Vegan's Chronicles + [vegan product]

Hitting up the convenience store for vegan snacks

The other day, I was out and about and started to feel hungry and low on energy. I usually pack some emergency food in my bag before I leave the house (fruit, chocolate, crackers, or even beans), but this time, I had nothing on me and was starting to get cranky, which is generally what happens when I go more than 4 hours without eating something! Non-vegans in Korea can easily pop into one of the convenience stores like GS25, Family Mart, or Seven-11 which are practically on every block, and buy a triangle kimbab or a yogurt cup, but being vegan makes things a bit more challenging- especially if you want something healthy.

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Well, one of my favorite 'pick-me-up' packaged foods that can easily be found at almost any of those stores, is this snack product that contains only one ingredient: chestnuts! ("Bam" in Korean.)

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They're kinda expensive (more than 2000 won) and there's only about 3/4 cup of chestnuts in one bag, but it's usually enough to sustain me til I can find real food, or til my next meal.

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Looks like a brain, but tastes yummy.

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Snackin' on the subway~

I don't buy food at convenience stores very often (except soy milk), but sometimes they are a life saver. For example, yesterday my company treated everyone in our department to lunch, but as always, they picked a very non-veg friendly eatery: a Japanese shabu shabu restaurant. I was going to order the soba noodles, but then the server said that the soup/broth wasn't vegan. So then I decided to go with the bibim naengmyun that was on the menu, only to find that it wasn't available! Argh.

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In the end, I had to go with the only two available vegan options, which were rolls of deep fried sweet potato and pumpkin, covered in batter (like tempura). They looked pretty, but they pretty much just tasted like oil and I'm not really a fan of deep fried foods.

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I ate about half of them and picked out the fillings from the others... It was a rather depressing "lunch." I don't know why the company had to choose this restaurant when there were plenty of better options in the area. Sadly, I think I ended up looking like a deprived, starving vegan with slim pickin's, when in reality, I eat abundantly and amazingly well.

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Obviously, that meal did little to satisfy my grumbling belly, so before I headed back to the office, I rushed to a Family Mart store and picked up a few things to somewhat fill the void. In addition to a package of chestnuts, I got a cup of whole grain cereal (which happens to be vegan) and a glass of soy milk.

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The cereal looked similar to Kellogs rice krispies, but was crunchier in texture and had a few almond slices.

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It was pretty good~ Even after I added the soymilk, it still had a little bit of crunch, unlike rice krispies which tend to get soggy really fast. It also wasn't overly sweet and I appreciated the occasional bits of almonds. However, it's quite possible that it tasted better than it actually was, due to my hunger and appetite.

So that's how this vegan in Korea scrounges for food when hungry and in a hurry... it's nice to know that there ARE some vegan packaged snacks that can easily be found at convenience stores, and that aren't over-processed, chemically, laden in sugar, or fried. Other vegan snack options at most c-stores include nuts, puffed rice or corn, and sometimes ddeok.