* Date : 2013-12-09
It's served 365 days a year, in every Korean meal : Kimchi.
Year in, year out, in late autumn, Korea bustles with activity with households making the staple side dish, kimchi to last through the winter. This annual ritual is known as 'Gimjang.'
Gimjang is about more than making kimchi. It’s a custom of culinary innovation and diversity handed down through centuries.
Why is gimjang a national effort that’s undertaken around the same time, and in massive quantities? What does gimjang mean for Koreans?
Arirang TV''s special titled 'The Culinary Art of Kimchi' explores Korea’s unique culinary culture of gimjang.
Historical records show that Koreans ate kimchi more than 1300 years ago, while gimjang can be traced back some 800 years, according to Donggukisanggukjip - a collection of writings from the Goryeo Era. During the 19th century, red chili pepper and napa cabbage became the two key ingredients of kimchi made at gimjang. And till this day, gimjang culture has and continues to evolve.
Across the nation from rural turfs to temples, families, relatives, and friends come together for gimjang. The camaraderie, known as ''pumasi'' in Korean, has become a cornerstone of Korean culture. This program highlights gimjang in action at various locations.
In addition, it sheds light on unique Korean practices of storing and sharing kimchi.
Every year, when gimjang season rolls around, Koreans ask one another,
''Have you made kimchi?''