The 2nd Seoul Kimchi Festival

Kimchi is undeniably a staple in Korean cuisine because no meal is complete without it as it is one of the main side dish which identifies the uniqueness of Korean food among others. It was not love at first bite for me years ago when I got curious by how it tasted through the various Korean television dramas I have watched, but I have grown to love kimchi through the years. For me, eating my favorite gogi mandu (dumpling) and kimbap (seaweed rice roll) taste better with kimchi.

I will call it luck that our autumn trip last November was scheduled just in time with not only one but two important cultural events for Koreans especially Seoulites.  We were able to attend the Seoul Lantern Festival 2015 on its first night on November 6 and the 2nd Seoul Kimchi Festival on its second day on November 7.

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The 2nd Seoul Kimchi Festival

At Gwanghwamun Square, there was a kimchi-making exhibit which also displays all the various ingredients for different types of kimchi as well as clay jars of different sizes that can get as tall as a grown man that I even had to ask our guide twice just to make sure I heard it correctly. I just cannot imagine how many kilos of kimchi they can keep in such a huge jar!

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Kimchi-making exhibit

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With my college friends at The 2nd Seoul Kimchi Festival

The types of kimchi may vary accordingly per region and season but the most common type and my favorite among the different types of kimchi is the Chinese cabbage kimchi.  I always buy one whenever I happen to drop by at a Korean mart which is just a few minutes drive from our home. I tend to eat my meal more deliciously whenever I have kimchi as a side dish!

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Kimchi ingredients: Radish and peppers
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Kimchi ingredients: Peppers and more chillies!

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Kimchi ingredients: Onion leeks, cabbage and radish.

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My friends listening attentively about Kimchi history. Look at the huge jar at the back, imagine how many kilos of kimchi can fit in!
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Jars of different sizes which are used as containers for kimchi
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According to our guide, this book about Kimchi dates back to 1600.

There was also a free food sample during the exhibit which we gladly lined up to.  It had rice ball, rice cake, two types of kimchi, and a slice of meat. So yummy!  I love the freshness and crunchiness of kimchi and how it worked to make the meat and rice taste better!

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Free food sample during the Kimchi Festival
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Free food sample: Kimchi, rice cake, rice ball and a slice of meat.  So yummy!

There are a  lot of Korean food which uses kimchi as their main ingredient.  You may also want to try kimchi jjigae (김치찌개, kimchi stew), kimchi bokkeumbap (김치볶음밥, kimchi fried rice) and kimchi jeon (김치전, kimchi pancake).  Kimchi is rich in fiber as well as vitamin A, B, C, calcium, iron and phosphate. It is not only nutritious but it is also low in calories.  Talk about guilt-free diet, right?!  So eat kimchi and be healthy! :-)

Know more about Kimchi and Kimchi Festival through these web sites:

http://asiaenglish.visitkorea.or.kr

http://english.seoul.go.kr

http://www.visitseoul.net

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