Saturday before the U.S. World Cup game, I ran to the grocery store to stock up on hots dogs, pretzels, popcorn, and soda. Since we couldn’t be at the game, I decided to make food that we would buy if we were there in person. And it got me wondering, what types of concessions do they offer at Korean sporting events?
As I thought about who I could ask, I came upon a recent video made by Martina and Simon Stawski over at EatYourKimchi.com about attending an FC Seoul versus Suwon Bluewings soccer match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium (www.eatyourkimchi.com/index.php?id=308717132679539753). And, of course, the light bulb went off–I should ask Simon and Martina. So I did; and thanks to a lightening-fast response, I had my answer in time for today’s post.
Surprisingly, you can still get a hot dog at a Korean stadium, and of course, soda is available. That’s what Simon decided on. But Martina got a hot chocolate and dried squid. Simon said he always saw people ordering boxes of chicken, sandwiches, and a sushi/kimbap combo.
I’d thought that kimbap was probably available at concessions since it’s a traditional Korean picnic food. But I wouldn’t have thought of dried squid and I guess the hot dog is more universal than I thought. (But it seems that Korean’s have put their own unique twist on the hot dog, or twists. The site where I found the photo says that they saw hot dogs wrapped in bacon or french fries or mashed potatoes or seaweed then deep fried. Interesting.)
But Korean soccer concession stands might have more in common with those in America than just hot dogs, according to an article on the JoonAng Daily(http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2881393). It seems there’s little variation in what’s offered and prices are higher than what you’d pay outside the stadium. The writer of this article recommended packing your own kimbap and drinks.
From what I’ve found it looks like the stadiums in Korea don’t mind you bringing in your own food, which is different from stadiums in America. Another blog (http://annyeongkate.blogspot.com/2009/09/korean-baseball.html) mentioned the concessions at a Korean baseball stadium and that you can bring anything in including “an entire picnic if you want.”
Likely, if you see a soccer game in Korea some day, the food will be the least of what you remember. But you might have some interesting choices.