Kimchi, kimchi, kimchi. Every Korean household and every Korean restaurant has it, but did you know every family has a separate fridge for kimchi? Whoops, that’s one fact already given away. But there are a lot more interesting things you should know about kimchi – here are 6 of them:
1. ORIGINAL KIMCHI WAS WHITE AND NOT SPICY
Yes! The original cabbage kimchi was actually white or has a clear marinade and it wasn’t spicy at all! It was only during the 18th century when the Japanese took over Korea and brought red chilli peppers that they had started to incorporate red pepper paste to Korean kimchi!
2. KIMCHI IS NOT VEGAN
Make sure to tell your vegan and vegetarian friends that kimchi isn’t vegan. The marinade is usually fish based, most often anchovy. Actually a little tidbit was that the original stock for the marinade was beef. Later on, they changed it to fish as it gave off more flavour.
3. KIMCHI IS FULL OF VITAMINS
Did you know, kimchi is filled with Vitamins A and C. So now we don’t have to munch on so many carrots and skip on the citrus to get those doses of vitamins. Scientists have even called an enzyme in kimchi, lactobillus kimchi. And it would be good to know that consumption of kimchi can prevent heart disease and diabetes!
4. KIMCHI HAS BEEN TO SPACE
While most of us just dream to go to space, kimchi has already gone and left for it! Korean astronauts were allowed to bring kimchi to space for their own consumption! But other than that, there was more study than eating. The scientists wanted to see how the bacteria and enzymes in kimchi reacted to radiation. This discovery led to processing kimchi to ferment slower in order for it to be shipped worldwide and on to your tables as fresh as they should be.
5. THERE ARE OVER 200 VARIETIES OF KIMCHI
Kimchi is well known as cabbage but, there are actually different kinds of kimchi! Different vegetables can be made into kimchi as long as they ferment and flavour nicely. Did you know that every season has it’s own kimchi type as well? Like for example, the cucumber kimchi is so juicy and hydrated it is perfect for the hot, sizzling summer!
6. KIMCHI AND POLITICS?
We might think it was Kpop and the Hallyu wave that made kimchi popular. But let me tell you a not-so-secret secret, it was actually a Korean government project to make kimchi popular worldwide. The Korean government facilitated foreign governments and media to introduce kimchi to their people. More Korean restaurants are being promoted on local tv, Korean chefs are given airtime in news channels and celebrity chefs in each country are asked to make a kimchi fusion in their cooking shows. Talk about a kimchi wave!