Mom’s Enthusiastic Endorsement of CJ’s Bibigo Foods
Quite randomly, I received an email from a PR rep who was promoting Korean food maker CJ‘s new line of pantry items. Called “CJ Bibigo,” they include sauces, pastes, seasonings, and snacks. It’s not the first time I’ve been offered free goodies for blogging–my boyfriend and I used to write for a food site and scored free samples of See’s Candies for an obscenely long time period. However, I was especially geeked out to get a bunch of sample Korean food because 1. I love Korean food, obviously, and 2. I wanted to hear how my mom would react.
The problem was that my mom still doesn’t know about this blog, so I was going to have to figure out how to explain that I got a bunch of free Korean food samples without spilling the beans about MKM (not that I think she’d be upset or angry if she found out; I just think it’s more amusing that she doesn’t know about it for now). I received my package of free goodies and called my mom to share the good news.
Me: “So you know how I do a lot of writing for work?”
Me: “Well, I got contacted by a Korean food company because, uh, I’m Korean and I write…so, uh, they sent me a bunch of free samples.”
Mom: “Oh yeah?”
Me: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, I got a lot of stuff.”
Mom: “Ohhh…” [laughing] ‘Wowwww!” She was incredulous. “What kind?”
Me: “CJ Bibigo.”
Mom: ” Ohhhh, CJ is good! CJ is best quality food company!”
I started laughing really hard.
Mom: “Yeah, best brand. Other brands okay but CJ is top. Man, I wish I were there!”
A note to CJ foods: you couldn’t have asked for a more singing, unprompted endorsement than the one my mom gave over the phone.
Me: “So you could sample the food with me?”
Mom: “Yeah. How you get again? How they send to you?”
Me: “Uh…you know, because I write. They saw some of my writing.”
Mom: “Where they see?”
Me: “Online…” Quick, change the subject! “You wanna hear what I got?”
Mom: “Yeah, what’d you get?”
I ran through the list of products.
Me: “I got a few Korean BBQ sauces–regular flavor, pineapple, and hot & spicy.”
Mom: “Mmm hmm, you make some bulgogi and use marinade.”
Me: “…some soy sauce with kelp, some sun-dried sea salt…”
Mom: “Oh, nice.”
Me: “Some rice bowls where you just have to microwave them and they cook really quickly…”
Me: “I got some seaweed snacks, too.”
Mom: “Seaweed! You like seaweed! It’s good for you.”
Me: “I also got some gochujang [hot pepper paste] and some ssamjang [soybean paste]. I know what to use the gochujang for, but what should I do with the ssamjang?”
Mom: “Oh, you gotta make soup. You know like miso soup? Just like that, same thing, just a little stronger. So put lot of water and some dashida and little seaweed, chop tiny tofu, that’s a miso soup.”
Mom, beaming: “That’s cool! You get free samples. Out of all my babies, you smartest one…but don’t tell Mia [my sister].”
I died laughing. [After telling my brother John what my mom said, his response was "Mia?! What about me!!")
I haven't had a chance to try all of my free samples, but I've tasted some of the stuff and it's all quite good. I'm a sucker for dried seaweed so the seaweed snacks are perfect--I heated up one of the rice bowls and had it with some kimchi and seaweed. The rice bowls are really convenient since they cook so fast.
I’ve also used the soy sauce and the sea salt on occasion and it’s good too.
Recently I made beef stir fry with the hot & spicy Korean BBQ marinade and it was tasty–not ridiculously spicy but a flavorful amount of heat. I plan on making some chicken wings this weekend with the remaining hot & spicy marinade.
I really want to try the CJ BBQ marinade that has Korean pear and apple in it:
A reddit user posted the sauce saying a lady at the Asian grocery store near him said he had to buy it, and that you should “ALWAYS do what the ladies at Asian grocery stores tell you” (very true). He made these wings with the sauce and they look mighty tasty, so I need to find this sauce too!
Thanks, CJ, for hooking me up with some really cool food samples. I quite like the Bibigo line and will definitely try more of the products. If you decide to send me some more lovely samples, I might give them to my mom and transcribe her review; she’d certainly be thrilled to receive them.