Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kimchi Day at GM Daewoo

Kimchi is a staple of the Korean diet. It is eaten as a side dish with almost every meal every day. Some stats say that each person eats about 40 lbs of kimchi per year. You cannot spend 24 hours in Korea without a kimchi experience. It is so popular, many Koreans say "kimchi" when they are taking a photograph instead of "cheese."

Kimchi has been touted as a significant reason that obesity is not an issue here in Korea. In addition, during the SARS epidemic, I was told there were no cases in Korea and they attribute that to Kimchi. Not sure how true that is, but I am a sucker for health foods.

Kimchi is cabbage (sometimes radish) that has been mixed or "marinated" in a spicy pepper sauce, made of peppers, garlic, salt, radish, sometimes pine nuts, and whatever else your family recipe calls for. It is common that Korean families get together once or twice per year and make the year's supply of kimchi for the family.

Well, as kimchi is so important, and there are less fortunate in Korea, as in America, GM Daewoo sponsors a kimchi-making day every year. In just a few hours last Saturday, we made 40 tons of kimchi. GM's president said that was enough for 40 families for thier year supply + 1000 individual people! What? 40 tons is ALOT! But, it was a good cause, so Mike & I joined forces with over 300 Korean and Americans alike and made kimchi!

Most of the hard word had been done. Cabbages cleaned and ready
Red Pepper sauce prepared. All we had to do was "slather" each cabbage
with the sauce and fold correctly.

In Korean, all of the tables and counter-tops are lower than in the US.
Notice us all bending over quite a was quite hard on the back,
especially for those 6 ft guys!

Working hard, but still have a lot of
cabbage to go!

40 tons boxed and ready to deliver!
There are many Americans here that never acquire the taste of kimchi. I actually think it will be something we will miss here when our adventure is over. So, if you get a chance to come to Korea, try the kimchi, and try not to just stop at the first try. There are 1000's of versions and the sauce varies everywhere, so you are sure to find one you like!

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