I’m not averse to trying foods that are new to me, but I draw the line at some of them. Among other things, Korean kimchi has been a gustatory challenge for me. I’ve been able to tolerate a couple of relatively mild versions, but the full-on gag-reflex-strength stuff has defeated me for years. I still find that odd, given that I like sauerkraut, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and so on. Those should have prepared my palate for kimchi, but somehow the latter just tastes . . . weird! Maybe I haven’t yet been exposed to good kimchi – if such an animal exists. Some of my friends, including US servicemen who were posted to Korea, deny emphatically that it does.
That’s why this article made me blink.
Plunging their pink-gloved hands into cartons of cabbages and slathering the vegetables with a bright-red sauce, more than 2,300 people on Friday got to grips with making the spicy, fermented Korean staple of kimchi.
About 60 tons of kimchi, which is made with salted cabbage doused in a spicy chili paste and flavored with garlic, ginger, fish sauce and fermented seafood, among other things, were prepared on the first day of the Seoul Kimchi Festival.
An acquired taste for foreigners, kimchi is traditionally eaten as a side dish at every meal. South Koreans consumed about 1.85 million tonnes of kimchi in 2016, according to the World Institute of Kimchi.
. . .
Organizers aim to make a total of 120 tons of kimchi over the three-day event, which will be distributed to needy households across Seoul.
“This kimchi, along with our warm hearts, will be shared with our neighbors in need of help,” said festival director Shin Myung-ki.
There’s more at the link.
Making a hundred and twenty tons of kimchi over three days? I can’t help wondering what the air in, around and over that festival must be like. I fear it’ll smell like an airborne chemical and/or biological weapon has been let loose! And as for “sharing it with our neighbors in need of help” . . . if they’re in need of help now, they’re likely to be doubly so after they get through that much kimchi!
No. I’m afraid kimchi is one cultural and culinary artifact I won’t be appropriating!