South Korean girl group TWICE tried out some fermented skates on “Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chefs”, but not everyone was impressed by the smelliest food in the country.
South Korea has a wide range of foods that some find hard to eat, but the main ingredient chosen for the May 19 episode of the variety show was fermented or rotten skates, known as “hongeo” (a cartilaginous fish that resembles a stingray).
The members of TWICE took turns trying the pungent fish, with Jungyeon smiling after taking a bite and saying, “It’s good,” according to Allkpop.
Other members, like Nayeon, started to gag.
While Momo appeared to like the fish as she gave viewers a thumbs up, she was soon taken aback by the odd taste.
The next item on the menu was the fried fermented skate, which is known to have an even stronger taste.
Jihyo couldn’t chew the food at first, but after a few bites, she said, “I think it’s okay now.”
Tzuyu also decided to give it a try, but couldn’t handle the taste and began choking and jokingly said, “It tastes like hair dye.”
Joe McPherson, a food blogger for ZenKimchi, was quoted by Oddity Central as saying: “It’s a freaking punch in the face. Like everyone else, I gagged the first time. Even with some of the most powerful flavors in the world to put up against it, it does not cover up the flavor at all.”
But fans of hongeo say it takes some time to get used to, while locals insist that it must be eaten plain without any garnishes to mask the taste and aroma.