In the sizzling heat, North Korea’s biggest brewery is pumping out twice as much beer as usual, Pyongyang residents are lining up to get their “bingsu” – a syrupy treat made with shaved ice – and restaurants are serving up bowl after bowl of the season’s biggest culinary attraction: spicy dog meat soup.
Euphemistically known as “dangogi,” or sweet meat, dog has long been believed to be a stamina food in North and South Korea and is traditionally eaten during the hottest time of the year, giving a sad twist to the old saying “dog days of summer.”
The dates are fixed according to the lunar calendar and dog meat consumption centers around the “sambok,” or three hottest days – July 17 and 27, and Aug. 16 this year. Demand appears to be especially high this year because of a heatwave in East Asia. Temperatures in the North have been among the highest ever recorded, hovering near 40 degree Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in several cities.