One of the most popular Korean soul foods gopchang (곱창) is made with beef tripe (small intestine). It is “the chewy, tube-shaped offal that is rich in fiber” mostly served as BBQ or stew — and while it is considered an “exotic” menu to foreigners, it also became well known when MAMAMOO‘s Hwasa smashed 3 servings of it by herself on I Live Alone.
When prepared right, gopchang can be quite a delicacy. It is a highly preferred anju (안주, food served with alcohol) menu amongst soju lovers. And thanks to the convenience of Korean online grocery shopping, beef tripe has become relatively easy to buy for a pub-style meal at home too.
Excited to make some gopchang dishes in her own kitchen, an anonymous Korean woman “A” placed her order of frozen tripe online. A, being a gopchang lover, has tried frozen tripe from different brands in the past and never had any issues. So after seeing the positive product reviews on a popular online shopping page Cookat Market, A didn’t hesitate to purchase — and looked forward to receiving her ingredient. What A didn’t know was the fact that she signed up for the most traumatizing experience of her life.
When the frozen tripe arrived at her door, A immediately cooked up a feast. A couple bites in to the meal though, A realized something was very, very wrong about her gopchang dish.
I ate like two or three pieces… but I couldn’t really get over the texture and the flavor. It actually felt like I’m chewing on dry grass, so to speak. I spat out what was in my mouth — and found a bunch of eyelash looking hair in it. That’s when I decided to cut open the rest of the tripe…
Inside the tripe which she cut open, she saw what she can never unsee. The “uncleaned” tripe was filled with substances included grass, hair, and fecal matter. Here come the pictures — beware:
When she reached out to Cookat Market about it, the seller apologized and admitted the fault. However, the seller also mentioned that the “compensation” A requested cannot be made because it is “out of their budget”.
Hello, this is Cookat Market. First, we would like to apologize for the inconvenience we have caused regarding this incident. As a trusted retail platform, we hold the responsibility for failing to pay closer attention to the quality of the products being supplied to us. Our suppliers and manufacturers also share the responsibility. As we have notified the customer, the substance has been verified to be undigested food left uncleaned in the intestinal tract. We have asked the manufacturers to boost the cleaning process to prevent this from happening again. Our quality assurance department will also implement additional steps to check for problems like this. We have repeatedly apologized to the customer and have voluntarily reported ourselves to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety about what has happened. We also reached out about proper compensation — however, we are sorry to admit that we are unable to match the requested amount and have not been able to proceed with settling. Again, we promise to pay closer attention to the manufacturing, supplying, and selling products on our platform.
— Cookat Market
A shared that she decided to reveal everything online when she became offended by the seller’s passive response to the matter.
I see that Cookat mentioned compensation… Let me tell you what. When I first reached out to Cookat, they said I should contact the supplier. When I contacted the supplier, they said I should contact the manufacturer in Australia — because they would be the ones responsible for cleaning the tripe. They all kept tossing me around like I’m someone else’s problem. I got fed up with the bullsh*t and decided they don’t deserve my patience. In the end, Cookat gave me some half-as*ed apology and tried to call it a deal by offering me $200-500 in compensation, along with some complimentary products.
In addition, A clarified that compensation had never been the priority. She said, “I wanted a sincere apology and a professional response to the incident” — because “no amount of money could possibly pay for the trauma endured.”
I did ask for an unreasonable amount of money because no amount of money could possibly pay for the trauma I endured. I’m still shaking from what I went through. I brushed my teeth multiple times, I threw my toothbrush away. I ate two anthelmintic pills. I had to leave work early because I got stomach cramps from the stress. I made it very clear to Cookat that I do not actually want this unreasonably large compensation. I also explained to them that I did not like the way they responded and so there is nothing they can give me to reverse that. Don’t they dare try to make it my fault that ‘things haven’t been settled yet‘ or whatever. It disgusts me even more. I told them, I don’t want their money.
Netizens are… well, sick to their stomachs to say the least. Some are “Taking this as an opportunity to quit gopchang“, claiming such “fatty food has never been good for the diet anyway.”
- “This is why good gopchang is actually f*cking expensive. The preparation takes all day because they have to wash the intestines thoroughly without ripping the meat. It’s not an easy menu — and definitely not something that can be ordered frozen online…”
- “What the f*ck… That doesn’t seem cleaned at all. Like they didn’t even try??? And the response has me baffled! Trying to bribe the customer with money and complimentary products after feeding her literal sh*t? They’re not sorry, obviously.”
- “Oh… wow, I am… on the brink of throwing up actually… I will never eat gopchang again after this. This is so disgusting. I feel nauseous.”
- “It’s not like shopping on Cookat Market is all that affordable either… To think that she paid good money for this crap??? It’s nasty business. This is going to traumatize not only A, but also me for the rest of my life.”
- “You know… I knew what gopchang is. Like I knew it’s an intestine. But I ate it anyway because I liked how it tasted. And I trusted the sellers to have prepared it well enough… But after seeing this… I really don’t know if I can ever have it again.”