Just last week I received a huge box of kimchi from my uncle and aunt living here in Seoul. It’s the second box we have received since moving into our own apartment. The kimchi is excellent. I think, besides my mom’s, it is the best kimchi that Daniel and I have ever eaten. It is seriously that good. Why are we so lucky? Well, my uncle and aunt run a restaurant franchise called TwoTwo chicken. They have to order kimchi for their restaurant to serve with their dishes and they have scouted out a few kimchi producers to find the best.

Just a little note: A lot of people, especially here in Seoul, probably don’t make their own kimchi. Some do, but I am thinking most don’t. So, how do they take care of their regular “fix” of kimchi (since it is the national dish and it is eaten at every meal)? The local neighborhood markets as well as places like E-Mart and other stores (including Costco) sell kimchi. Most of them are really good. Restaurants as well mostly order their kimchi from companies that make kimchi, in bulk, for that purpose.

Anyway, we are very lucky to get some of the kimchi that they order. Well, this particular package had double the amount of kimchi (엄마, I got 8 half-heads*…and they are huge!) And just to illustrate how much I got I will tell you that I couldn’t fit it all in the fridge. Half is in the fridge and half of it is in the utility closet that stays pretty cold since it is basically outside. I am a little worried now since the weather has been warming up a bit…

Now, to why the title of this post is “Am I becoming more Korean?” Just the other night I was “taking care” of our kimchi. Meaning I was refilling one of the containers with cut-up kimchi that we eat at meals and repacking the “main” container and cleaning it up a bit. I kind of have this rotating system going on. As I was looking at the overflowing container of kimchi and thinking to myself how in the heck we are going to eat all of this and all of the kimchi outside too, I started to get this sense of…I don’t even know how to describe it…a sense of WEALTH…a sense of HAPPINESS and PRIDE mixed with this weird sense of IF I HAPPEN TO RUN OUT OF OUR OTHER FOOD AT LEAST I HAVE ALL THIS KIMCHI AND SOMEHOW I WILL SURVIVE….yeah, weird, I know. I shook my head and started to wonder if this is how Korean people feel about their kimchi, especially when they have a lot of kimchi. Can anybody enlighten me on this? 엄마 (mom)? 이모 (aunt)? Am I becoming more Korean?

kimchi.jpg

This kimchi is an older picture. This is a quarter-head. The main type of kimchi is made from chinese cabbage or napa cabbage. Usually they cut the heads in quarters when they are preapring kimchi. However, the kimchi I got was in half-heads!

*this is just my way of sizing kimchi. By no means is it a standard unit of measurment used by anyone.

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