My Favorite Korean Kimchi
iPhoneOgraphy – 08 Aug 2016 (Day 221/366)
Kimchi also spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. In traditional preparations, kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep cool during the summer months and unfrozen during the winter months. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as the main ingredients.
The term ji was used until the pre-modern terms chimchae, dimchae, and timchae were adopted in the period of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The word then was modified into jimchi, and is currently kimchi.
Red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) are now used as the main ingredient for the flavor and heat for many varieties of kimchi. In the twelfth century, other spices, creating flavors such as sweet and sour, and colors, such as white and orange, were added.
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War its government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops, reportedly “desperate” for the food, could obtain it in the field; South Korean President Park Chung-hee told U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that kimchi was “vitally important to the morale of Korean troops”. It was also sent to space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with Yi So-yeon after a multimillion-dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odor without affecting taste.