What is Korean cuisine and Korean food culture?
Jun. 18, 2012 9:57 pm
Updated: Jul. 15, 2012 11:41 pm
One day I was on my way to the dining hall at my university to grab a quick lunch before class when I got into the building and some people were distributing campus food service sampling. So my friends (all Koreans) and I decided to give the food a
go. As we went closer, we saw KOREAN mixed vegetable (I don’t remember the exact name of the dish, but it was something like that). We were thrilled to try that dish because none of the food options on campus allowed for people to try Korean cuisine. The
dish comprised of pulled pork with chopped vegetables like green onions, carrot, etc. After trying that sample, we all said why did they name it as ‘Korean?’ We could not find any relevance with Korean dish. Ingredients, cooking methods, and sauce were nothing
like Korean dish.
From this experience, I started to think about what is Korean cuisine. It is really hard to define Korean cuisine. Some people might think the dishes that our Korean ancestors used to eat could be considered Korean cuisine. However, popular dishes
change over time because of the availability of crops or a change in people’s tastes. Nowadays due to the globalization, the exchange of authentic dishes between countries has increased dramatically. When a certain dish is moved to another country, we see
the amalgamation of the dish with the local cuisine, tastes and ingredients to produce a completely different dish from what it started off as. It is very interesting to see how the dishes travel and are localized by different cultures.
I would like to take a look at current food trends in South Korea first. Since I live near Seoul (20 minutes by car) and usually go to there to meet friends, my blog and my experiences would be primarily focused on the food trends in Seoul.
The next post would focus on the trend of coffee shops in Seoul.