Mole and Kimchi and Beer, Oh My! Scenes from a Long Point Road Culinary Tour
|Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg|
|The multitude of dried seafood was positively thrilling!|
So imagine my delight when I stepped through the doors of Super H Mart and into a produce section full of fruits and vegetables I had never seen before, even in Korea. There were jars of chile garlic sauce bigger than my head, whole refrigerated sections full of kimchi and a seafood counter that almost made me weep for joy (remember, I've been living in the Midwest for the past two years).
The whole place is like a food-lover's Disneyland, and if all the shopping makes you hungry, there's a Korean food court inside the store. It's like H-E-B's deli counter, only it's nothing like it because it's so much better. The tour group was treated to Korean fried chicken in garlic and chile varieties, both of which put regular old fried chicken to shame.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg What I should have photographed is the meal. What I did photograph is this.
When it came time to leave, Shepherd and I realized we hadn't stumbled upon any of our coveted soju, a Korean rice liquor similar to vodka, but often smoother and slightly sweeter. A search for soju left us empty-handed (we think the alcohol content is too high to sell in a grocery store), but Shepherd took my disappointment and turned it into a teaching moment by introducing me to Makgeolli, a Korean rice wine that looks like old skim milk and is a favorite of his boys at Underbelly. It is not appetizing to look at, and it doesn't smell particularly good, but it's slightly fizzy and fermented and oddly refreshing. I decided I could easily get down on a bottle of Makgeolli while soaking up some sun on a boat.