While I was clipping coupons this morning, I found this large advertisement sponsored by a very popular “breakfast food” manufacturer. The ad, for a generally very wholesome “American” food item, then adds an extra twist which hybridizes it with a popular Asian snack with the intent to appeal at a somewhat niche-y market.
Whereas cole slaw on hot dogs is not exactly unknown, this little permutation on an already lesser known accompaniment seems unusual. This culinary hybridization is the spawn of those foodie-oriented food trucks that have conquered the guttural appeal of late night taco trucks and sanitized and gentrified their overpriced paper-plated appeal to a wide range of people, many who probaly would never have given the roach coach a second look years ago.
The well-known Kogi Truck is one such food truck that has melded ethnic cuisine to insane new levels. Their website lists the day’s offerings for the week and tonight’s special is “Beetleblood Taco,” described as “blood sausage taco w/ kimchi and lime.” Korean food has proven adventurous and fearless in its conquest of foreign cuisines which it hungrily absorbs into some bizarro-morph conglomerations of global ingredients.
Actually, my lone regret from the Outlands Music Festival a couple of weeks ago was that I never got around to trying anything from the “Kalbi Taco” stand. Kalbi tacos are another iteration of Korean and Mexican cuisine which have become popular. Kalbi, the sweetly marinated Korean beef, is wrapped in a corn tortilla with accompanying Korean side items. Trucks selling this melange are all over LA but I’ve yet to eat one. I would like to try one of those kimchi quesadillas also. I’m very ambivalent about kimchi! I love it in delightfully small amounts. It is pungent, spicy, and overnight it ferments in your alimentary canal exuding its deathly fumes, and in the morning every bodily pore emits a vaporous plume of god-awful kimchi aerosol. It’s awful, especially if you aren’t the one who had kimchi the night before. I’ve noticed that if you eat kimchi, the other person, or persons, who also ate it is do not stink as badly as if you did not eat kimchi. There is a sort of shared funkiness about eating kimchi in groups. In excessive amounts, kimchi easily becomes overwhelming. I doubt I can finish an entire kimchi quesadilla, but I’d love to give one a spin.
Reminds me that I heard in LA’s Koreatown you used to be able to buy a kimchi pizza. I imagine you still can today, but this is revolting. I can’t envision any situation where kimchi’s partnership with cheese can go well, now, tonight, or tomorrow.
And why is it Korean food is so exploitable at the international dinner table? Korean food seems to dabble seamlessly in all manners of foreign cuisine, although the Asian slaw dog sounds like it may lean toward the Japanese, not sure. Sometimes this cross-cultural intermingling of recipes seems to foretell a “Blade Runner” society of mish-mashed global ethnicities all overlapping to create hybrid offshoots with no semblance to anything seen before. An Anthropology professor once told our class that in the distant future, humans would all be brown.
And eating Sukiyaki menudo, no doubt.