Oh, it’s “well-being” food!

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Koreans are obsessed with whatever will make them healthy, especially with regards to food.  There’s even a phrase they’ve adopted from English, one that’s a little old-fashioned, at least in American English: “well-being.”  It’s pronounced “well-beeng,” in two, short syllables, and it basically is attached to any food Koreans want to believe is good for them.  Behold, the “well-being” Dunkin’ Donuts:

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As far as I can tell, the only difference between these donuts and every other donut in this store is that they’re made with organic flour and organic sugar.  Diane and I also saw people selling “well-being” hotteok, which are delicious little fried circles of dough filled with brown sugar.  My cousin says there is even such a thing as “well-being” pork belly.

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It seemed ridiculous to me at first, and awfully convenient, but the more I think about it, the more I think there’s something to it.  I don’t think it’s necessarily what the Korean Dunkin’ Donuts marketing department is trying to suggest, but there is something healthier about an outlook that’s concerned about ingredients and their sources.  I don’t believe that organic = good, and your arteries can get clogged on organic fat just as well as non-organic fat.  But it’s got to be good for you to care about the quality of the ingredients you put into your body, even when you’re eating fried dough, donuts, and all the delicious pastries at Kim Young Mo Patisserie, a bakery which has been organic forever, even before it was trendy.

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One of their best creations is an ice cream sandwich with the Chinese characters for “fortune” or “luck” stamped on it. (I took the photo upside down—I can’t read Chinese characters!)  The wrapping around it is thin and crispy, kind of like a Communion wafer, the perfect vessel for my favorite filling of walnut ice cream.  I did really feel lucky eating it, and it certainly improved my well-being.  I wish I had some in my freezer now.

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3 Responses to “Oh, it’s “well-being” food!”

  1. Diane Says:

    I wish I was eating any of the three items that you pictured in this blog!

  2. anonymous Says:

    it is EXACTLY like a communion wafer!

  3. Edible Curios: A Green Monday « The Culture Muncher Says:

    […] made with “Green Tea Well-Being Dough”. Pizza that is also health food? As Grace Meng mentions in her blog, “well-being” became a popular adjective in South Korea, where the […]

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