Cold Drinks and Greasy Food


Korean folk practice for digesting greasy food


Eumin Lee was born and raised in the United States, although both of her parents spent much of their lives in Korea. As a result, Eumin grew up surrounded by Korean culture and superstitions. She now studies at the University of Southern California.

Original Script:

“Um, she always tells me to never ever drink iced water after I eat something, after I eat any type of greasy food, because she thinks that, um, if I drink cold water while I’m eating this greasy food, that the grease will just, like, bubble up in my blood, or something, and just, like, be a detriment to my health. She always tells me to drink hot water or hot tea while I’m eating greasy foods.”

Informant’s Background Knowledge and Relationship with this Piece:

Eumin says that she does not really prescribe to this superstition, but it was advice that her mom strongly believed in and recommended to her.

Thoughts About the Piece:

In America, no one would look twice at somebody eating a greasy burger and plate of fries with an ice-cold soda next to them. If anything, it would be expected. However, after living in the US for several years, Eumin’s mom still believes that this combination of greasy food and cold drink is bad for a person’s health.