About Deva

Deva

Deva has grown a new palate since leaving Africa. She is a journalist in teacher's clothing, and writes on food and culture when not planning her escape from the classroom. She is easily pleased by wine, women and song.

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Here are my most recent posts

Confessions of a Kimchi Craver

There was a brief stretch in my first month in Korea when I stopped eating kimchi. I blame culture shock. I had not yet grown my Asian palate and had made the expat’s error of expecting certain colours and shapes to correspond to familiar tastes. I spent far too much time pondering the explosive flavours in my mouth. This was not a side dish to be gastronomically deconstructed – not for beginners anyway. Some of the best...

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Korea’s Collective Belly

The best food and travel writers have taught us that regional cuisine is one of the ways in which culture is made manifest. Food is never simply fuel; it’s ritualistic by default. The way that it is prepared, served and eaten can reveal much about a nation’s histories and hierarchies. In South Korea, where collectivism is central to culture, food serves as a means to develop and fortify relationships. Eating together is one of the...

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A Tale of Two Tongues: Pairing Wine with Hansik

Asian cuisine, and Korean food in particular, is notoriously difficult to pair with wine. Even wine-lovers agree that beer is easier on the palate, as it combats the ever-present chilli peppers and compliments the potent flavours without neutralising them. What’s more, wine doesn’t play a large role in Korean dining culture. Even locally produced wines (such as Majuang) are not always on offer in restaurants, and are usually enjoyed...

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A Day in King Crab Vegas
Feb20

A Day in King Crab Vegas

There are no casinos in Yeongdeok, but few other places rival the gaudy, hyperreal simulacra of the infamous city in the Nevada desert. Clinging to the buildings on Yeongdeok’s waterfront are giant crustaceans in bright orange armour. The town seems to exist only as a monument to the King Crab, a tribute to the insatiable Korean appetite for this sea beast. Locals have dedicated their energy to maintaining the town’s reputation as one...

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The Growing Fame of Duck in Pumpkin

There is a dish they don’t tell you about in Hansik 101. It is not listed on tourism websites and Korean cookbooks. Whenever an expat stumbles upon it, they are compelled to blog, Instagram and tweet about their newfound treasure. Word spreads, and certain restaurants find themselves frequented by foreigners. The legend of Hobak Ori is gaining ground. 호박오/Hobak Ori literally translates to “pumpkin duck”. Hobak is actually a squash...

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