Friday, July 21, 2006
The Tastes of Summer
As I've mentioned before, one of the first times that I realized that I was "different" from my peers was when I showed up to kindergarten with a tupperware box filled with kim bop and all the other kids had these weird things called "sandwiches." Clearly, I'm not the only one who experienced this type of cultural shock. In fact, just the other day, my friend CityMama posted about being teased for coming to school with nori furikake or musubi.
Like CityMama, our family is filled with some serious foodies. Living in NYC, we literally eat a different type of ethnic food every single night. One night will be Italian, the next Ethiopian, the night after that, Greek. The cycle never ends. However, when my wife and I are feeling sick or just need some good old-fashioned comfort food, we always go for Korean food. Nothing else ever really tastes like home.
Growing up, my memories are filled with summer barbecues cooking kalbi on the Weber grill, eating chap jae before running out to a tennis match, or packing up some kim bop for a picnic in Central Park. However, if there's ONE single food that really brings back a flood of summer memories for me, it's naeng myun. When it's hot in NYC and the temperature is hovering in triple digits, there's nothing I want more than a bowl of naeng myun.
However, as common as Korean food is becoming, it's unusual to see non-Asians eating naeng myun. That's why I was pleasantly surprised to see this article in the NY Times yesterday about the origins and history of naeng myun. And, of course, as soon as I read it, I took off for lunch to go and grab a bowl at my favorite naeng myun restaurant.
How about you? What Asian foods remind you of summer?