Stereotypes; you have to love them.

Americans all own guns; every Brit has bad teeth; Asians make bad drivers; Koreans all eat Kimchi.

Usually stereotypes are utter nonsense- none of my American friends have ever held a real gun, let alone own one; a Japanese friend of mine once piloted my car along possibly the narrowest mountain road known to man when I was too freaked out to do it myself; and, as far as I can tell, my teeth are not in need of any urgent dental work.

But with 18kg (40lbs) of kimchi consumed per person in Korea each year, there might just be a grain of truth to that last  stereotype.

So when news broke earlier today that Korea now imports more of its own national dish than it makes, it’s understandable that there were a few raised eyebrows…

While it may not be the prettiest food to look at, this hot and spicy fermented cabbage dish has long been a firm favourite across Asia, and has seen increasing popularity in the west in recent years. Throw it in soups, heat it up with noodles and a few vegetables, snack on it with a couple of beers; kimchi does it all and never fails to leave you with a happy, tingly tongue.

According to an agriculture report released yesterday, however, more than half of the kimchi on Koreans’ plates is now produced by and imported from neighbouring China.

Since 2007, Korea’s kimchi imports have risen by an incredible 40%, meaning that the country now spends a spice-tastic 12 million US dollars on the firey snack per year. That… is a lot of kimchi.

To put that figure into perspective, with the same amount of money Korea spends on kimchi, you could book yourself on a Virgin Galactic tour into space 60 times.

I think we can take that “Koreans love kimchi” comment out of the “stereotype” folder and file it under “Yeah, that’s probably true” now, don’t you?


Source: Yahoo! Japan News

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