Let’s talk Kimchi! You cannot talk about Korea, its culture and cuisine without a little Kimchi. Kimchi is symbolic of Korean culture: strong, distinctive, and defiant. As South Korea’s national dish, it is eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and for snacking) every day of the week.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, kimchi was conceived in Korea around the 7th century with the development of ‘pickling’, a storage method for vegetables during winter months.
Kimchi was originally regarded merely as a salted vegetable. It grew steadily in popularity with the addition of several spices and seasonings and it wasn’t until the 18th century that hot red pepper was finally used as one of the major ingredients for making kimchi.
Traditionally, kimchi is often allowed to ferment underground in jars for months. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from napa cabbage, radishes, scallions, or cucumbers as main ingredients. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, and chili peppers, all of which contribute to its overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamins (A, B and C), calcium, and iron, and is one of the healthiest foods in the world.
– The average adult Korean consumes more than a quarter pound of kimchi every day.
– 75% of the kimchi consumed in Korea is made at home.
– There are many ways to spell kimchi, including kimchee or gimchi. Take your pick!
– There are more than 300 different kinds of kimchi.
– Health.com named kimchi one of the five healthiest foods in the world.
– A study conducted by Seoul National University found that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the bacteria found in kimchi.
– At the inaugural Chowdown in Koreatown World Kimchi Eating Championship in Chicago in 2013, Miki Sudo ate 8.5 pounds of the pickled delicacy in 6 minutes and won $1,750—as well as some serious bragging rights.
Got that kimchi craving? Your Fresh Korean Mixing Bowl awaits.