On January 21’s episode of SBS‘s Paik Jong Won’s Three Great Emperors, Tony An revealed he had once been investigated by police in the United States because of his cooking.
While he lived in America, Tony liked to keep a piece of Korea with him and one of the ways he stayed in touch with his culture was to make the Korean stews he was an avid fan of. Tony had been making cheonggukjang, an extremely pungent Korean stew made of fermented soybeans when two policemen knocked on his door. Cheonggukjang‘s scent is very similar to natto‘s, but it can seem more pungent as it is cooked on a stove for a long time, which releases its odors over a prolonged period of time.
According to Tony, the two policemen stated:
“We can smell a rotting human body coming from your house. We need to search it.”
Tony immediately informed the officers that the odor they were smelling was probably the cheonggukjang he was cooking and brought it over to the policemen.
He asked them to take a whiff, explained that it was a traditional Korean stew, and offered them a spoonful. The policemen, who then understood the situation, slowly backed away, politely declining Tony’s offer.
So, next time you cook cheonggukjang outside of Korea, be prepared for some unexpected visitors!
Source: Ilgan Sports