There is a Korean saying, “Friendship and the taste of jang [fermented soy products] improve with age.”
70% of Korean food is naturally fermented.
This includes kimchi, numerous other pickled vegetables, the popular rice drink shikhye, various types of salted seafood preserves, and the three major sauces (soy sauce, soybean paste, chili pepper paste).
The 3rd century AD Chinese historical work Records of Three Kingdoms records that the people of Koguryo (one of the three Korean kingdoms), were known for their skill in fermented dishes.
In an account of the wedding of the Silla King Sinmun, another history states that the bride’s gifts to her new in-laws included liquor, fermented soybean paste, and fermented vegetables and seafood.
Okay, what’s with all the fermentation?
The answer is simple: it’s really good for you!
Across the globe, wherever you find exceptionally healthy or long-lived people, you tend to find fermented food is part of their diet (fermented milk for example, or Greek yoghurt).
How does fermented food benefit you?
Digestion is a good place to start.
Uncooked soybeans have an absorption rate of 55% when digested, 65% when boiled, and 85% when fermented.
Another way to look at it: it’s a natural process.
Artificial processes generally have drawbacks; for example, freezing (removes freshness) and pasteurization (kills good bacteria as well as bad). We all know artificial preservatives are bad for you.
Fermentation is a natural way of preserving food
Instead of chemicals, it works using natural microorganisms.
Not only does it not harm you, the nutritional value of the food actually increases, and the taste gets better too!
The beneficial bacteria it produces naturally clear out infections, boost the body’s immune and digestive systems, and so help prevent diseases such as cancer.
Check out the other posts to see some of the mind-blowing scientific research on the effects of fermented foods such as Doenjang and Kimchi.
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