So I’ve officially eaten dog. Puppy, to be precise. I’d better explain things before I start getting hate mail from the PETA types. Dog is a fairly common food in Korea. It seems less popular with the younger generation, and less popular with women, but it’s certainly not unheard-of.
On Monday we had a half-day because of midterms, and afterwards all of the teachers were to go hiking. Prior to the trip, they asked us what we would like to eat. The choices were chicken and dog. Being the adventurous (and perhaps callous) type, I opted for dog.
The hike was a nice relaxing walk up a hill next to a stream. After a couple hours, we re-convened at the restaurant near the base of the hill. Side dishes were served, and before long the waitress brought out a steaming platter of puppy.
The meat was surprisingly tasty. A bit chewy, and with an interesting flavor. Maybe a touch gamey, but not in a bad way. Just enough to make it interesting. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much actual meat on the plate. Most of it was skin and organs, which Koreans eat without hesitation. I, however, am not a big fan of skin or liver, regardless of the source. The entree was a big bowl of puppy soup, which was excellent. Not much meat to be had, but excellent flavor nonetheless.
Apparently, Koreans believe that dog meat is good for regaining strength. They suggest that women eat it after childbirth. Men seem to eat it to increase their manliness. Erin said the younger female teachers seemed to regard it as a silly male thing.
It caused quite a stir among the teachers when I sat down at the dog table. Apparently they were very surprised that I had chosen it. Maybe that’s just because I’m a bit of a picky eater here. (I still can’t stand the sight/smell/taste of squid.) They didn’t seem offended, just surprised. I don’t really know what to make of that.
Lots of people are really offended by eating dog because they have dogs as pets. This doesn’t really bother me, provided I don’t think about it too hard. In my mind, there’s a certain distinction between pets and farm animals, and these dogs weren’t raised as pets. Maybe people object because they think dogs are smarter than sheep/cow/goats/etc. Maybe that’s true, but I’ve met plenty of stupid dogs. I’m just going to assume that I ate a dumb one.
It wasn’t the best meat I’ve ever had, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. I’d give it a B- overall. One question remains, however: What do they use to herd the flocks on a dog farm?