When living in a strange and often alien country there are many things that you miss from home from the obvious friends and family to little things such as carpeted floors. Upon arriving in Korea for the first time 2 and a half years ago I was pleasantly surprised by the number of everyday as well as luxury western products you can buy at Homeplus, Emart or elsewhere. But still sadly there are a few things that are just not the same and I wish where either more readily available (not just at Costco or 10x the price foreign food shop) or at least anywhere.
These are the 5 things I long for when living in South Korea:
5 – John Smith’s Extra Smooth:
I like Korea Beers however a nice cool pint of John Smith’s after a long week is sadly missed.
4 – Red Bull:
I have seen a few local options but not the real deal. *September 2012 update: Red Bull is now available in select stores in South Korea*
3 – Hot Cross Buns:
An Easter / lent favorite which I haven’t yet found in Seoul.
2 – Cadbury’s Chocolate:
I’ve found Hershey’s chocolate in Korea doesn’t quite have the sugar and chocolate content I’m looking for. There Cadbury’s is a must.
1 – “Real” Cheese:
The processed cheese in South Korea is OK on pizza or pasta but doesn’t match a nice piece of English Cheddar.
I know these things are not massively important but we all love to dream. I know these things are personal what would you add?Tim Modern Seoul
When I was living in Seoul, I definitely missed Cheese, too. Most of all: Parmesan! And since I’m german, I would add my müsli (granola) in the mornings and sourdough bread to the list! And maybe good smoked ham and salami.
However, being back in provincial germany, there are A LOT of food things I miss from Korea, too! Kimchi, Tteok, street snacks, sweet tea, bibimbap, BBQ, jiggae, all the banchan, the generous use of garlic and so on… : ) At least our small town will soon have its first bubble tea shop! Yay! Haven’t had bubble tea since Korea!
I hear you on the real cheese front – though we were lucky enough to receive a ‘hot tip’ that there was imported New Zealand Mainland cheese at E-Mart!!! YAY. We ate a lot of cheese that day…I also miss proper bread – stuff with grains and texture. And thick, juicy steaks…ahhhh.
Proper bread available at Eric Keyser in the 63 Building (Yeoido) and Galleria (Apgujeong). 🙂
Red Bull is now available in Korea. I’ve found it at Family Mart. It’ll be in its own display case near the front, most likely. 🙂 This made me SO happy the first time I found it, because I was looking for a vodka mixer. It was perfect!
I’ve seen it at a couple of places in Seoul (Family Mart Included), however if you live outside of Seoul it’s still unobtainable. Finger crossed it will spread quickly :).
Really? I found it in Daejeon and Masan. Actually, I live in a small little town on the outskirts of Masan, and we have it. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.
Hopefully its a sign its spreading like a some sort of tasty virus.
Thank goodness for Red Bull! 🙂
I would miss cheese and chocolate too, and probably certain brands of tea. It’s nice to discover new foods in a new place though, that’s one of the up-sides. Have you found anything in Korea that you would miss if you moved away?
Mandu and Soju could to mind as they are hard to find in the UK.
What are they?
Mandu is a Korean Style Dumpling, you can find similar things here in the UK but they aren’t quite the same. Soju is a Korean style Vokda just a little less harsh (Information on Soju)
I miss Cadbury’s so much! I’m not too keen on Hersheys, it has a funny after taste! Market O chocolate is pretty good though, the best I’ve had in Korea 🙂
There is definitely a place in Itaewon that sells Cadbury’s Chocolate because I remember buying a large bar of Hazel Nut Praline there. I think it was called Foreign Food Mart.
2 Awesome places for stuff you miss: Costco, and thearrivalstore <–I discovered this last one AFTER I left Korea, but when I go back I am going to make good use of it!!!
True, however as mentioned right at the beginning one rule of the list was ease of buying. You can many of these things in Korea but you have to sadly pay for the luxury.
Still Costco is amazing 🙂
Cheese and sandwich meat? Costco. ❤