Friday, February 20, 2009


Someone gave me the Koreana magazine issue for Winter 2008 (Vol. 22, no. 4) which has articles on kimchi. The articles cover the history and geographic variations of this food closely associated with Korean cuisine and culture. The Korean regional types probably developed because of climatic differences and ingredient availability, and vary by degree of spice, salt, amount of liquid, and of course, by mix of major ingredients. The color photos of kimchi in the magazine are gorgeous and show the diversity of color and form. The information I missed from this issue were instructions and recipes for making it at home. It's a food I have tasted very tentatively years ago and would like to explore more extensively.

Kimchi is basically a fermented food, mostly cabbage and very spicy, with a number of additional ingredients. A lot of the types are all-vegetable but a number of them include fish. It is available in most grocery stores but I would like to investigate where there might be unusual types available locally, either in Asian groceries or from stores in the Seattle International District.

Because kimchi is made from a number of vegetables that grow very well in the Pacific Northwest it seems like an ideal food to look into for this region.