Yes! It’s not a joke! Over the past few years, kimchi has been seen more often in shops and restaurants, showing it’s not just a local trend, but is a part of a growing global appreciation of fermented foods. This is also likely a result of a soft power diplomacy effort by the Koreans; in April 2009 the South Korean government announced a $44 million program aimed at making kimchi one of the five most popular ethnic foods in the world. And apparently, it’s working, cuz it’s also in space.
Yi So-yeon, who was the first Korean scientist to fly in space in 2008, talks about developing the precise type of kimchi to fit the International Space Station to serve as both a power-food as well as a comfort food, bringing a little bit of home into the great expanse. You can hear her amazing space-travel experience (yep, not just the first woman, but the first person from her country) and her views on kimchi on The Kitchen Sisters podcast , which was sent to me by Sooze Bloom. (Thanks, Sooze! Such a fascinating show.)
In keeping with this push to bring kimchi truly into the limelight and onto your plate, InFerment is hosting a kimchi workshop here on earth at KOBO on April 23rd to showcase and teach its delightful taste and secrets! There are more than 300 types of kimchi in Korea, each one is a signifier of its own particular region; similar to the way a linguistic dialect represents the speakers of a specific region. I hope to see some of you in the workshop so we can explore it together! Sign up on the “Workshop” page at InFerment.com
In other news, the trip to deliver the ramen bowls and sake sets to Aiko, a delicious ramen restaurant in Portland, went well. The most exciting moment was watching Michael Littman, Aiko’s owner and manager, hold one of the ceramic bowls, absorbing in the feel and look of it, suspending the moment in time to take it all in. As the creator of the vessel, I wished that moment could have lasted forever, filling up my creative energy stores with enough fuel to send me into space without a rocket! You can taste the raman at their current place Hapa PDX Ramen– wonderful dishes!
Last, but never least, In celebration of Mother’s Day, May 14th, InFerment will host an evening workshop at Marmit with the chefs, Bruce Naphtaly an Nick Apt in Capitol Hill – Stay tuned for more details. Bring one of the moms in your family and make a day of it!
Hope to see you soon in person or online!