Korean Food Choice, Preference and Taboo, Avoidance

Topics: South Korea, Korean cuisine, Korean language Pages: 6 (1880 words) Published: December 16, 2011
Korean cuisine commonly championed by Koreans, as being a very healthy cuisine, the use of soybeans, many vegetable dishes, herbs with curative and moderate amounts of meats. The main characteristics of Korean diet are high protein, healthy, avoid greasy. It’s known for its spicy flavour and usually with a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, garlic and ginger to enhance the taste. Due to the farming community in the past, Korea has many varieties of dishes which vary by providence. Traditional Korean meals are usually come with number of side dishes along with rich, almost every meal. The origin of Korean cuisine can be traced back to early myths and legends that have been passed down, from generation to generation, throughout the years. Since mid to late Neolithic period agricultural traditions began to develop and continued spread the rice cultivation. Thus, the grains become stable food in Korean culture. The Three Kingdoms Period in Korea lasted from 57 BCE to 668 CE. The first kingdom was Goguryeo, which is located in the northern part of the Korean peninsula, known today as Manchuria. The second kingdom, Baekje, was located in the south western part of the peninsula and the third kingdom, Silla, was located in the southeast corner of the peninsula. Each of the three kingdoms had unique cuisines that were specific to the area they were in because of the varying climates of each region. During the fourth century CE the spread of Buddhism and Confucianism from China began to change the distinct culture of Korea. As wealth increased in the cities, a rural development program in the 1970s and 1980s helped equalize the standard of living in Korea’s villages.

The geographic and climate condition of Korean peninsula have had much influence in the Korean food preference and choices. The Korean peninsula extends southward from the mainland, between China and Japan. Fish and shellfish have been a major part of Korean cuisine because of the oceans bordering the peninsula which include porpoises, croaker, Spanish mackerel and Pacific herring. Moreover the water moderate and determine its weather, which is hot and humid in the summer and cold and dry in winter, following the weather pattern known as the monsoon. The warmth and rains of summer make Korea an ideal place to grown rice, and irrigated paddy lands are visible everywhere in the country. In fact, because of Korea is so mountainous and populous, it seems that every square inch of land is used for growing something. Tiny fields appear to crawl up the mountainsides, growing potatoes and leafy vegetables that do not require flat land. In addition, since the introduction of plastics, clear vinyl greenhouses have become a familiar feature of the landscape, sheltering fruits and vegetables from the wind and cold and lengthening the growing season. Plastic greenhouses are just one of the many dividends of economic modernization, bringing better food for everyone.

Since the ancient time, herbal is a wide variety of specialty foods prepared and eaten for medicinal purposes in Korea. The most common medicinal foods used in cooking are ginger, cinnamon, wormwood, Schisandra, Lycium, Radix, Campanulaceae, papaya, pomegranate, grapefruit, ginseng and other herbs. Koreans believe the um and yang balance of the body and the warming-cooling properties of certain foods. Condiments and seasonings used to provide flavour to vegetables and other foods are also essentials in Korean cuisine. Basic component spices include onions, garlic, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, sesame with herbs. Korean rice is the main stable food and usually accompany with few non-stable food. Non-staple food mainly is soup, pickles, sauce, meat, fish, vegetables, and seaweed. This way of diet that contains adequate amounts nutrients from variety of dishes help to maintain Korean balanced diet.

Koreans are saying ‘kimchi is half of our meal’ and ‘as Korean as kmichi’ is another, describe kimchi as their...
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