In the third part of our Olympic series, we’re taking a look at South Korea and the sport of curling. Curling is that random sport no one truly seems to understand, but it’s been getting a lot more press during these Olympic games. I guess we’re all just fascinated by a sport that combines ice, and giant stone, and a big broom.
In the past, South Korea’s curling team has struggled with major lack of funding and respect in general. However, after they finished in the top four at the World Women’s Curling Championships last March, things started to look up for the former outcasts. They got professional gear, more money, insurance and Korea’s biggest retail company Shinsegae pledged 10 billion won until 2018 for the development of Korean curling (the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will be in South Korea’s Pyeongchang).
So far, South Korea’s curling team has had a pretty decent performance in the games, but it doesn’t seem they’ll be able to catch the leader, Canada. The country still has a lot to celebrate, however, and we’re sure a lot of that will include drinking.
Just a few days ago, we read a story on TIME’s website that reported according to a global marketing research firm, South Koreans are the world’s biggest consumers of hard liquor; each person average’s 11.2 shots a week. Most people usually think of Russia as being the leading country, and while they do come in second place, their average shot consumption is 5 shots a week. The article does make sure to note that although the difference between 11.2 and 5 shots is huge, South Korea’s liquor, Soju, which accounts for 97 percent of the country’s sales is only half the alcohol percentage of vodka. That definitely evens the playing field a little bit.
Considering all of those shots, we wanted to tell you about something called Haejangguk, a Korean hangover cure. Knowing how much the South Koreans are drinking, it’s only natural that they have a well-known hangover cure as well, right?
Haejangguk translates to “soup to chase a hangover” and it refers to all kinds of soups that are used to treat your weekend morning headaches in Korea. According to TriFood.com, it usually consists of dried napa cabbage, congealed ox blood and various vegetables in a hearty beef broth.
Okay, they lost us at congealed ox blood.
We’ll let the South Koreans stick to haejangguk to chase away the hangover blues and we’ll stick to going through the Burger King drive-thru at 10am.