Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ginseng aloe smoothies and cigarettes anyone?

    During my first week in Seoul I felt like I was getting sick because of my crazy schedule and the time change. Luckily I discovered one of the healthiest drinks I have ever tasted just one block from my office. This drink seriously cured me while I was sick, and prevented me from getting sick when I felt some sinusitis symptoms!
    One women owns a small little storefront on the main street food section of Jongno. Sitting outside her shop, you can see big aloe plants which she uses in her smoothies. The 3,000 won smoothie consists of fresh aloe plant, soy milk, banana milk, and a kiwi. The 4,000 smoothie is exactly the same but comes with fresh ground up ginseng.
    The drink tastes very cool and soothing because of the aloe, while it is bitter from the ginseng and sour from the kiwi. The first time I had a sip I thought "well this taste healthy!" So yes, it is definitely an acquired taste. There is no ice blended in the smoothie, so it needs to be gulped down quickly while it is fresh. But the light taste is not hard to bear; each time I order the smoothie I finish it within the two or three minutes it takes to get to my apartment.

    The only weird thing about this amazing smoothie is that you can buy cigarettes from the same women! Like most things I have discovered in Korea, this healthy cigarette selling smoothie shop is a complete oxymoron! Clearly the women wants to encourage people to buy healthy drinks and lead a healthy lifestyle. She wouldn't have fresh aloe in her smoothies otherwise. However, I guess her smoothies haven't caught on with very many of the ajashis (old men) in the area, so she sells cigarettes on the side to survive!

    Directions to the aloe smoothie lady: Take exit 1 of the Jongno 3 Sam-ga subway stop and turn right at the Skin Food on the first corner. Walk down the street about one minute and you will see the ladies aloe plants and shop on the left hand side.

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  1. I wonder how this drink tastes. I want to try this on my own. Maybe I can make one while smoking.
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  2. I like the idea of Ginseng smoothies. It sounds healthy to me. I do not approve of ginseng being used as a tobacco.
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