WATCH ME EAT! What Is A "Mukbang?"
The mukbang craze is still going strong; just what is so appealing about watching people eat?
First of all, just what is a mukbang? The term mukbang (먹방) is derived from the words "meoknun" (먹는) meaning "eating" and "bangsong" (방송) which means "broadcast." So, quite literally, a mukbang is a live or recorded broadcast of someone eating. What makes them special, however, is what they are eating. Most mukbang hosts will broadcast their session live, and will interact with their (sometimes paying) viewers while eating copious amounts of food. From table length pizzas, to a dozen catered platters of hors d'oeuvres, no type and no amount of food is off limits.
The practice of mukbang is often monetized in Korea. Mostly streamed through Afreeca.tv, viewers can send payments to their favorite eaters while watching. Many analysts have debated what the appeal of mukbangs is; why do people want to watch others eating so much? Some dieters say it helps them curb their appetite, some finicky eaters say it helps them work up their appetite. Others say watching a mukbang while they themselves are eating alone make them feel like they're sharing a meal with a friend. Whatever the case, mukbang culture continues to evolve, and with the top hosts earning up to $9,000 a month, it's not hard to understand why!
Have you tried the Korean fire noodle challenge? Try that, multiplied by six! This mukbang eater takes on six packs of Buldak Bokkeumyun (불닭볶음면) and barely makes it out without melting from the heat. Can't get enough spicy ramyun? Check out our RamyunFever box!
Many mukbangs also combine the current trend of ASMR with their broadcasts. The satisfaction you get from hearing every crunch, every munch, and every slurp can be absolutely addictive.
Idols are also hopping onto the mukbang bandwagon! V Live, a broadcasting app for celebs to stream live for their fans, has created their own mukbang segment under their "V Cookie" channel. Titled "Eating Show," the broadcast has had idols from older generations like Rain, to the hottest, newest idols like NCT 127, appear to eat an assortment of finger-licking foods. Though they're not eating ridiculous mountains of delicacies like the famous mukbang streamers, it's definitely satisfying watching your favorite idols eat to their heart's content.
What do you think of mukbang? Would you ever want to try it yourself? Do you enjoy watching other's eat? Do you find it straight up STRANGE? Would you want to watch the SnackFever fam gorge on some snacks? Let us know! Try streaming your own mukbang with the snacks you got from your SnackFever box! Tag us in all your eating attempts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!