10 Fun Facts About Kimchi

ckHatchLab_Kimchi-107webWe realize that some of you may already be sold on this pickled Korean dish, while others may need a bit of inspiration and prodding. Check out the 10 fun facts about kimchi below and see if, once you’ve learned more about it, you can resist its charms. Or skip the list and go straight to our class, Make Kimchi at Home, to get your kimchi-making on with Willow and Mara King from Ozuké in Boulder, Colorado. Now for the facts, which we think are fun:

  1. There are many ways to spell kimchi, including kimchee or gimchi. Take your pick!
  2. Traditionally, kimchi is fermented underground in earthen pots for months.
  3. The average adult Korean consumes more than a quarter pound of kimchi every day.  (Source: Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz.)
  4. 75% of the kimchi consumed in Korea is made at home. (Source: Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz.)
  5. A study conducted by Seoul National University found that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the bacteria found in kimchi.
  6. There are more than 300 different kinds of kimchi.
  7. Health.com named kimchi one of the five healthiest foods in the world.
  8. Kimchi, a fermented food, is highly probiotic, meaning that it supports the growth of good digestive bacteria.
  9. Kimchi was first developed in Korea in the 12th century to preserve vegetables during the winter.
  10. At the inaugural Chowdown in Koreatown World Kimchi Eating Championship in Chicago in 2013, Miki Sudo ate 8.5 pounds of the pickled delicacy in 6 minutes and won $1,750—as well as some serious bragging rights.

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