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I had to ask.

Spotted at the fish market. I had to ask.

The girl said, “the fridge is for winkles. They’re kept very cold before they’re sent off to Korea.” I think she said winkles; it might have been whelks. I spent a moment thinking what a silly name that was and wondering why they were all going to Korea.

So the lobsters don’t like the cold? “Oh, no” she said. “The lobsters like the cold just fine. But they all come crawling out and we lose all the cold trying to get them back in again.”

Hm. Here’s a 2019 article about whelks from Wales going to South Korea. The fisherman is quoted thusly: “Goodness knows why they like them – they taste like nan’s toenails – but it’s given me a living for the last two decades,” he said.

But it looks like the Koreans also have multiple words for winkles, see here for a handy pronunciation guide. 흔들 리다 also apparently means, wave, oscillate, whiffle, shimmer, waggle, wag, quake, quiver, waver, swing, rock, sway, shake and tittup. Yes, it’s a word. Despite the fact winkles don’t seem to do any of those things.

Seafood is confusing.


Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 13, 2021, 9:40 pm

Stoaty said “Seafood is confusing.”

Ugly, and often vicious too, the first hoomans who ate them must have been desperate…cuz not even a stoner would pick up a whelk and think “Yum”. But then Koreans enjoy these. Yes, I’ve tried both in Korea…didn’t ring my bell.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 13, 2021, 9:53 pm


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 13, 2021, 11:58 pm

The story goes – two ancient fishermen came back to port with ‘those’ – (Usually I say squid or octopus) and when someone said
“Did you catch any fish”, they pointed to ‘the thing’ and said “That’s all we have, so I guess that’s for supper”.

Now tell me how the Japanese figured out which parts of Fugu would KILL you…..

And then, since we’re on seafood, can someone tell me what “Asian” (we were in 99 Ranch and they had these things in the heat case where Americans would keep roasted chickens on a spit)…what “Asian” food looks like a giant yellow sort of shelled snail only without a shell. These were about the size of a large Cornish game hen.

I wish I could find a picture. They were….interesting, not that I wanted to try one, but curiosity keeps me wondering.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 14, 2021, 1:04 am

Cultural and regional food differences are fascinating! I’ve eaten things overseas that many North American and Western European people would gag at (sometimes they’d be quite right about it). And there are foods we think nothing of at which they gag. Many East Asians think the worst and most revolting thing about Westerners is that we will eat heavily mold-infested spoiled milk without a second thought.

We, of course, call it Stilton or Roquefort or Gorgonzola.

Comment from Carl
Time: September 14, 2021, 12:16 pm

I was once responsible for a party of Chinese engineers. At dinner, when the cheeseboard came round they were revolted at the sight of the Stilton. Even more so when they watched as my colleague and I devoured it.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 14, 2021, 12:54 pm

Yeah, a lot of what tastes delicious -or doesn’t- depends on what flavors you grow up with… and as Uncle Al and Carl point out, the “Yuck! Compass” points both ways.

I always remember when, having been in Japan for quite a few years at that point, I developed a craving for a Ruben Sandwich. Now Tokyo has 30 million people doing 3 million different things so I am sure you could get one, somewhere, but I never found one, and I got kind of obsessive about it; asking all my friends and acquaintances to search for me.

So… when Mrs. Vegetable and I visited the States, I had to have one immediately, and naturally she wanted to try something so delicious that I’d been talking for months about it. When the sandwiches came to the table, she took a huge bite….

The horror, the HORROR on her face as her mouth closed on

Rye bread. Sauerkraut. Swiss Cheese. Corned Beef. Thousand Island Dressing.

None of which she had ever tasted or even imagined before; all of which have pretty powerful flavors alone, let alone combined together ; and every damn one pretty nasty at least as far as she was concerned.

It was a long, long time before she trusted my taste in food enough to try more than a tiny nibble of anything new that I suggested.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 14, 2021, 1:46 pm

And then cheese gets worse, because according to Durnedson #1 – Former professional grocery management guy from Whole Paychecks – you can remove the extra local to your refrigerator mold from your cheese, the white fuzz, or the new blue patch that ought not to be on your parmesan… and the cheese is still fine!

Well, he was right, but that first test bite always causes hesitation.

Is it time to discuss unboned sardines packed in mango mustard?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 14, 2021, 3:08 pm

@Some Vegetable—one of my greatest cooking disasters was when I decided to make Reubens at home for my in-laws, because it was my MIL’s favorite sandwich. It began with making my own rye bread, because I can’t stand the flavor of caraway seeds, and apparently it’s next to impossible to buy rye bread made without caraway. It went downhill from there: my rye bread could have been a stunt-double for concrete blocks.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 14, 2021, 11:20 pm

I don’t do organ meats, but I’m game to try anything once. Uncle B invited me to sample his diner plate of liver.

Honest-to-shit, what was that? It tasted like pencil eraser. It tasted like something animals weren’t meant to eat. I taught it to fly.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 15, 2021, 5:00 pm

@durned…that’s tongue roasting on the spit…if they are smallish then it’s duck tongue, if larger then ox tongue. Both are very tasty. The duck tongue really shines with a fresh pancake (like mu shu), some steamed gai lan and condiments.

I love Ranch 99…so many mystery things to try…and the best produce.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 15, 2021, 5:07 pm

@stoaty…beef liver is one of those things you either like or really dislike…my dad loved it smothered with caramelized onions. I couldn’t even bear the smell of it cooking. No. just no.

However, give me a slice of Monaco-style goose pate or Jewish chicken livers and I’m in bliss.

I think it’s a textural thing and the strong smell of beef liver.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 15, 2021, 10:19 pm

There’s a world of difference in the taste, texture, and aroma of medium-rare calf’s liver (yum!) and well-done beef liver which smells bad, tastes bad, and has the mouth feel of damp chalk dust. Yeccch.

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