And tasted nothing like it either!
Like many fermented foods, kimchi has a rich (and tasty) history that has shaped what it looks like today. But did you know that the early version of kimchi looked and tasted nothing like the one you’re familiar with now
Chinese cabbage and red chilli peppers weren’t always available in Korea, and kimchi began by pickling whichever vegetables were available – such as radishes. It quickly developed with many different looks and flavours until it arrived at the one you see nearly everywhere today.
As odd as it sounds, the delicious red colour came from cockscomb blossoms – which was used specifically for its colour. They might have a funny name, and it might sound strange to include something just for its colour, but we do eat with our eyes, don’t we?
However, after the Japanese invasion of 1592, red chilli peppers (the spice, not the Californian funk rock band) were introduced, and spicy flavours such as ginger, garlic, and chinese pepper took the backseat as complimentary flavours in the dish.
It’s amazing how such a devastating event as an invasion, can have such a lasting effect on a traditional cuisine. The introduction of red chillies was a real turning point for our favourite spicy side dish!
Whole cabbage kimchi also wasn’t introduced until the 1900’s, and before then, an easily spoiled version made from hollow winter cabbage was more popular. It’s hard to imagine a world where your kimchi goes off quickly.
Now, there are over 200 types of kimchi, but the red chilli and cabbage kimchi is the one we all know and love the most – especially here at Living Goodness. It goes with nearly any dish you can think of, and we even have a few of our own for you to try out if you’d like!
Although our Sum Yum Kimchi will satisfy all of your kimchi cravings, we still encourage you to get out there and try as many of the 200 different types of kimchi you can across the world – and let us know the recipes of your favourite ones ;)