

연장적예측-귀납적보외적:

The reason for the drop in price is because people have started using American beef with its risk for mad cow disease. It’s not because young people have stopped eating it. The businessmen who buy disease-ridden American beef import it cheaply and then sell it cheaply on the market here.

유아독존:

I was watching a program where a doctor came out and said seolleongtang was just a ball of fat. Ever since I heard it wasn’t good for you I just stopped eating it.

선녀와_그랬꾼:

And a bowl of seolleongtang is still ₩7000-8000, now do you understand why young people aren’t eating it?

아멘타불인샬라:

And yet once the price for a bowl of gomtang or seolleongtang goes up it never seems to come down

성투경매:

Get rid of destructive globalization – talk about trying to globalize Korean food is a bullshit pipe dream shut up about globalization

잡지봉지:

If the price of ingredients went down, wouldn’t the price of seolleongtang in restaurants also drop? They are very quick to raise their prices every time ingredient costs rise, but they always feign ignorant when ingredient prices drop. bastards

삼용:

globalized Korean food? ke ke ke then stop serving old banchan with your orders, [restaurants have been criticized for taking the uneaten portions of side dishes and serving them again to new diners]. Make a law that limits banchan portions and then charges for additional amounts, that’s the only way to fix it. Without a solution, globalizing Korean food will never work

rjan:

How could the tastes of the two generations be similar? Older people remember when it was hard to find anything to eat in the spring once the last year’s harvest had run out… young people are spoiled for choice and pick what to eat based on their health and trends… The basis of how people choose their food has changed.

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  • harvz

    Learn from the west, Korea. Go easy on the junk food, or you’ll be the next America or Scotland

    • Lulu012

      it’s already happening everywhere. We are exporting our poison to the rest of the world.

  • Zappa Frank

    if a country get rich is natural that some habits will get lost. In europe we had many dishes with bones and organs, but it was because at that time no one could afford a steak, than we pretended it was a delicacy, maybe it was somehow, but still because we couldn’t buy real meat, not because people liked more bones and organs.

    • ElectricTurtle

      It is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes “hardship” foods get tied to ethnic identity, and can even split after a diaspora. For instance, when they were poorer Scandinavians (especially Norwegians) ate a lot of lutefisk, but while the dish isn’t as popular in Scandinavia today now that it is a wealthier region, in the US Scandinavian immigrants associated lutefisk with their ethnic heritage/identity, so now even though they too have money for finer foods, more lutefisk is consumed today in the US than in Scandinavia.

      (Though in truth I expect this is just a lag. Personally and anecdotally, lutefisk is really gross, and only my late maternal grandfather seemed to actually like it. Since his passing it doesn’t get cooked/consumed with any significant regularity anymore.)

      • Ami

        Exactly! Cuisines usually match whats available to the culture.
        I’m from the American South were most of the most famous dishes are directly descended from what slaves and indians ate. It mades sense to eat hardy, calorie-heavy foods like cornbread and chitterlings when you were out working in fields for hours of a day but in modern times when everyone drives every anywhere, theres not as much reason to eat like that.
        Other than pride and taste of course, boy do I love me some cornbread!

        • Ami

          Slightly off topic but I would also like to mention how much I hate when:
          1.) People assume all American food = hamburgers and fries
          2.) When people don’t know that hamburgers can be orgasmically good because all burgers they’ve ever tasted are Big Macs

  • http://tyamar.blogspot.com Tina

    What’s wrong with American beef? Maybe it’s because I’m from Texas, but we pride ourselves on our beef here…

    • Zach McKay

      The problem with American beef to Koreans is that it’s not Korean.

      • http://tyamar.blogspot.com Tina

        But they are okay with Australian beef?…

        • Zach McKay

          In 2003, there was a case of mad cow disease in the US, and Korea banned beef imports from the US until 2008. There was a lot of protesting when the ban was lifted. The stigma has stuck, and a lot of Koreans think of US beef as being diseased. It’s a common thought in Korea that domestically produced agricultural or animal products are intrinsically superior, but I was joking a bit earlier about that being the only reason :)

          • chucky3176

            “domestically produced agricultural or animal products are intrinsically superior”

            There’s a Korean term for that, called the “shintoburri”. It promotes the ideal that domestically and locally grown farm products are the best suited to meet the needs of Koreans.

          • Stevie B

            Or at least best suited to meet the needs of Nonghyup and other agricultural go-between organizations, who buy up entire harvests at lowball prices, monpolize distribution chains, warehouse produce to manipulate prices, and then pass it on for a massive mark-up. Of course, as soon as their monopoly on distribution is threatened by imports, they lead the protests with cries of ‘think of the poor Korean farmers!’, despite the fact that it is entirely their own interests that they are looking toward, and despite the fact that they are themselves directly responsible for the impoverishment and exploitation of farmers.

          • chucky3176

            I agree with you about the tactics of the agriculture co-ops. But I think the results of their effort which end up supporting the ideal that locally grown food is the best for Korea, is actually a good thing. Particularly in light of the globalized agricultural industry that are promoting ecological disasters and exasperating the energy crisis the world is facing. It’s ridiculous to ship and store Chilean peaches to Korea in the dead of winter. Not to mention that most of the agricultural imports to Korea are coming from China these days, which many of the items are known to contain dangerous elements – enforcing the Korean minds on shintoburri.

          • Bryan Cheron

            I read in a book called “The Undercover Economist” that transportation only accounts for 7% of the fuel used to bring the average fruit/vegetable to market. If this is true (or anywhere near accurate), it would mean that it’s more energy efficient to ship peaches from Chile than try to grow them in the winter in Korea.

          • chucky3176

            That’s the point, it’s stupid to grow peaches in Korean winter, but I know they’re trying to do them in greenhouses.

          • Burn

            Same goes for strawberries, and they taste terrible.

          • Zappa Frank

            i think is the same idea everywhere. Everywhere people think to have the most genuine and superior products…except in china maybe.

          • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

            No, there are still people that believe they have superior products; and they’ll keep believing that until the government paychecks stop coming.

          • bumfromkorea

            The concept of shintoburri is very similar to the American preference of “local produce”, actually. And it’s not about “intrinsically superior”, but what’s better for the person in question. In terms of napa cabbage or rice, I would disagree, but nothing beats an imported Korean pear in my local produce section… except maybe the bosc pears from Wickenburg.

          • chucky3176

            “nothing beats an imported Korean pear in my local produce section”

            I would take very sweet Korean strawberries, huge juicy Korean peaches, and the tangy juicy little Korean Jejudo mandarin oranges, any day of the week, over their North American counterparts. California farms have been growing and exporting Korean fruits, and marking them as Korean fruits, but the tastes don’t measure up to par, probably due to different climates that effect the level of sugar levels.

          • Burn

            Go back to Korean Sentry with your nationalistic drivel. To say that Jeju oranges are better than Satsumas is laughable. Not to mention the dryness, and mealiness of Korean peaches and apples.

          • chucky3176

            what are Satsumas, ? Are they radiated oranges from a radiated island country? Sorry, I wouldn’t like to eat contaminated dangerous foods.

          • Guest

            Well, that is where they originated, but now they are grown in many locations. Don’t be a ignoramus.

          • bigmamat

            It’s also a timing thing. Corn is perfect example. Once it’s picked the sugars begin to convert to starch. So the sooner you cook it or freeze it the sweeter it will be. Strawberries had a notoriously short shelf life but now the hybrid strawberries you find in the American grocery store are less sweet and the texture is different from home grown. They’ve been hybridized to last longer for shipment. Tomatoes a good example too, hot house tomatoes are just not the same as garden grown.

    • Guest

      from the comments i guess they think it’s all disease ridden. maybe they think we’re importing the meat with mad cow? :/

    • chucky3176

      Koreans prefer the taste of Korean and American beef, over the Australian. The grain fed American beef have fatty marbling that Koreans prefer, over the leaner grass fed Australian beef. The fatty juices make the beef tastier, but as with other food, what tastes good isn’t necessarily good for your body. American beef which are massively manufactured and exported are relative cheaper and abundant over the Korean beef which are organically grown with much more meticulous care of the cows by much smaller Korean cattle ranchers.

      Most Koreans now have wised up to the Mad Cow scare, and generally accept that the issue was manufactured by the left wing party and their press. But there are some who still stubbornly hold onto their views. The US beef’s reputation is further hurt by American practice of giving growth hormones that could be harmful to humans. Still, US beef consumption keeps increasing due to their affordable price, and most Koreans are not concerned with Mad Cow.

      Koreans view Korean beef, which is called “Hanwoo”, much more tastier than the imports. And since Hanwoo’s are much rarer, they cost much more than US and Australian beef, to the point they are almost unaffordable. I myself was skeptical and didn’t believe there was any difference in taste until I tried the taste differences, and I can definitely say Korean beef tastes better therefore deserves its pricier reputation.

      I think the main reasons are two fold. Imported beef come always frozen due to transpacific transportation, while Korean beef are sold fresh. Frozen beef retain water, therefore when you cook it, you can see the water particles forming around the meat, degrading the taste and the smell of the meat. Fresh meat retain less to no water, therefore doesn’t have the same problem. Second reason is the way the cows are raised in Korea. Smaller farms mean the farmers pamper their cows individually and their growth practices are much different than mass manufactured US cows, which are pumped with drugs to make them fatter with more meat.

      Hanwoos are very expensive, therefore dishonest merchants sometimes disguise US beef as Hanwoos so that they can charge much more. The Korean consumers get ripped off and end up paying much more, thinking that they’re getting Hanwoo’s. The Korean government routinely do crackdowns against merchants who mislabel imports.

      • yup

        +1. It was eventually shown that the mad cow scare was a manufactured tactic. Some of those involved including some media did admit they fabricated the stories. However, the stigma stuck as was the original purpose.

      • Abubu Khan

        Almost every Korean person I have ever encountered still goes on about the Mad Cow spiel, despite the fact that they know in their heart of hearts it is bullshit.

        • Sillian

          Korean conservatives are well aware of how the issue was politically conjured up by the left wing. I think many common people still have this line of thinking.

          “I’m not completely sure who’s right. If there is a choice, I can just choose something else than American beef.”

          Keep in mind that Daum is a haven for lefty-wing supporters. Comments making fun of people who religiously bought into the mad cow rumor are common on Nate or Naver. Such bashing is most notable on sites like Ilbe.

      • Jang

        Which is why you ate American beef and thought it was Korean.

      • Please

        My uncle is a cattleman in the States. His cows are pature raised until they’re sold. From there they might get fed some grain but nothing significant. The grain fed crap the Koreans eat that is called American beef is garbage. The bad thing is Koreans think its wonderful becaue of the “marbling”. Americans don’t eat marbled beef. We like to leave a little fat for frying or grilling and that’s it.

    • SCroll

      As an Australian, I am rather unhappy that we have been importing low grade american beef since 2010. I personally always check when buying to make sure im not getting hormone and anti-bic filled crap from the US

  • Rusty

    Here we go, here comes the future of Korea.

  • PixelPulse

    Oh the horrors.

  • nqk123

    traditional foods take too long to make

  • http://yoursexycousinrex.tumblr.com/ Your Sexy Cousin Rex

    whatever, more for me

  • commander

    Change of taste?

    The tumbling demand for and prices of the ingredients of traditional food are blamed on several factors based on the supply and demand law.

    First, on the supply side, free trade agreements South Korea signed with countries possessing comparative competitiveness in livestocks opens the floodgate for inexpensive shipments of those ingredients, driving down the prices.

    This ample supply is made possible in particular when those parts of beef and pork are not palatable to people in exporting countries, thus flowing into Seoul in large quantities at low prices.

    (But experts note that the market opening of China could change everything dramatically. The world’s most populous country, with similar tastes to South Korea, is expected to devour much of the world’s beef and pork when Bejing permits importation of those goods, raising the prospect of soaring prices for beef and porks.)

    Second, the demand front has more various factors accounting for low prices.

    In addition to younger generation’s preference for fast food over slow meals, traditional food like seulleugtang and gomtang, has been discredited over its cooking sanitation and the quality of ingriedients.

    Many investigative TV programs revealed unsanitary cooking and use of sub standard ingredients, scaring away even lovers of traditional broth food.

    Additionally, hectic modern life force not only youngsters but also older generation to rely on fast food to find more time for studying or work.

    Kicked out of the table for good?

    All of these mean a dim prospect for traditional food dining industry? I dont think so.

    Fast food is convenient and quick but has its own downside: nutritionally imbalanced, calorie laden though fast food chains begin to launch less fat, fewer calorie meals.

    This means younger generation will have renewed in healthy slow food.

    In the meantime, traditional food industry needs to take their cuisine to new plane. Not only using best ingredients in the cleanest cooking settings but also inventing a variety of menus are necessary to lure people of all ages and nationality to its restaruants.

    The predicted disappreance of those long loved slow food from dining tables, I think, is too pessimistic in the overlooking of power in tradition those cusines have kept to date.

    I’ve got to go for a steaming bowl of seulleungtang. Why don’t you have one at a nearby restaruant today?

    • chucky3176

      The reason why Korean youngsters prefer hamburgers over seulleungtang is very simple. Hamburgers taste good, seulleungtangs are tasteless (bland) until you add heaps of salt. Out of all the beef dishes, why did the article choose the least tastiest beef soup? Why not compare hamburgers with barbecued beef galbi? Now tell me young Koreans wouldn’t eat beef or dweji galbi, and only prefer hamburgers. Of course that wouldn’t happen. This article is stupid.

      • commander

        I think we can approach the article’s view from an different angle.

        Broth food aforementioned had been food for all generations of South Koreans in the past.

        But things have changed, the article said.

        The cuisines you cited are still popular among Koreans, with ingredient prices still remain considerably high.

        That is, that kinds of cuisine is inadequate in gauging any generational gap in food taste.

      • guest

        i had some galbi jim my friend’s mom made.. it was super tasty!

  • bumfromkorea

    BREAKING NEWS: Teenagers and children have immature palate – prefers fast food over soup.

    If the question was whether they prefer Hamburger over 김떡순, now that would be an interesting study.

  • https://www.facebook.com/dinie.akhemu Gerhana

    A little off topic. I like that programme in KBS ‘Love in Asia’. I know Korea is a homogenous country, so I am curious, how do Korean view interracial couple? usually what are their reaction? especially towards the transition from homogenous society, slowly towards multicultural society.

    • commander

      As expected enough, the reactions to interracial couples vary depending on relationship of the asked to those couples of different nationality.

      The growing presence of other nationals increase the possible sights of interracial couples, that sight is still attention getter on the streets.

      The average response from a typical Korean family is that they want their daughter or son to get married with a person of the same race and nationality. And the reason may be the staying power of the tradition to maintain the family line in marriage with a Korean.

      A friend of a person whose boy friend and girld friend is different in race, and nationality may not care much about race.

      Anyway, interracial marriage is still not be accepted as natural, and can be a challenge for the couple when they want to get the blessing from parents on the Korean side.

      • David

        When I asked my Korean middle and high school students to write a report on “Is it OK for Koreans to date/marry non-Koreans” not a single one said it was OK. Granted they really do not understand all the finer points of what or marriage entails but they were basically parroting their parents. Giving reasons like “all the Korea women will move to other countries and none will be left for the Korean men” (funny, none were worried that all the Korean men would move), “no kids would play with mixed race babies so the children of these couples would be very unhappy”,” Children would look funny because they would not look “Korean”” and answers along that line. These are all from upper middle class Korean families..

        • chucky3176

          didn’t you say you taught in Korea in the 1980′s and 90′s?

          • David

            Yes, and while I certainly would not have been surprised then (even in western countries this was not an uncommon attitude in the 70′s), I was surprised it is still such a prevalent attitude.

          • Picasso

            There weren’t 250,000 mail order brides from SEA and China back then, and 15% to 20% of all marriages in Korea are now between Korean and foreigner marriages. I wonder if you’d get the same responses today.

          • David

            I was not aware the number were that high. Do you mind if I ask where you got the 15%-20% number? Also, do you know if i is mostly with Korean men and foreigners or Korean women marry foreigners? and finally what the nationality of the largest group they are marrying is? when I first got to Korea it was still basically in a dictatorship and the only real foreigners in any number were American G.I.s. Many guys wanted to married Korean wives but there were legal restrictions still then (by Korea and the U.S. military). But even then we are only talking a few scores of marriages a year, nothing that would even show up as a statistic probably. Of course now Korea is much more open to people from all over but I did not know that many were getting married.

          • chucky3176

            Aren’t you guys getting off topic? Save it for relevant topics.

            Go to the countrysides, all the women and all the children are all immigrant brides with mixed race/ethnic children. The only native born Koreans you’ll see there today, are going to be old people. For instance, in southern Cholla province, 43.5% of all farmers who married in 2009 took a foreign bride, according to Asia Times Online, dated 2010.

        • commander

          Unlike the Unitrd States, the foundation of which iwas built on immigration for religious freedom or better life in the late 18th century, South Korea has remained homogenous.
          As a result, for the vast majority of South Koreans, accepting foriegners who come to the nation for getting a job or marriages, is still unfamiliar in an occasional display of comtempt for them.

          Although rationale for opposition to interracial marriages from middleschoolstudents you taught are poorly founded, the bias against mingling with foreigners may stem more from the weight of longtime tradition of ethnic homogeneity than from individual preferences.

          • David

            True. Since I teach at a Korean International school in China now, all my students live outside of Korea. They have no real animus toward non-Koreans (especially the younger students) since they have been taught by them for most of their lives. None really said anything mean or hateful and they generally like non-Koreans, I think it is just what they have been shown most of their lives.

          • commander

            The inclination against other nationals in marriage in South Korea is compared to openness in the United States toward immigration, a recently polarizing issue there between congressional democrats and republics over whether to grant legal status to undocumented immivrants who have been there for a long time under what conditions.

            I think two contrasting mindsets in two countries have been more molded by the weight of history than individual views.

        • kpopwillneverstop

          But it’s so funny though because if parents from another race were to tell them that they don’t want their children intermingling with their korean children, they would be pissed to high heavens.

          Why can’t we just all learn to respect each other even if we don’t look the same :)

  • RegisterToPost

    Good god, burgers at Lotteria?

    That place is one step above garbage. Even McDonald’s beats them in quality.

  • haohao

    We have this problem in China too.. it’s okay for food culture to change, but there’s no reason not to have fast food based on your own culture.

    • kpopwillneverstop

      There are fast food chains that do that. On the special I saw about the global presence of McDonald’s, there’s a McDonald’s in India that doesn’t sell any beef or pork (due to the vast majority of Hindus and to respect the Muslim communities). They instead use a potato, peas and spices to make patties and sell as burgers. They also sell other vegetarian foods and chicken sandwiches.

  • Synx

    I think it’s because they asked only those traditional food, dish like Jjampong, Ddukbokkie, Soondubu and bibimbap, I think they would choose them over hamburger. Most of my korean friends can’t past a day without rice or kimchi

  • commander

    During their growth into adulthood, child ren will have acquired new tastes which are different from adolescence’s.

    Among teenage favorite foods, few will remain loved after they grow up.

    This means the traditional food will be still the force to be reckoned in food choices in the future, and that a drop in demand for those food ingredients might be tentative and crawl up again.

  • chris

    whats the big fuss? this is globalisation. hamburgers and traditional meals are both tasty. im sure if people from 80 years ago in Korea had the opportunity to eat hamburgers made from imported meat, they would too! tell me a one developed country now that does not have cuisine from elsewhere!

  • Anon

    Some of the people said that they don’t eat it because it’s considered a “ball of fat” and not nutritious at all, and also not made with “real ingredients”. And a burger from a fast food joint is???

    When I was in Korea, I avoided Lotteria like the plague. I had the worst burger of my life there. I’m not even exaggerating when I say a burger from Mcdonalds tasted better.

  • Mighty曹

    Nothing to worry about… until they start “SuperSizing” fries and drinks.

  • commander

    The article suggests a possible sign of the loss of youngsters’ appetite for some of Korean folky food based on the falling prices of some ingredients like beef and pork bones in the visibly growing presence of fast food among teens.

    As many commentators point out, food taste is a matter of opinion, but having more fast food like hamburgars has no problem.

    But many lovers of the traditional slow food that the report suspects has been losing its ground among the younger generation will be sorry if those in 10s and 20s prefer fast food over it just becasue fast food is quick and convenient without savoring deep real flavors.

    But choosing what to take for their meals is completely left with individual choice.

    I think the article has no negative connotations about the apparently changing tastes in younger generations.

  • silver surfer

    I don’t think eating hamburgers is a good idea, but I wouldn’t describe sollungttang as ‘rich’ or ‘flavorful’; it’s watery.

  • Jang

    Now we know why the S. Korean Gov. is promoting Korean food in America etc…, because S. Koreans aren’t even eating it. They got to see if there are any foreign suckers out there.

  • tonkotsu

    the fast food disease happens to all young people..

    they stop eating it when they grow up..

  • Mre

    so many comments complained about mad cow disease, but they are still eating the same beef in burger form.

    • Sillian

      Keep in mind that these comments are from Daum.

      Lotteria, McDonald’s and Burger King in Korea use Korean, Australian or NZ beef.

  • linette lee

    I tell you why most Americans don’t eat Korean foods in America. It’s because the Korean restaurants are competing with Chinese and Japanese restaurants. The Chinese and Japanese restaurants price their meals cheaper. Like you can spend $13 in Japanese restaurants and have all you can eat sushi buffet. So much food. In Chinese you have take out like $5 lunch menu. For $15 you have all you can eat Chinese buffet. And the most important reason is that, the Chinese and japanese give you lots of meats. Like fish and beef and white chicken meats. They eat a lot of meat. The korean dishes even for some vegetables like bean sprout, bean curb, shredded carrots on rice with a little beef they want to charge you $9. Soup with bean curb and spicy sauce and rice aside $9?? huh?…where is the meat? You can have Korean BBQ but they charge you like $20. You can get Chinese BBQ $12.
    I am eating lunch now and I paid $7 for pepper steak on rice lunch menu.

    • chucky3176

      Americans don’t eat Korean foods in America because Korean foods don’t appeal to average Americans. Korean food is an acquired taste. Liberal uses of garlic, chili powders/pastes, and fermented processes make the food smell pungent, which would not appeal well to most Americans. Even Koreans get offended by the smells, imagine what Americans would think. There’s a big reason why Koreans always brush their teeth after each meal, including lunch.

      I love Korean food, and I’m not trying to diss it. But if Koreans want to make the Korean food appealing to a broader audience, they have to change the fundalmental characteristic of the Korean food. Here are my opinion on the steps needed.

      1. Cut down on the chili powder and garlic.

      2. Cut down on the fermented food. Less emphasis on kimchi please, and more emphasis on meat dishes like galbi and bulgogi.

      3. Cut down on side dishes, and change the presentation of the dishes. Instead of side dishes where everyone help themselves digging in, the dishes should be included in individual containers for each people. Americans would be completely horrified at the communal dishes that typical Korean restaurants serve. Americans will see this as a hygiene issue, where as Koreans see this as part of group love and acceptance.

      4. Allow the freedom of creativity. I know some Koreans will be horrified and offended if they see any form of modifications on traditional Korean cooking. Just because that’s how it was done long ago, doesn’t mean you can’t try new things.

      5. Get some attractive women and men, and use them as waiters and pay them good money. I know that Korean places like to use old haggy ajumma type women on below minimum wage, as servers because to Koreans, the best food comes from your own mom. Americans don’t necessarily think like that.

      6. Change the place from dingy looking environment, to a nice young hip looking with good lighting. I know not all Korean restaurants are dingy looking, but too many are.

      7. And last of all, stop serving that chunggukjang, that stuff is good, but stinks the hell out of the place. It will make the round eyes run out the door the minute they come in after they take a sniff of that.

      I do admit that if you follow my advice, you won’t see too many Korean people eating at the place, because they’ll think you’re doing Korean food all wrong and they’ll hate you for it, calling you on it and saying “this is not Korean food”. But there will be more non-Koreans eating there. The reality is that if Korean food doesn’t change to fit the tastes of Westerners, then it will never appeal to them. So I guess my question is then, why put up so much effort to make Westerners like Korean food? So what if they don’t like it? There’s no need to try gain acceptance, just be what you are and eat what you like, and stop worrying about what others say about your food.

      • linette lee

        I don’t like how they serve their small side dishes and they have many small side dishes. Everybody on the table stick their chopsticks into all those side dishes. I went to eat with coworkers like 9 or 10 of us. I love my coworkers but not enough to share saliva. But I think it can easily be solved if they just use one set of chopsticks for the purpose of picking out all the side dishes and this chopsticks is not for eating put in your mouth. But I don’t see anyone doing that. In chinese Dim sum place I see the same problem. A small dish and everybody pick up the dumplings with their own chopsticks. I am beginning to see more chinese folks use one set of chopstick just to pick out the dumplings in a small dish. It should be done like that. Main dishes in Chinese restaurant they have clip clamp for serving on the table.

    • Cauffiel

      Japanese food is expensive in America. And everywhere, I think.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Sorry girl, $13 all you can eat Sushi is pure garbage.

    • Guest

      Korean food is really trendy right now over Chinese, but you don’t know because you don’t live in the US. Beware of Chinese street food.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrv78nG9R04

  • Asian Male Insecurity

    Do Koreans seriously think Korean beef is the best in the world?

    Have they never have Angus/Kobe beef?

    Korean beef is laughable.

    • chucky3176

      Nobody said anything about Korean beef being best in the world, nor Angus/Kobe beef. So take your insecurities elsewhere.

      But personally I don’t think Kobe beef is the best in the world when it’s laced with radiation fumes. It’s now easily the worst in the world. I value my life, and I would rather not touch that stuff. So you go eat it, why don’t you, and get lost.

      • Asian Male Insecurity

        There are no “radiation fumes”. Listen to the official reports.

        • chucky3176

          We are talking about imported beef in Korea, and Kobe beef is not imported into Korea, at least not in mass quantities to make them noticeable. So what the fuck is your point, bringing up Kobe beef, other then to make a snide remark to show how much more superior Japan is? And nothing that comes out of Japan is not tainted with radiation. As for the “official reports”… who here believes what Japanese officials claim about no radiation? lol… and my name is Santa Clause.

  • Cauffiel

    Welcome to food addiction, Korea.

    • ChuckRamone

      Everyone’s addicted to food. We’d die without it.

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  • guest

    food culture of fried chicken, pizza, cutlet, ddukboki, sweet sauces and now, fast food burgers can only lead to one thing. first time i came here, i was surprised to see a lot of pudgy kids and adults walking around.

    • aall

      ishould redact this if i knew how: there are foods in this society and many others that are not healthy for us. not only weight problems, but also health problems down the road. fried chicken, pizza, cutlet, ddukboki, sweet sauces and now, fast food burgers are not the only kinds of food in korean culture, but it seems to have become a large part of it.

    • aall

      i apologize if this post hurt anyone

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  • Kiwi

    I’d take up korean food over burgers any day

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