It is not enough to say that Kimchi is the staple, National dish of Korea. Koreans see Kimchi as their 'pride'. A day without Kimchi is not possible in Korean cuisine.
The origin of this traditional side-dish dated thousands of years back when fermenting of food is so popular during winter seasons.
Kimchi was prepared and stored underground for fermentation process. The weather in Korea was also the main reason for the perfect fermentation and taste. Napa cabbage was the major ingredient in making Kimchi. Koreans started used radish instead of cabbage 100 years back.
Initially, the cabbage was mixed with salt(brining salt), ginger and garlic. Later, red pepper was introduced as a major seasoning. Red pepper prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria during fermentation.
During contemporary times, Kimchi refrigerators are used for storage. Seasonings like spring onions, sugar, salted seafood(shrimp paste, anchovies), fish sauce, apple or pear are used nowadays.
Today there are more than 100 different types of Kimchi available. Rather than buying from the store, Koreans prefer to prepare it fresh at home.
Kimchi is so unique because of the salt, sour and spicy tastes from the fermentation process. The lactic acid bacteria produced during the fermentation process enhances the unique flavor and makes it irresistible for whoever tastes it.
South Korea was once shaken by cabbage crisis. Due to bad weather, the Napa cabbage production went poor. The prices of cabbage heads were sky rocketed suddenly because of the unpredictable demand. The crisis was resolved by importing and distributing more cabbage heads from China without any tariff. The Government helped the farmers to triple the cabbage production.
Koreans cannot live without Kimchi. They took the recipe where ever they went around the world and make it popular and palatable according to the country's culture. The 1988 Olympics held in Seoul was one of the major reasons for Kimchi gaining popularity among the world population.
Now Kimchi is enjoyed in almost every part of the world by taking various forms like Kimchi soup, fried rice, dumplings, pan cakes, tofu Kimchi, Kimchi udon, burger topped with Kimchi, Kimchi stew with beef and the list goes on.
"Taste matters the most"