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HowKimchi Represents Korean Culture
Regardedas the most iconic food of the Korean people, Kimchi remains animportant food in the Korean food culture. When taken together withrice, it denotes the basic food of the Koreans. Food is an essentialpart of every society. Each country has its signature food thatrepresents its culture (Jung,Lee & Jeon, 2014).For the Koreans, kimchi is the best known food. Rice and kimchirepresent the staple food cuisine for Koreans. A lot of importance isattached to the two with a meal without kimchi being unthinkable.Kimchi accompanies every Korean meal such as rice and meat (Kwon,2012). This paper explains Korean food culture more specifically theKimchi.
Kimchiis made from a variety of vegetables. These vegetables include theKorean cabbage, cucumbers, ginger, garlic, onions, pepper, andradish. There are over 200 types of vegetables used to make kimchileading to a huge variety of kimchi with over 100 kinds beingavailable in Korea. The vegetables are combined with fish or pork andother flavors, then fermented at low temperatures to enhance itstaste (Jung,Lee & Jeon, 2014).Kimchi was prepared in the past as a source of vegetables duringwinter. Therefore, people got a lot of vitamins from the kimchi.Large quantities of kimchi are still prepared before winter toprovide nutrients throughout winter. Family members came together tomake kimchi leading to the birth of a custom known as gimjang(Jung,Lee & Jeon, 2014).To date, gimjang is still a big family event in the Korea bringingfamily members together to make and celebrate it.
Kimchiis celebrated as part of the Korean food tradition and culture duringthe annual kimchi festival(Jung,Lee & Jeon, 2014).The festival is celebrated in mid-October every year in Gwangiu. Thisannual event shows the degree of importance placed on kimchi. Thefestival spans several days highlighting the Korea’s kimchiculture. Several cultural events such as music, clothes, kimchimaking, singing, and dancing all were revolving around kimchi. Thefestival also showcases various types of kimchi for foreigners to seeand buy. In addition, kimchi culture is also displayed in the kimchimuseum. The museum exhibits Korea’s long history of kimchi (Kwon,2012). Koreans have started eating kimchi since time memorial makingkimchi part of the Korean history. In addition, kimchi programs teachforeigners and other Koreans on how to make the dish with many peopleenrolling.
Thekimchi culture is also proved by the existence of kimchirefrigerators in Korea. The kimchi refrigerator has over time becomea key appliance in all Korean households (Kwon, 2012). Therefrigerator is more useful than any other symbolizing the valueattached to kimchi by Korean families. The color red found in mosttypes of kimchi is relevant to Korean’s sentimentality as theybelieve that it chases away evil spirits. The demand for kimchi inKorea has led to the establishment of caves for brewing kimchi. Thecaves provide the appropriate temperature for kimchi fermentation.These caves are used for long processing of kimchi in largequantities to meet the demand (Kwon, 2012). The diversification ofkimchi with other dishes is an emerging trend in an attempt topopularize the dish globally.
Inconclusion, kimchi is the most widely used in Korean dishes withevery meal having it. Traditionally, kimchi is made of slicedvegetables seasoned with pepper, onions, and garlic. The vegetablesare fermented using large earthenware jars at low temperatures. Thedish has been prepared and eaten by Koreans throughout history. Itdemonstrates Korean affection and communal culture with familiescoming together to make it. In addition, kimchi is celebrated throughthe annual kimchi festival. It is also showcased in museums forforeigners to see and experience its taste. Therefore, kimchi is thesoul food of Koreans represent its deep cultural roots and belonging.As the Koreans say, a meal without Kimchi is unthinkable, and in turnthe reason it has massive significance in their culture.
Jung,J., Lee, S., & Jeon, C. (2014). Kimchi microflora: history,current status, and perspectives forindustrial kimchi production. Applied Microbiology &Biotechnology, 98(6),2385-2393Kwon,Channie. (2012). “Allabout Korean Kimchi – TV documentary p.1.” Retrieved on 18thOct 2015. From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN61TYg8EDUKwon,Channie. (2012). “All about Korean Kimchi – TV documentary p.2.”Retrieved on 18thOct 2015. From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUXKKLhMpU0