The Cultural Reflection of Korea

A culture always has its own unique trait that separates them from all others, even when it comes to food. For famous cultures, when you talk about their food, you will always have one dish that would come to mind. For Korean culture, we often think of kimchi almost automatically. It’s because this is the staple side dish. Together with rice, kimchi accompanies every meal. There are a lot of other Korean foods that gained fame among the tourists and the food enthusiasts. It’s not only kimchi that makes the Korean cuisine more unique but it is considered to be an important part of their culture because this is made at a certain season in large quantities to sustain them until that season comes again. The time for making kimchi is termed “kimchang”.

For many centuries, Koreans have been eating sea food, products in the fields and mountains. Their food is special and exotic. The distinguishing factor of a Korean food is the amount of spice there is. Korean food is usually spicy. Their basic seasonings include red pepper, soy sauce, green onion, garlic, sesame, bean past, vinegar and wine to mention a few. Korean foods have a variety of side dishes. The favorites include kimchi, beanpaste soup, broiled beef and fish including steamed vegetables. A complete Korean meal is called “Hanjoungshik” composed of foods like grilled fish, steamed rice, soup, vegetable dishes, steamed short ribs and kimchi.

Table manners are also unique when it comes to the Korean culture. You have to be knowledgeable about these things while you dine with Koreans in the future. They use chopsticks and a spoon for their eating utensils. The spoon is used to scoop rice while the chopsticks are used to eat different side dishes. It is very important to note that using both at the same time is considered to be bad manners. High and low tables are used for dining but during the Choson Dynasty, the low tables are used predominantly due to the ondol, a floor heating system that was the fad during that time. These tables have beautiful shapes and decorations though the high tables are making a comeback in the homes of modern Korean families.

Korea also has a variety of eating establishments that include street vendors, small restaurants, and formal ones that offer a full-course meal. There are also fast foods that offer western and Korean dishes. Fortunately, it is not necessary to give a tip since it is not a custom in the country.

Together with meals, Koreans do not often drink anything instead water or barley tea but when they drink, they have many kinds of beverages. Tea and many coffee shops are very common in the area. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, Koreans are fond of the famous drink known as soju.