It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of Americans have no idea what life is really like in North Korea. We can surmise all we want, and try to put ourselves in North Korean’s shoes, but at the end of the day, those shoes are just not going to fit.
Recently, a producer at Digitalsoju TV, a South Korean YouTube channel founded by a Korean-American, decided to set out to see what a handful of North Korean refugees would think about chicken wings. The idea was to introduce the refugees, now living in Seoul, South Korea, to one of America’s most coveted foods.
“We have in the past done a video of North Korean refugees trying American bbq for the first time (4.2 million views so far) and we have recently release a video of North Korean refugees trying American style chicken wings, including you guessed it, Buffalo wings,” said Chris Kwon Lewis. “The city of Buffalo takes great pride in their world famous Buffalo sauce. We paid attention to details and gave them blue cheese as a dip for the Buffalo wings, as opposed to ranch since some people [in Buffalo] apparently consider it blasphemy. On top of that, for anyone who might be confused, we let them know it’s named after the city of Buffalo and not the animal — giving the city the respect it deserves.”
You probably did not expect to be starting off your day watching North Korean refugees eating Buffalo wings, and discussing the nuances of the flavors. I certainly didn’t. But once I started to watch the video, I was hooked. I was especially intrigued with the bizarre finger gloves that some South Koreans wear when eating the Buffalo food favorite. Hmmmm… at least they didn’t supply the refugees with Trongs. Anyways, not to belabor the point, but chicken wings really should be eaten with the hands, sans apparatuses. After all, it’s part of the experience… to get a bit messy in the process.
In the end, this was not as much about eating chicken wings as it was a social experiment. “Though the video is about trying new food, that’s not it’s only focus as it’s also about connecting different cultures together by using food as vehicle to bring people together,” Lewis pointed out. “Also in the video, the five North Korean refugees eat with an American (former military veteran). They talk about the irony of eating together even though Americans were once considered their sworn enemy and also share what they used to think Americans typically ate.”
Maybe the Buffalo-style chicken wing could some day be the peace maker that will bring the world together, just as Coke intended to do when is set out to “teach the world to sing”. But this time, we could recruit Dennis Rodman to spread the good word of the Buffalo wing, and its saucy nature, to Kim Jong-un, who would then be too preoccupied with the tasty treat to think about his nuclear program. Heck, maybe we’ll send some to president Trump as well. Judging by the reactions of the North Korean refugees, Buffalo wings might wield a hidden super power that works magic on those who eat them. At this point, we should be game to try anything.