Kimchi is a very important dish to Korea, considered by many to be a quintessential symbol of the country. Therefore, when Korean chefs work to promote their cuisine throughout the world, one of their biggest priorities is to popularize this ancient favorite.
This is a goal that Koreans have been working towards since 1988, when South Korea hosted the Olympic games. According to Dr. Park Chae-lin from the World Kimchi Institute in Gwangju, “…there was a strong drive to introduce kimchi to the world, as a food that represented Korea. But there was also a hesitation back then; a lack of confidence about whether people would really like it, or would be put off by the garlic smell.”
After decades of sharing their culture, kimchi chefs have seen significant success. Restaurants in China, England, the United States, and more have started offering variations of kimchi on burgers, in soups, or as side dishes. Generally, these kimchis have been adapted for foreign tastes, cutting down on the spiciness and saltiness found on most Korean kimchis. However, they remain a distinctly Korean innovation, and a sign of the national cuisine’s rise in the global consciousness.
To make this cultural icon a bigger part of your own life, visit Seoul Hot Pot in Bellevue.