Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Lunch in Korea: Styela clava

As if it isn't bad enough that I am at school on boxing day/family day, I also got the worst menu item at lunch: mi do duk soup.
So what is mi do duk? Mi do duk is also known by it's latin name Styela clava (Herdmann, 1881) or its common English name the 'clubbed tunicate' or 'stalked sea squirt'.
As hard as one tries, NONE of these names sound vaguely appetising but at the same time, none of them can convey the absolute height of unpleasantness one experiences when one has this creature in ones mouth! It is simply horrible.
It is described on the website of the British Columbia Shellfish Grower's Association as follows:
Distinguishing Features:
- solitary ‘club-shaped’ tunicate;
- Tunic (outer skin) is tough, brown, bumpy, and wrinkly;
- Attached to substrate by a stalk (about 1/3 of the total length);
- Two short siphons. closely spaced, with alternate red and tan bands;
- Often overgrown by other fouling organisms. (Other?????fouling?????)
Here are some pictures of this delightful little animal (I guess it's Mother loves it!):

eeeew, who in their right mind would CHOOSE to eat this thing?? Oh well, we're all entitled to our unique cultures.

To the mouth it feels very rubbery and bumpy, but the worst part is when you bit into one of these poor innocent creatures, the last gulp of sea water in took in before it's death is squirted into your mouth, eeeewwwww! yugh yugh yugh.
Anyway, I now know to avoid this soup: it is just not worth it. I feel I have established myself as friendly and open to trying everything in Korea. I am now moving gingery onto the next phase where I admit that I don't like some of their food: enough lying to please everybody now!


EEbEE said...

They look like turds :)

Karin said...

Hmm, Glad you decided to come out and say it. eeeew, Gross

Jessica Jane said...

Thanks Guys, glad you can sympathise!