The Great Pojangmacha Adventure

They taste like dirt. Like earth, mixed with something mildly crunchy and wet. It’s the texture that surprises you more than the taste, but I still found the expectation of the taste to be worse than the actual taste of eating silk worms. Yes, that’s right, I am eating silk worms in a pojangmacha in Tongyeong, South Korea.

Let me rewind. After an amazing week in Mongolia, we headed to South Korea for another week of concerts and clinics. We being myself, Martin Zenker on bass and Steve Pruitt on drums. Martin and I have worked together before in Europe, and in fact he is the one who introduced me to the people in Mongolia and helped bring me to Asia, but before this tour, I hadn’t seen Steve in nearly 15 years. Turns out Steve and I are both from Oklahoma, and at one time, many many years ago, Steve attended a rehearsal for my band in my house in Norman! We were both kids back then, working in Bricktown (Makers, anyone?!), and we hadn’t stayed in touch….until we saw eachother again in Mongolia. And now of course, while eating in a pojangmacha in Tongyeong.

A pojangmacha is a tented restaurant, kind of a like a food truck, that serves late night street food and often soju and other drinks. After FacebookLive streaming our concert at the Tongyeong Concert Hall (check out the FB Live Stream below!), a new friend took us to experience this particularly local hangout. Apart from eating silk worms, we tried local oysters (sooooo different from the oysters we eat in America) and incredibly spicy octopus. The food was delicious, and the experience was so bizarre – I mean, we are sitting in an unheated tent in December, eating raw seafood from a truck….. I’m sure we must have looked ridiculous to the other locals who came in, as we Instragrammed and Facebooked every single dish that was served, and laughed hysterically at my attempts to learn some Korean words.

That evening in Tongyeong was so great, I hope to visit many more times. We also performed in Jeonju, where we ate at one of the most famous Bibimbap restaurants in the world, and of course we also performed in Seoul. It was such a whirlwind trip, traveling nearly every day and performing every night, that I didn’t get as much time to walk around Seoul as I would have liked. I did ride the subway, which was so clean and easy to use, very much unlike New York City’s Subway system, and I did get to try several different Korean BBQ restaurants and some excellent raw tuna. Also, I know there is more to life than food, but one of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to experience different foods around the world. Although I don’t think any experience can top eating silk worms in a tent on the side of the road.

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