fh14: (Bangel and Pakis-tan [Pakis-tan])
fh14 ([personal profile] fh14) wrote2016-11-07 10:25 am
Entry tags:

Comfort Food

I wasn't planning on updating this today, but I figured it would be cathartic since I've been spinning out the past few days due to stress from the election. I have an anxiety disorder so I don't handle stress particularly well on a good day, so it hasn't exactly been fun trying to deal with all this.

I'm in a slightly better mood at the moment though, because one of my favorite YouTube channels updated for the first time in months and it managed to even me out in a way that nothing else has been able to.

So, I should start out by saying that I'm really fascinated by cultural differences, particularly between the United States and other countries. It's one of the reasons I became so enamored with [livejournal.com profile] hetalia, which is admittedly not great with historical aspects but is really interesting when viewed through the lens of the country it originated from and how cultural relationships are depicted within it. This isn't a journal entry about Hetalia though. It's an entry about food videos.

Over the past year or so, I've discovered there's this whole sub-genre of videos on YouTube where people from one culture try food from another culture and give their thoughts and observations. About half of these videos are about candy, as its easier to import stuff like that from other countries. Those can be interesting but oftentimes the brands are worldwide so the people making the videos are either somewhat familiar with the candy or have a version of it in their own country, which makes it less interesting to me. The ones I find much more engaging are the ones involving cooked food.

My favorite channel to make videos like this is Digitalsoju, which is based in Seoul, South Korea. It certainly helps that South Korea is one of the places I'm most interested in visiting, but it also has the best production quality I've come across and participants who are more interested in giving their genuine thoughts rather than over-the-top reactions. (I've found whenever channels like Buzzfeed make videos like this, they tend to have people who are very abrasive and "zany" because they think it'll make the videos more interesting. It just makes them grating.) Another thing I really like about their videos is that they're almost always dealing with cooked or prepared foods. In the American BBQ video above, for example, some of the cuts of meet they serve aren't commonly eaten in Korea the way they are in the USA. In the one where they eat pizza, it served in three regional styles that are very different from what they're used to.

I think a part of the reason I like these videos so much is because they're a lot of fun without any pretense. Like, it's just people experiencing new foods from a different country for the first time. That's it. The people making these videos aren't doing it with the intent of marketing something, but rather just because they enjoy doing it. Hell, Digitalsoju just opened up a Patreon with their newest video that I supported right away because I enjoy their content so much.

I don't think it was until this morning that I realized how much I appreciated these videos. They're healing in a way. They certainly made me feel a lot better today. I highly recommend their whole channel to anyone reading this, and if you do, let me know what you think!