Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Travelling through movies and food to Korea @ IFFI 2016

The 47 th International film festival of Goa is being held in Goa, from the 20 to 28 of November, 2016. Every year, they have a 'country in focus' to showcase the movies, lifestyle as well as promote tourism to the country; this year it the Republic of Korea.
Korea in recent years has given us Gangnam style, as well as enjoys a cult following especially in the north east parts of India.
It got me thinking about Korean food, because lets face it, no country is explored , if it's food has not been explored. That is when I delved on the Kimchi.

whether you know it or not, almost every person who has eaten at a 'pan-asian' or even a 'chinese' restaurant would have had a bowl of spicy cabbage placed in small bowls , served at the beginning of the meal.

This is Kimchi. so, whatt is so special about pieces of cabbage in a sweet, sour and spicy dressing?
well, a lot!
here are 10 things you did not know about Kimchi
1.while the most common Kimchi is made of Napa cabbages, known as Baechu Goetjeori, there are 187 documented types of Kimchi!
2.Kimchi is Korea's national dish and no meal whether breakfast, lunch or dinner goes without a serving of Kimchi.
3. Kimchi has travelled to space! yes, after a multi million dollar study to reduce it's bacterial load, and smell.
4. Kimchi is a super food! rich in Lactobacillus it is a probiotic, made with fibrous vegetables, it is rich in fiber and vitamins. many believe it to be the reason why Koreans over all success.
5. in 2003 during the SARS outbreak while thousands of people died or were affected in the nearby countries, only two Koreans had the non fatal variety of SARS. this 'miracle' has been attributed to Kimchi.
6.An average Korean consumes 18 Kgs of Kimchi in a year!
7. China has banned the import of Korean Kimchi since 2012. The large amount of Lactobacillus in Kimchi, is beyond the regulations of chinese regulations.
8. the popularity of Kimchi has reached such hieghts across the globe, that we now have Kimchi pizza, kimchi naan bread, and even kimchi stuffed turkey for thanksgiving!
9.The evolution of Kimchi was out of necessity, because Korea suffered long winters, as well as many invations by foreign nations, thus there were months of shortage of food supplies. seasonal foods were brined and stored underground , to survive these months of hardship.
10. Not all Kimchi are fermented equally. Kimchi made in the spring when fresh vegetables are available in plenty, are less fermented, maybe even just for a few hours to a day, while winter Kimchi's may be fermented for longer periods.

There is more to Korean food than Kimchi ofcourse , but Imagine one food item which provides you 50 % of your daily Vitamin C, is good for overall digestion, pairs well with Indian cuisine(think of it as pickle), and is extremely easy to prepare at home, and you know why Kimchi is popular in India.

Most restaurants however do not ferment their Kimchi, neither do they use the traditional methods of preparing Kimchi, with no or minimal use of fish sauce or Korean spices, and most use our desi Cabbage instead of chinese cabbage.Chinese cabbage has thinner leaves, and are softer to eat after fermentation.. i find this nifty recipe by wikihow, extremely helpful as a base to prep Kimchi.

some of the Movies from the Republic of Korea, being showcased at IFFI 2016 are, The world of Us, coin locker girl, dongju; the portrait of a poet, the kings of pig, the shameless, alone, horror stories III, office, the wailing, train to Busan.