My son in law came from work completely excited this evening! He wanted to show me something wonderful he bought. He handed me a bag that looked like a gift bag,.When I pulled it out of the bag, I couldn’t believe he thought it was so wonderful! The only other people I have seen eating the things he bought were old Korean women. He brought a bunch of very expensive ginseng gummy snacks.
I thought as I opened the box, “Well, when the old lady gave me ginseng hard candy, it was really strange, but he isn’t an old woman and he eats a lot of pizza, hamburgers, ice cream, and chocolate bars, so perhaps he has something good.” I took the bag he handed me, took the box out, and opened it up. The smell was so strong it blew me away! I couldn’t even begin to feel like I wanted to try it! I had recently eaten supper or I might have at least taken a bite to be nice. He was still excited! He said, “Hand it to me, and I will eat it!” I handed it to him, and he wolfed it all down right away!
He asked me if I was going to blog about his ginseng, and I told him I would, but he had eaten all the pieces of ginseng that were in the little box, and I might have to open another to take a picture. He said it wasn’t necessary because we could see a picture of the ginseng on another package. He spent $50.00 on ginseng today! He said he went by the ginseng all the time, and it was just too expensive because usually just one box was $50.00, but today he could get two boxes for $50.00, and then he was given a couple of other smaller packages of ginseng for free because he bought the big boxes. The Koreans call the small boxes “service.” He thought about buying some for his mom and dad, but his brother told him they wouldn’t like it, so he brought it all home hoping he and I could eat it together because he knows my daughter won’t eat it. However, I didn’t eat any. My stomach is full from dinner, and I am not ready for adventures in eating this evening.
I asked him if he knew where the ginseng capital of the world was, and he said, “Of course! It’s Korea!” However, it is more than Korea because my first year in Korea was spent in the ginseng capital of the world, Paju City. When I told him that, he said, that is where this ginseng was made, in Paju City. If you look at a map of South Korea, and look in the west up by the North Korean border, you will see Paju City, the ginseng capital of the world. I know because when I was there, there were big signs advertising that it is the ginseng capital and one of my students gave a speech about it being the Ginseng capital. I actually learn a lot from my students.
Well, there you have it. My Korean son in law enjoys the smelly stuff! I asked him if it was sweet, and he said no. I asked him what the purpose of it was since you aren’t supposed to eat it for a meal, so he looked on the package. He said it was a healthy snack, and that it has been soaked in honey and corn syrup. Maybe they were trying to make it like a candy, and my son in law is really into candy. One silly thing he and I do is share Haribo gummy bears from Germany. He started it, but I am not sure he is going to get me to eat gummy ginseng with him.