But my experience in Korea taught me that Asians are just as happy as we are to scarf down foods that have been scientifically formulated to satisfy our basest chemical cravings. Pizza joints are everywhere, fried chicken is a delicacy (as teachers, we were given it as a gift by our kindergarteners’ parents when their kids’ birthdays rolled around). McDonald’s had it’s presence, of course, and even offered a kimchi burger, which had bits of the pickled cabbage cooked into the meat and was served on a rice-cake bun.
But the vilest fast food was Korea’s own Mickey D’s knockoff, Lotteria, brought to you by the giant Lotte corporation whose slogan is “Lotte: Always With You.” I remember being lured repeatedly by one of their posters with what looked like onion rings on it. Time and again I would get all excited for a moment, only to be reminded that those were in fact ojingeo rings: the dreaded squid.
Lotteria, always in step with McDonald’s, is now offering a supposedly healthier “Wellbeing Life Meal,” which is reviewed by A Geek in Korea, who claims that “Eating this was like dropping a small brick in my stomach.”