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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Food on the move

The streets of Seoul are cluttered with convenience stores, from international chains like 7-11 to mom-and-pop operations. Some have wide aisles and bright lighting, while others just look like an extension of the owner's home ... and may well be.


The 7-11 on campus provides a constant temptation to snack -- it's amazing seeing the kids lined up at 7-11 before class in the morning, walking away with armfuls of popcorn, ice cream and coffee. Yes, coffee. You're never too young to indulge here. Each floor of my school has both hot and cold coffee vending machines and they're patronized far more by students than staff.


These tiny coffees are a great afternoon pick-me-up, if a bit too laden with sugar and chemicals for my tastes. It also never stops being funny hearing iced coffee called "ice-uh coppee." Constant amusement.

While I pack a snack almost every day -- the past couple of months have found me obsessed with cereal mixed in yogurt -- the highlight of any 7-11 run is a kimbap triangle.


Tasty, filling and a bargain at 700 won, these make the perfect snack. Instructions for unwrapping are on the side


and if you follow directions, it just takes a few seconds to reveal a perfect seaweed and rice triangle.


Rookie mistake: I almost always eat chamchi (tuna) kimbap and quickly ran into 7-11 and grabbed this package without looking. It wasn't until I saw a small clump of brown meat at the center that I realized my error. Ah well, easily removed and disposed. It was nice and spicy with the kimchi rice, though.

Quickie kimbap might not have the same fresh ingredients that you get at a restaurant, where it's made-to-order and vegetables are chopped right in front of you, but it's definitely one of my go-to snacks when I forget to pack one.

And just to make you jealous -- look at this gorgeous dolsot bibimbap I had for lunch today. Fresh lettuce? Chincha?! (When you order dolsot, the egg comes raw and cooks as you mix the ingredients together. Yum!)