Hongeo – South Korea’s Stinkiest Food Smells Like a Public Restroom

Hongeo is a bizarre South Korean dish with a pungent aroma that most people describe as a mix of dirty public toilet and wet laundry left untended for days.

Made from skate, a bottom-dwelling ray fish, Hongeo is considered by far South Korea‚Äôs smelliest food. It’s so stinky that many South Koreans wouldn’t come near it, let alone put in their mouths. However, its many fans can’t get enough of the ammonia fumes it emanates and swear that once you get used to it, it’s impossible to replace with anything else. But feasting on this stinky delicacy comes with a social cost, as the smell tends to linger in the mouth as well as on clothes. In fact, hongeo-specialized restaurants advise customers to seal their jackets in plastic bags before eating, and spray them with deodorant before leaving.

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