Most people know that in Korea, having some food while drinking is incredibly common. Food served while drinking even has its own name, anju. Anju can come in many different forms and it is usually ordered for the table and shared among the people who are drinking.
What you may not know, however, is about the recent trend of drinking alone. Called hon-sul (a portmanteau of the Korean words for alone and alcohol), people who do it love the fact that they can sit down and enjoy and enjoy a drink without having the pressure of a drinking in a group environment.
It is part of a wider trend of spending some quality time alone that includes hon-bab (eating alone) and hon-haeng (traveling alone).
While hon-sul can be seen in bars, it often takes place at home as people can relax with a drink in the comfort of their own home.
Of course, this provides a problem when it comes to Anju. What can hungry hon-sul drinkers eat while enjoying their beverage at home?
Screenshot from CU website.
Well, in order to solve that problem, convenience store chain CU has rolled out a line of products specifically designed for eating while drinking alone.
Each set comes with a mix of different types of food, all in a package that one person can eat on their own while drinking. If you want to try it out for yourself, it will only cost 3,800 won for the meal.
While on the surface they may look similar to other microwavable meals, the products all lack one crucial ingredient, rice, that differentiates them from the other options.
There are two different types available. The first one is designed to be eaten while drinking Soju and includes Jaeyukbokkeum (spicy pork), mandu, cheese gratin, fried sausage and vegetable, and ramen. The second is designed for beer and includes macaroni salad, mandu, okonomiyaki, and ramen.
The foods are expected to be a hit as it emerged last year that convenience stores are now the biggest sellers of alcohol in Korea, ousting discount stores in the process.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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