"Do you cook Korean food?"
The inevitable question. I love food. I love to cook food. And my family is Korean. A fact of life when I meet new people and get to know them. I accept the reality. What I don't ever anticipate is the reaction when I say, "well, no not really." It's as if I spit in their food and cursed their patron saint and their mother. The look is sustained as I reveal further that, in fact, I prefer to cook and eat Mediterranean dishes than the things my mother cooks and feeds me.
Note the last part of the last sentence. Mom feeds me. Korean food. I've never had the necessity of simmering potent taeng-jang (soy bean paste) with plenty of garlic, green chili pepper with enough water to accomodate the potatoes and slivers of sesame oil-sauteed beef. It wasn't until recently that I started taking stabs at my ancestral cuisine. At first it was to avoid the inevtiable reaction that came with the inevitable question. Now, it's to come mouth-to-spoon with all the unabashed flavor.
A simple and bastardized example of my kitchen exploits: A fresh radish salad that can be called, well, "punchy."