Korean Food

Silk Worm CHALLENGE in Korea | 번데기 도전

Why would anyone ever want to eat silk worm pupae? Well, I'll tell you.

Silk worm pupae - known as 번데기 - were once an insanely popular Korean snack for both young and old. They're a cheap source of protein, and despite their appearance (worms? bugs?) taste pretty... well, edible.

During the Korean War and after, protein was scarce as it was being used for the military. Regular citizens didn't have many reliable and affordable sources of protein, so they turned to silk worm pupae. Well, not quite. Silk worm pupae were already a popular snack in Korea well before the Korean War (silk worms were originally brought over to Korea from China), but the Korean War helped popularize them and increase their demand in Korea. It was that necessity for cheap, edible, and reliable protein that drove the snack into becoming how famous it is even today.

These days young people avoid it due to the smell, appearance, texture, and even taste. Personally I think none of those are too off-putting, and it actually tastes quite nice, but I can understand why these days with so many other types of meat and snacks and fast food available that people no longer prefer eating silk worm pupae. But as a cultural experience, you won't find anything else quite like it.

Do you think you'd want to try them?

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