Trends: Lee Hyori's Lentils
Korea is the land if foodies and the people and the media are constantly talking about food. The focus of the food is how it is trendy and new or the health benefits it has. There has been a backlash against power bloggers as they are being criticized by the "netizens (Korean Citizens on the net and...they are very different on the net than online. It's where many Koreans let their Mr. Hyde out.). Some of these power bloggers get paid thousands of dollars to endorse a product or restaurant.
In the past many Korean people would quickly search for a restaurant by searching for an area and writing 맛집 (restaurant) and picking up the results. The problem is that power bloggers are taking up all the search terms.
It is actually quite easy to find bloggers and invite them to restaurants and starting (therefore hungry) bloggers (those with 800-2000 visitors a day) can easily be invited for a free meal or "taxi" fare (20-50,000 won). As this abuse of the net is happening, people are looking for a credible opinion on where to eat.
Surprisingly, Lee Hyori, Korea's Madonna, has emerged as the top power blogger and she has just started blogging on May 29th. You can find her blog <a href="http://blog.naver.com/hyori79lee/220012656702">here</a>. The blog has thrust her back into the spotlight and on TV shows. She has major influence on society and in the last two weeks she went on TV to talk about her diet and she told people about lentils. She even cooked the lentils for people on the program and nobody seemed very enthused. However, lentils are now on many restaurant menus and even for sale by grandmas and grandpas at the traditional market. The amount of influence this woman has in Korea is incredible since most consumption in Korea is lead by women. The good thing is that she has so much money that I don't think she can be easily swayed to endorse something she doesn't believe in. She lives on Jeju Island now and I think her blog is going to be a huge draw for Koreans to the island.
On another note, Cass is taking a hit these days because there is a rumor that their beer has a bleach smell. This is causing many bars to to stop ordering Cass and switching to other brands. Cass is denying this rumor and said it is being spread by competitors. Because there are so many complaints, liquor distributors are taking Cass back from bars and restaurants (like my bar Brew 3.14) and changing it for another brand.
Finally, on tv today was a woman making blueberry noodles. The noodles were mixed with blueberries and cooked in an anchovy broth. Hmmm... I wonder how they tasted.