Thomas Hollowell - Author, Athlete, Entrepreneur, World Traveler

More to Korea than Kimchi

Kimchi wasn’t always as hot as it is today. In Manchuria, some 3,000 years ago, it was an effective way to pickle mineral-rich vegetables that would last through the harsh winters. Only in the 18th century did the red pepper, especially its powerful powder form, smolder mouths throughout the peninsula.

As people continue to search for newer, healthier ways of eating, Kimchi, loaded with vitamins and minerals, isn’t being overlooked. Koreans eat it regularly for all daily meals. Many foreign visitors say that it beckons once they don’t get their two- or three-aday fix.

For other’s who like it hot, there’s always the Annual Kimchi Festival in Gwangju, Korea; which brings kimchi contests and full on Korean folk culture together for a few memorable days. For others who may not have the time for the festivities, or if Kimchi isn’t your calling, try any number of other savory Korean delicacies at home, adding as much or lit tle spice as desired.

From Bulgogi to Bi Bim Bop, you can’t go wrong. And, although Koreans have strictly maintained their own rituals and customs for centuries, they are open to variations on their food, as long as it’s fresh and tasty!

Fun Korean Food Facts:

1. The origin of kimchi: possible jimchae, or the Chinese character Kamtse, both signify a vegetable prepared with salted water

2. Koreans have always strived to keep their food fresh tasting.

3. They often ferment it using bean paste, soy sauce, with salt and of course kimchi methods!

4. Koreans at tempt to make their food aesthetically pleasing and spiritual as possible. They often prepare meals for ancestral worship. They will also add five colors to main dishes, which symbolizes what they consider the five forces of nature.

5. Children eating at the main table will always wait until the eldest person seated has begun.

6. Babies are regularly fed seaweed soup.

7. Children and adults snack on dried squid, small sardines and cuttlefish.