Kimchi, ingredient of “Korean DNA”, preserved in Seoul Gastronomical Museum

The Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage salad with a 3,000 year-history which has become emblematic of South Korean gastronomy. So much so, the country even has a museum dedicated to kimchi, considered part of the “Korean DNA.”

At a time when its citizens are increasingly opting to buy kimchi from supermarkets instead of making it at home, Lee Ha Yeon, one of the five “Kimchi master chefs” so-named by the South Korean government, seeks to keep its value alive.

“For Koreans, it is like water, or the air we breathe. There is a kimchi dish at every moment of our lives, from weddings to funerals. Even during the harsh post-war years, it was never missing from the dining table,” Lee said at Seoul’s Kimchikan museum. This museum, which celebrates Korean gastronomy and is located in the popular tourism neighborhood of Insadong, was opened in 1986 and offers Kimchi-centric interactive games and video art, and even classes by experts such as Lee on how to prepare the dish.

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By enricgomez.com