Misconceptions about food in Korea - 48
There are still a couple of things that are continually misconstrued in Korea and in Western countries, when it comes to food. One of these things drives some Koreans crazy and one drives Westerners crazy. I am sorry when I hear that Koreans travel abroad and people so often ask about eating dogs, with the idea that Koreans always eat dogs. When I personally first came to Korea, my friends back in Ireland and in the UK would even ask if I had yet tasted dog. It is in fact a delicacy in Korea and specialist dog restaurants is not that common and it is more common among the older generation.
For Westerners of any country whether Italy, USA, Canada for example, there barely goes a day without one being asked if the food is too spicy. This is probably the most misunderstood idea about Westerners. With Indian (India, Asia rather than native Indian) food now being the most popular food in the Britain for example, British people are used to eating food that is much spicier than one would taste in Korea. Walking out of a pub in England at closing time, it is common to go for an Indian Curry or Balti.
A Korean friend was recently in London and came back to Seoul surprised that curries were far spicier than food one would find in Korean food. Korean food is hot but not necessarily spicy. A friend by the name of Peter Thom, another teacher in Seoul, in one restaurant saw the cook taking the spices out of the food on noticing that Peter was a Westerner.
When the food came, the great taste that the dish would usually have, was bland without the spices that usually give it its inviting taste. My advice to all Korean restaurants if that if you see that it is a Westerner, that you are serving, then instead of halving the spices, give the Westerner double.