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[Trending] K-pop star sparks ‘cow intestines’ craze in Korea

Cow intestines, or gopchang, have always been favored by Korean drinkers, but the popularity of the dish is soaring throughout the country these days.

Many local gopchang restaurants are packed with customers every night, and some eateries are even temporarily shutting down due to an inadequate supply of gopchang nationwide. 

Mamamoo`s Hwasa eats gopchang on the MBC show
Mamamoo`s Hwasa eats gopchang on the MBC show "I Live Alone." (MBC)

At the center of the craze is Hwasa of K-pop group Mamamoo. The 22-year-old diva recently ate mouthwatering gopchang during an appearance on the MBC show “I Live Alone.”

Sitting at an outdoor table, Hwasa ordered two portions of cow intestines, one portion of cow heart, cow intestines soup and rice. It was quite a lot for one, but she cleared all the dishes alone with gusto.

“I’ve never seen such appetizing ‘meokbang’ (eating video) before that makes me crave for the food like this much,” actor Lee Si-eon said on the show, after watching footage that showed Hwasa eating. 

Mamamoo`s Hwasa eats gopchang on the MBC show
Mamamoo`s Hwasa eats gopchang on the MBC show "I Live Alone." (MBC)

The video went viral on social media, with the two-minute clip circulating all over the internet. The official clip posted on MBC’s Facebook page garnered over 270,000 views in a week and 4,400 likes.

“Hwasa has stolen intestines from all cows in the country by showcasing the appetizing meokbang,” a Twitter user said, posting screenshots of the clip. The tweet received more than 6,100 likes and was shared over 21,600 times.

Social media users actively shared photos of their gopchang dishes at restaurants, saying “I couldn’t curb my appetite for gopchang after watching Hwasa eating it.” Some users also posted photos that depict long lines in front of gopchang restaurants.

“I waited like two hours to get into the restaurant,” a Twitter user said, “Everyone in the restaurant was talking about Hwasa from last night’s show. The restaurant constantly played Mamamoo’s song in the store as well.”

The phenomenal popularity of cow intestines even coined terms such as the “Hwasa Effect” or “Hwasa gopchang.”

Restaurant owners sent thankful messages to the girl group member, as sales dramatically increased after the episode of the show aired.

“Due to the ‘Hwasa Effect,’ the entire supply of cow intestines is currently sold out. We are closing tomorrow, thank you,” read a restaurant’s notice in a photo circulating on social media.

By Park Ju-young (