Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 365!

Haitai Black Garlic Flavor Fish Sausage: Ok, this is officially it. Day 365. It's so hard for me to believe that I completed this insane project. I know I said I'd save the sentiment for the last day, and to be honest, it feels awesome to finally be done. I can't tell you how daunting it was to begin this blog and know that I was taking on the responsibility of doing something every day for a year. How many things do any of us do every day for a year, besides sleep, shower, or brush our teeth? Not many.

One thing I can't stress enough is how important the feedback was from my readers. If no one had cared  about what I was doing, I can't say with certainty that I would have finished. All the positive comments kept me going during times when I wanted to quit, and for that, I thank all of you. Also, I definitely couldn't have finished without the support and input from the "GF" I mentioned a million times during the blog. She encouraged me to keep going when it was the last thing on earth I wanted to do, and for that I'll always be thankful.

Several people have asked me what I plan to do with all this information once I'm done. I'm toying around with a couple of ideas, but even if those don't materialize, I'll always have the satisfaction of what I accomplished. I learned more about food that I ever imagined to, and that's really what the goal was all along. In addition, I committed to doing something every single day for a year, and I succeeded. It feels great to have put it behind me so I don't have to think about it anymore. I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to eating like a normal person again, without scanning every market or menu for my next possible blog entry.

Enough talk - on to the last new food! I chose today's entry to be the last because of its ties to what I ate on day 1. Remember the Korean blood sausage called "soon dae" that was my first entry? Well, my last new food is yet another unusual Korean sausage, and I feel like I've now come full circle. There are few things I love more than interesting sausage-y things, especially ones made with off-the-wall ingredients, and this one definitely fits that bill. Strangely, it somehow made sense to end with something similar to what I began with.

I didn't even know fish sausage existed until I saw this Korean import during my last trip to the Buford Highway Farmers Market. Several different styles were available, but I chose the one flavored with black garlic. It had a sort of light tan color that resembled bologna more than a fish product, and it was made from surimi, which is also what's used to make imitation crab (or "krab"). Surimi isn't an actual fish - it refers to a "fish-based food product that has been pulverized to a thick paste and has the property of becoming a dense and rubbery food item when cooked." Kind of like a fish hot dog - thanks, Wikipedia.
Despite yesterday's disaster with cooking the souse, I decided to try pan-frying a couple slices of this one since I wasn't sure if it was pre-cooked. Luckily, it didn't immediately disintegrate when hitting the hot pan like the souse did. Each slice was fairly firm to start with, and I managed to brown each one on both sides after a couple minutes of cooking. Once they were ready, I took one out of the pan and took a bite. Not bad. The flavor reminded me a lot of "krab," with a sweet, slightly fishy taste that was actually pretty good. I didn't detect much garlic, but there was a mild saltiness that didn't bother me at all. Texture-wise, it was similar to a hot dog, and it took my brain a few seconds to register that I wasn't eating one. I'm not sure how this product is traditionally eaten (alone? in a dish?), but I found a recipe for breading and pan-frying it that sounded good. Maybe I'll try that.
Well, folks...that's it. I'm done. Once, again, thank you so much for all the support and comments over the last year - they both mean a lot. I know a lot of you have expressed interest in what's next, so here's what's going on. The site will remain as is, but I'm rebooting the whole project at a new address ( Check there in a few days for more information on what comes next. I'm going to continue blogging about all the new foods I try, but unlike this blog, there will be far less rules, some different content, and first and foremost, no daily posting. I plan on having something up this week, so please check back with me soon. And, as usual, I'll be regularly updating on Facebook and Twitter.

I usually don't type in all caps, but here it goes...I"M FINISHED!!


  1. how exciting! i have so enjoyed reading and seeing the new things you've shared with us! i hope you do continue to blog in some aspect and keep us updated! you have a very lovely way of writing about things

  2. Thanks so much! I will definitely keep blogging, so check back at soon for new updates. I'm really glad you enjoyed the blog.

  3. A big congrats to you, this was quite a commitment!! I can barely blog a few times a month let alone every day. Looking forward to what's up your sleeve on the new blog! I'd be happy to help out any way I can.

  4. Thanks! The daily commitment was seriously tough, but I somehow managed to pull it off. Hope to see you again in person soon...