Korea’s Close Relationship with Kimchi
Travelling to South Korea any time soon?
Get your hands on some Kimchi beforehand and learn to love this famous Korean food staple.
Aside from K-Pop, Korea’s call to fame comes from the healthy and widely loved national food which consists mainly of fermented chillies, cabbage, radish, garlic, onion, ginger, salt, sugar and fish sauce.
Kimchi can be found in almost every store in South Korea and “it always has to be in the refrigerator in every house” says Hyunjoo Albrecht, a San Fransisco Chef who grew up close to the North Korean border. The fermented cabbage dish is so crucial to the countries culture that Albrecht claims “Kimchi is like air in Korea.”
Traditionally, the practice of making Kimchi and the rituals associated is known as Kimjang. This Kimchi making period usually happens once per year and involves members of many families, oftentimes the whole community, coming together to turn thousands of cabbage heads into a nutritional food source.
While the fast pace of modern Korea is slowly changing the traditions of Kimchi making, it’s cultural importance is just as strong as ever. Recently, UNESECO placed it on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity and wishes to protect the ritual, significance and practice of Kimjang.
If you’re interested in some fun Kimchi facts, read below:
– Each year, 1.5 million tons of Kimchi is eaten by people in Korea.
– Often each family, town or region have different Kimchi recipes and practices.
– There is a Kimchi Research Institute located in Pusan National University, South Korea.