Saturday, December 04, 2004

the pickle conundrum

Every Western expat in Korea has, at some point, been faced with the pickle conundrum. The conundrum is this: Why do Koreans include sweet pickles as a side dish with Italian food like pizza and spaghetti? Every time I order pizza from my apartment, I get a teeny plastic bag of pickles. When I was at Bennigan's with a co-worker the other day (no, not on that horrific Thanksgiving Day), my co-worker got seafood pasta... and it came with a small tub (for lack of a better word) of pickles.

Why, God? WHY?

My former teaching partner, J, offered her own explanation recently: Koreans need something kimchi-like as a side dish. Pickles are the closest American equivalent to this. Crunchy. Easy to pick up with chopsticks. Pickled.

In an alternate universe, in a South Korea hosting German troops, I imagine we would see a sauerkraut conundrum.


No comments: