‘Are we proud?’: South Korean food critic makes waves for saying Korean fried chicken is truly American

‘Are we proud?’: South Korean food critic makes waves for saying Korean fried chicken is truly American‘Are we proud?’: South Korean food critic makes waves for saying Korean fried chicken is truly American
South Korean food critic continues disparaging Korean-style fried chicken
Ryan General
December 1, 2021
A popular South Korean food writer has been actively vocal against Korean-style fried chicken, claiming that its meat is too small to be tasty.
Fowl play: Food columnist Hwang Kyo-ik urged Korean consumers to demand better chicken from local restaurants that sell small, expensive ones, reported Korea Times.
  • Hwang had earlier claimed on Facebook that the fried chicken sold at local restaurants weigh about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds).
  • “Some people insist that these small broiler chickens taste better than big broiler chickens,” he wrote weeks ago. “I wonder if they have ever tried big broiler chickens weighing around 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds).”
  • To prove his point, he used data sourced from Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA), which compared small and large chicken.
  • According to RDA’s report, small chicken production has resulted in higher costs and “tasteless meat,” while large chicken production brings costs down by 20%.
  • Hwang also argued that local fried chicken is enjoyed more for the sauce than for the taste of the meat, making it even more expensive.
  • Hwang’s comments have attracted a response from the Korea Poultry Association, which issued a statement saying that RDA’s report “shows minor differences on flavoring substances from an academic perspective, but a chicken’s size does not largely change or manipulate its taste.”
  • According to the poultry association, the “small” size of Korean chicken is meant to adhere to the local food culture in which consumers tend to eat an entire chicken at a time.
  • While Hwang’s take on Korean-style  fried chicken has sparked online backlash, he remains undeterred in expressing his opinions of the dish.
Hardly “Korean food”: Hwang also recently questioned a report by the Korean Food Promotion Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs that claims Korean-style fried chicken is an international favorite. 
  • The report, released on Nov. 28, asked 8,500 participants from 17 major global cities about their favorite Korean food, according to Korea.net.
  • Korean-style fried chicken ranks first as the most consumed Korean dish, with 16% of the respondents claiming it is their favorite.
  • Kimchi takes second place with 11.3%, while bibimbap (a rice dish) takes third with 10.7% and bulgogi (marinated grilled beef) settles at fourth place with 6%.
  • Hwang said Korean-style fried chicken is hardly “Korean food” since the dish does not require traditional Korean ingredients.
(To view the post above, you must click on the Facebook post and see through the social media platform.)
  • “Are we really proud of the reality that fried chicken now represents Korean food?” he asked on Facebook. “Are we proud that a dish of American origin overtook all other Korean traditional delicacies and scored highest among foreigners?” 
  • In an interview with Korea Times, Hwang pointed out that Korean-style fried chicken is popular internationally due mainly to overseas marketing: “Most Korean dramas show fried chicken on-screen as product placement. That is why so many people overseas perceive Korean chicken as a signature food.”
Featured Image via Soon Films
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