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    Posted November 18, 2012 by
    Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    100 places to eat like a local

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    Korean Barbeque at its Birthplace


    During my year teaching English in the rural province of Gangwon-do of South Korea in 2008, I've had the good fortune to take part in a hiking trip organized by the four elementary schools where I taught. During this trip, I got to experience a complete course of the Korean pork barbeque (삼겹살, pronounced Samgyeopsal)... in the middle of the mountains.


    Me and several other teachers stop to rest at a pavilion on our hiking path.


    This feast was a special order for 22 people from the restaurant in the Daemyung Vivaldi Park, in Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do of Korea.


    Raw pork belly meat on the table.


    A teacher from one of my schools skilled at cooking the meat is doing her trick.


    Then you would wrap the meat in the lettuce from the basket along with your choice of spices and preserved vegies on the table.


    The last part of this meal is my favorite Korean dish, the soybean soup (된장찌개), pronounced Doenjang Jjigae. With a mild hint of hot spice, it is perfect to have on a cold winter day. You can find it as a small stand-alone meal with the lidded stainless steel rice bowl at the top right hand corner of the picture in the Korean eatery chain, Kimbap Nara (김밥나라) in almost all cities and towns throughout Korea for 3,500 won, about $3.5 U.S.


    The best way to experience your travel destination is to make local friends while you are there. Though this may be hard when you don't know much of the language, but with time and effort, they can lead you to places you wouldn't otherwise reach on your own. In this process, food is only a way to foster connection with a culture, not a way to create it.

    This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure:  100 places to eat like a local
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