Spicy Kimchi & Its History
Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable that is served with almost every traditional meal in. The most famous kind of Kimchi is made from Chinese cabbage. There are a lot of other vegetables which are used to make kimchi. This side dish is perfect to give an understanding of how South-Korean foods developed over the centuries since the existence of kimchi is traceable back to the first people that started using agriculture to sustain their selves.
When the first Koreans started using agriculture they had huge problems. Winter in Korea was very cold. It was important to save food for the winter and the most popular way to preserve food was using salt on different kind of foods. Over the centuries Koreans mastered the art of preservation using salt. During the period of the Three Kingdoms (57 B.C.E — 668 C.E.) other kingdoms noticed the way the Koreans preserved their food and this is where we find the first writings about the skills of the Koreans in preserving food. The original kimchi was made from radishes since this was a local product.
The first writing about Kimchi specifically comes from the Koryeo Period (918–1392). During this time a lot of trade was going on with other kingdoms and new vegetables found their way to Korea, including Chinese cabbage. During this period the way kimchi was prepared changed a lot. A lot of different kind of vegetables were used to prepare the dish and spices and garlic made their way into the recipe.