Kimchi is a very common dish to have in a Korean restaurant and generally in Korean cuisine. Koreans eat Kimchi in almost every meal and every day.
Kimchi is a red Korean pickled dish with various vegetables. It is known for the source of nutrients and to help digestion and restraining the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines. It is an excellent functional food with numerous physiological functions such as having an anti-oxidation and anti-aging function, and anti-cancer effect. Main ingredient such as Baechoo (Chinese cabbage) is great for colorectal cancer and garlic is great for prevention of stomach cancer. In addition, Kimchi can prevent lung cancer because of its high content of beta-carotene. Also spicy ingredient like pepper destroys nicotine from the surface of the lungs, This is why the US magazine Health named Kimchi in its list of top five “World’s Healthiest Foods” for being abundant in vitamins, aiding digestion, and even perhaps slowing down cancer growth. Its nutritional value and effects have been proved through experimentation.
The word “Kimchi” is from the Korean word “Chimchae” which stands for fermented vegetables. So in the broad point of view, all fermented food by pickled can be categorized as Kimchi. Nutritionally Kimchi is a food that has small number of calories and high fibers. Especially vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc. are ample.
Red pepper and garlic in Kimchi inhibit the activities of bad microorganisms and help to ferment the lactic acid effectively and help to make the different functional materials. Kimchi has lactic acid four times more than any dairy product in the market. Specially lactic acid synthesized from vitamin Band amino acids is great for stopping constipation and cancer.
Kimchi also motivate appetite and is effective for diet and reduce cholesterol in the blood vessels. In addition to that, Kimchi strengthens the immune system because of its anti-oxidant effect.
Kimchi’s composition can be separated into the main vegetable ingredient and the mix of seasonings used to flavor the Kimchi. While the most well-known type of Kimchi is the Baechoo, many different types exist including regional and seasonal varieties. Popular variants include Oisobaegi which is a cucumber Kimchi stuffed with hot and spicy seasonings, Ggakddugi which is a Kimchi made with cubed radishes, Pa Kimchi (made with scallions).
The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has found 187 historic and current varieties of Kimchi. As a result of continuous efforts by industry, government and academy for the industrialization of Kimchi, our traditional fermented food, Kimchi market has rapidly grown to form over 500 billion won worth domestic market. Furthermore, as nearby countries like China and Japan have aggressively advanced into the world’s Kimchi market, the Kimchi market has been diversified. Despite of the multi-dimensional changes in environment of Kimchi market, uniformity of quality, standardization and long-term preservation which are the most significant factors in merchandising Kimchi, have always remained the same as the old method.