Sweet Awakenings, Food and Cultural Reflections
I received a call from a woman inquiring about CSB catering her daughter's wedding. They were White and their son-in-law-to-be was Korean-American and there would be relatives from Korea attending. She wanted a Southern Summer Supper with a mix of Korean dishes. I was excited about creating an interesting fusion menu. She also wanted to include a "Korean Sweet Meat BBQ." Not wanting to alarm or misinform her, I didn't say anything.
After we finished on the phone, I did a quick lookup and indeed, "sweet meat" was a popular dish, especially in North Korea. What I don't think she realized was that sweet meat was dog meat! After determining that it would be better for a local Korean restaurant to cater the event, I called her back with suggestions on restaurants and Korean dishes that would do well in a mixed crowd. And I told her about sweet meat. Not surprisingly, she was horrified! If served, she might have impressed the Korean relatives but the rest of the wedding guests would surely have walked out!