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Thursday, October 21, 2010

It is not just the Kimchi that is going Up...

For those of you following the world news, there is currently a Kimchi shortage is Korea. Kimchi is a national food here in Korea, eaten by most Koreans almost at every meal (as a side dish). It comes in hundreds of different forms, but it is essentially fermented vegetables (caggage, radish, etc) in a sauce of spicy red pepper paste and garlic.

It is the equivalent of maybe a potatoe or corn shortage in the US. It is eaten so often and used to make so many dishes here, it is a pretty big deal. I saw a small head of cabbage in the market for almost $16 the other day. Wow!

We enjoy Kimchi, although not for every meal. Mike has found a favorite version at Shinsagae Department Store. It was when I was getting his kimchi that I noticed that kimchi wasn't the only item in the store increasing in price.

Check out these fruit prices.

7,800 KRW (~$6.50)  for one apple

9,800 KRW (~$7.50) for one Asian Pear

This is the back breaker... 17,800 KRW ($15) for two oranges!
Now, I have to qualify these prices a bit. Shinsagae (where i took these pictures) is like the Neiman Marcus of the U.S. It is a huge 7-floor department store with all kinds of wonderful food and a small market in the basement. It is expensive, but so delicious. So, while I know that these prices are on the high side, the smaller market in my neighborhood was still 4000 KRW (~$3 - $3.50) for one pear!

Americans...eat your cheap fruit and enjoy every last bite. I know I savor each bite a little bit more now!

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