Kimchi is arguably Korea's most distinctive dish and definitely one of its most beloved. I have memories of my parents packing kimchi on every camping trip (even on a four hour drive from Los Angeles to Yosemite) - they just had to make sure they had some in case they got the craving. For those who are interested in this wonderful dish, I've assembled some fun kimchi facts (they can also make for interesting conversation tidbits at holiday gatherings :):
- Koreans eat about 40 pounds of kimchi per person per year
- While cabbage kimchi is the most familiar version of kimchi to non-Koreans, actually there are many different types of kimchi that Koreans eat at home. Kimchi can be made from daikon, cucumbers, and/or radish greens. At Kimchi Kitchen, we regularly offer napa cabbage kimchi.
- Kimchi is a pro-biotic food, containing lactobacilli (same healthy bacteria as in yogurt). In addition, kimchi provides a lot of vegetable fiber and contains other vegetables with studied health benefits such as garlic and chili peppers
- Koreans often say "Kimchi" instead of "Cheese" when posing for photos
- There is a Korean urban legend that Korea was relatively spared in the 2003 SARS epidemic because of the health benefits of kimchi (check out this article here)
- Steep rise in prices of Napa cabbage in Korea is an issue of national crisis (seriously - see this article)