Month: October 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Hagfish

The hagfish has been called the nastiest and most disgusting creature in the sea. In South Korea, it’s called dinner. Check it out:

SWEET PICKLES & CORN

by John Bocskay


Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly lives in mud 150 meters under the sea.
I ’ve always loved the Korean word for fish: “mulgogi”, a compound formed from the words “water” ( mul ) and “meat” ( gogi ). More than simply labeling a common class of aquatic creatures, “mulgogi” suggests a way of looking at the world, a very East Asian orientation that assumes all things that swim to be edible unless proven otherwise.

Much of Korean seafood strikes the average Westerner as very different, and some of it as downright bizarre: fermented skate, with its powerful ammonia smell; sea cucumbers, whose similarity to an actual cucumber begins and ends with its oblong shape; and live octopus, which is both alive and an octopus. The list goes on, but perhaps no other creature better exemplifies the Korean commitment to sampling the totality of the world’s sea…

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