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What's the big deal about Kimchi?


Baechu kimchi is normally served sliced.

Everyone who knows Korean food knows Kimchi. Koreans certainly know more than a little about it. The average Korean consumes about 30 kilograms (67 pounds) of Kimchi per year. If you've tried it more than once, the chances are that you appreciate the unique, refreshing taste. You may also have an idea that it's pretty good for you, and that there are lots of different varieties. You'd be right on both points. But given that Kimchi is such a big part of Korean food, it's probably worth getting a bit more of the details.

Right?

So here that is, in a series of posts deconstructing and examining the awesome magicalness that is Kimchi. Basics: Kimchi, actually, isn't a food so much as a process. Back in the day - 2,000 years ago - Koreans needed a way to preserve vegetables during the winter, and this unique method of fermentation is what they came up with. When you think Kimchi, the chances are you're thinking of Baechu Kimchi (cabbage Kimchi), which is the most common type. Today, there are about 200 Kimchi varieties (at the last count), and umpteen quadrillion different ways to serve it. You'll find classics such as Kimchi stew & Kimchi pancakes, as well as Kimchi stir-fried rice, Kimchi mandu (dumplings) & Kimchi rolls. But you'll also find Kimchi burgers, and Kimchi pizza. You can pretty much add it to anything, actually. Health Magazine once recommended adding it to scrambled egg, tomato, and mushrooms. That has my mouth watering just thinking about it. Argh - NEED KIMCHI. But on the other hand, let's focus.

Just from a boring, sensible perspective, eating a few pieces of Kimchi with a meal of steak or other high-fat food will help to cleanse the palate and assist digestion. So yes, as food goes it's pretty ace, but eating kimchi is just the beginning. We'll follow this post up with some eye-popping facts on what it does to your health. Spoiler alert - the things it does? The things are very, very good...

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