An Homage to Kimchi
It’s a national icon, a cultural treasure, a palpable expression of the country’s feisty spirit and determination throughout history to grow and protect its own unique soul—to resist wholesale assimilation into the more megalithic cultures of Asia, through culinary defense. It’s a cure-all, a protective shield, a magic balm and a goddess of plenty. Without kimchi, Korea would not be the same country—there might be a nation in the same place, and it might even be called the same thing, but it would not be Korea.
He couldn't be more on the money: to call it a "staple" of Korean cuisine would be a gross understatement. When I finally joined the ranks and discovered how much I actually loved kimchi a few years back, my relatives nodded sagely, concurring that despite my American upbringing and pitifully elementary grasp of my native language, here was definitive proof that I was a True Korean. I know of one too many Korean businessmen who have stashed jars of kimchi into their suitcase so they can savor a taste of home while they're abroad. There are even kimchi fridges just so you don't stink up the rest of your food. Heck, it doesn't even keep out of politics: the popularity of kimchi abroad has even numerous disputes between Korea and Japan. Check out the rest of the article for an incredibly informative look into this pungent side dish. [via The Walrus Blogs]