From corn starch to fruit bats to stinging nettle, returned missionaries share food stories
Mission experiences with food are often some of the most memorable
Granite was a dark-yellowish sheep stew. Not sheep meat, sheep. I got lucky, in that my serving had a part of a leg bone with some meat on it. The zone leader got a snout, complete with nose and teeth (which was gladly given to one of the hosts). As for the sisters, one got an organ of some kind and the other got a hoof.
— Mike Winters
I served in the South Korea, DaeJeon Mission from March 2003-05. I loved almost everything about it, even the kimche — eventually. Overall, the food is amazing, and I really developed a taste for much of it.
But there was one item that when I ate it, I felt like I would either die or become debilitated in some way. An investigator took us to a renowned and very expensive seafood restaurant in the area.
I was very excited, because I like seafood. But little did I know, this dinner appointment would end up in the history books for a reason I regret to even remember. We sat down on the floor around a small table. Although I didn't understand what he said, our host ordered what I was soon given the impression to be "the dish."
When it arrived, I saw why.
The platter was made up of five or six individual pieces of raw seafood, each one no bigger than a couple inches long. When we began, our host said that we had to "try this," pointing to the dish with two pieces on it.
"This is Hong-Uh," he said with pride and a smile.
So, my companion took a bite, and a little later I took my bite. I was immediately encompassed by a sensation I have never before had. It tasted like I had bitten into a bag of window cleaner (or as I imagine it to be). I didn't know what to do.
Everyone at the table was looking at me. "This tastes nothing like any food I've ever eaten. What do I do?" I thought.
Mind you, our host was not wealthy and this single piece of fish was about $40 a piece. Not only that, but not eating the food you've been served (especially at an expensive restaurant) is offensive.
So I did what I can now say I am proud of. I swallowed it. I thought I was going to die, but I swallowed it.
Later that night I found out that my companion had secretly spit his serving into his napkin without anyone seeing. I felt so betrayed. This was definitely my most memorable food story from my mission. The Hong-Uh trumped the fish eyeball, dried squid, and the deathly hot pepper I ate.
— Jake Nelson
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