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The best meal

Posted October. 03, 2017 08:31,   

Updated October. 03, 2017 08:38


Back in 1998, there was a TV show titled “The Best Meal” in Korea. The format of the show consisted people interested in cooking appeared on the show and had a competition with the dishes they cooked. In recent days, “Meokbang” (Eating show) is the most popular trend in variety shows and educational shows in Korea, but it was a groundbreaking attempt at the time. The daytime ratings were fine, but when it was re-assigned to air during the nighttime, the ratings dropped and the show became cancelled within a year.

Have Choi Yeong-in, a producer at Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) and the pioneer of cooking show productions, who started with “Little Cook” in 1994 and went further with “The Best Meal” and “Let’s Choose! Flavor vs. Flavor,” found the best meal? He said that he was able to taste the dishes of many masters, but he hasn’t found the answer from them.

His interpretation on flavor and ratings is quite interesting. “A familiar and predictable flavor must be shown to make the viewers’ mouths water and the ratings rise. An unfamiliar flavor is still unfamiliar, even though the food looks flamboyant,” Choi said. “So I think that’s why people choose the familiar flavors of the home-cooked meals filled with memories as the best meals.”

Traditionally, the friendliness of the feast table of Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Day, has a special significance in the political community of Korea. In recent days, the public opinions are formed through the news media, such as newspapers and social network services. But in the past, Chuseok was the event of group communication with the parents, siblings, relatives and acquaintances, living up to the expression‎ “the mass migration.” Even though the new common law of “not talking about politics” came to life, when people share a drink, lectures on politics are inevitable.

The main menu of the feast table issue of this year consists of national security issues surrounding North Korea’s nuclear weapons, the nation suffering from the strife, housekeeping, the political community with intensifying conflicts with the idea of governance nowhere to be found, and the local election scheduled to take place next year.

Political parties claim that they are doing their bests to charm the people around the Chuseok holidays, but what’s more important than promotion is listening. This Chuseok is a golden opportunity for the political community to have its feast menus eval‎uated modestly and have them rated. Self-righteousness does not make the best meal, but rather an open heart does.