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Kimchi-Making Class Is a Hit in Moscow

Posted December. 17, 2005 10:36,   


Unlike other classes that usually take place in the Korean Studies lecture hall at the Moscow State University, one that took place on December 15 was full of excitement and laughter.

Wearing aprons and vinyl gloves, around 20 students had fun making kimchi with Kim Soon-ja, the president of Hanseong Food Co. who is also known as a “kimchi evangelist.” The class was organized by Lee Hae-nam, a visiting professor at the university, and intended to expose Russian students to Korean culture.

Yulia, a 21-year-old senior, said, “While making the kimchi, I realized that kimchi not only tastes good but has a beautiful color as well.” She said she began to eat kimchi last year when she went to Seoul to stay for a year as an exchange student at Sangmyung University. When asked if it was too spicy, she answered, “It wouldn’t be kimchi if it wasn’t hot.”

While demonstrating how to make kimchi, Kim Soon-ja lectured her students as well. Many female students were in attendance, and Kim’s explanation that “kimchi is good for dieting” was received warmly.

Kimchi is hugely popular in Russia, not only among students majoring in Korean studies who have many chances to eat Korean food, but also among Russians in general. This is because they are used to “Korean salad,” a type of Korean-Russian kimchi that is sold in old-fashioned markets.

Yoon Seok-hwang, the head of the Moscow branch of the Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation, was present at the lecture and mentioned that kimchi was the most popular item at the Korean food exhibition that recently took place in one of Russia’s largest retail outlets.

Kim said, “We developed ‘fusion kimchi,’ such as brown seaweed kimchi or sesame leaf-cabbage roll kimchi for foreigners who do not like spicy food. We will build a kimchi factory in Moscow next year and take aim at the Russian table from that point on.”

Before the lecture, Kim received an honorary doctorate degree and was appointed a visiting professor at the university.

Ki-Hyun Kim kimkihy@donga.com