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Korean Essential Dish: Kimchi
Kimchi, as the Korean traditional pickled vegetable dish, is famous throughout the world. At almost every meal, Koreans eat Kimchi generally being spicy and red colored. To most Koreans, a meal without Kimchi would be unthinkable and even unacceptable. Kimchi, a spicy pickled radish, cabbage, or cucumber side dish with seasoning mixture, mainly consisting of red pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion, is an indigenous Korean food.  

In all
its variations, Kimchi provides the Korean diet with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a fermented food requiring maturation. Its unique tangy taste comes from fermentation at low temperatures. In the old days, large earthenware jars of Kimchi were buried in the ground during the winter times, with only the tops exposed, because it was believed that its fermentation was enhanced by the even temperature and heat emanating from the ground. In this sense, Kimchi seems to represent a Korean philosophy that heaven, earth, and humanity are all the same and just the one.

Kimchi has a long
history. Since Koreans began cultivating, they have enjoyed vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals. However, for the cold winter days with no cultivation, they needed another source of eating vegetables, so developed a storage method of pickling. As a kind of pickled vegetables, Kimchi was born in Korea around the 7th century.

A poem written by a great, distinguished poet of the Goryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD), Lee Kyu-Bo (1168-1241), describes radishes pickled in salt for the winter months, but without the use of garlic and red peppers. The spicy Kimchi enjoyed today have originated in the 1700s when the cultivation of red peppers became wide spread in Korea. In the years since then, various
regional and seasonal varieties have developed as increased prosperity and culinary creativity has brought many changes to the original Kimchi recipe.      

There are so many good things about Kimchi; first, well-fermented Kimchi has anti-biotic functions because lactic acid bacteria produced in the process of fermentation suppresses growth of harmful bacteria; second, the lactic acid is ericacious for preventing adult diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and even gastrointestinal cancers; third, substances in Kimchi prevent hyperacidity resulting from excessive intake of meat and other acidic food; fourth, some substances in Kimchi help promote the secretion of pepsin, protein-digestive enzyme. Not only is Kimchi rich in various nutrients, but the science of preparing Kimchi makes it a very unique food indeed. So we should know
how to make Kimchi.    

Because of the good things of Kimchi and its attractive flavor, more people around the world are now enjoying Kimchi. South Korea exports 300,000 tons of Kimchi to 30 countries every year.   



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