07 November 2011

The Evil Weevil

It's official. I am totally grossed out! Last night, I decided to make myself a nice Thai curry. To my surprise, when I opened the bag of Jasmine rice I had purchased at the Foreign Food Market in Itaewon, I came face to face with a familiar vermin: the weevil. I once had an encounter with these pantry pests years ago, back home in Canada. They had infested some flour and had made their way into at least half of the other grain products in my pantry. It was a nasty affair that ended up being both very time consuming and expensive.

Luckily, because I haven't been here for very long and I don't do as much cooking at home in Korea as I do in Canada, it didn't take me that long to get rid of (hopefully, they're gone) these pests. I emptied out my pantry. I painstakingly checked every possible food product that could have been contaminated. Only the rice and a packet of sliced almonds had been infested. I cleaned the pantry with sudsy water. I let it dry. I put everything back in. Now, I will hope for the best.

When it comes to rice, I like variety. I get bored with Korean rice (essentially the same as Japanese "sticky rice") so I always go to the Foreign Food Market to make sure I'm stocked up on Jasmine or Basmati, even though it's ridiculously overpriced. Now, I'm so freaked out that I'm not sure that I ever want to go back to that place! The fact that the only other food item in my pantry where I found a weevil was the packet of sliced almonds also purchased there has totally put me off.

I know that I'm going to be paranoid about this for a while. It doesn't help that I did some research and found out that we have all eaten weevils, in one form or another, at some stage in our lives...

Quoted from How to Get Rid of Weevils
"I am both pleased and honored to be the one to tell you that yes, you have eaten weevils. I know it's a disgusting thought, but there's really nothing to be done about it. Most people are never even aware that it has happened. It might have simply been their eggs. It could, however, have been little bits of exoskeleton, maybe a leg or two, or possibly even the entire nasty weevil . . . or at least its larvae. With something as common as weevils, it's pretty much unavoidable. They can be found in nearly any prepackaged food you buy that contains any sort of grain. I'm talkin' cookies, crackers, biscuits, cake mixes, pastas, breakfast cereals, anything. This is due to the fact that weevils lay their eggs in, you guessed it, grains."

So, are you grossed out yet? Good, I'm not alone.  Incidentally, I also learned that Bay Leaves are a natural weevil deterrent. I have now spread Bay Leaves throughout my pantry. Wish me luck...

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