The History of Kimchi

Have you ever wondered about the origins of kimchi? Indeed, Korea’s favorite food had a long and rich journey from its ancient roots in Asia to our Korean restaurant in Seattle.

Though the genesis of kimchi is hard to place, the first known record of it appears in a Chinese book of poetry called Sikyeong that dates back at least 2,600 years ago. At the time it was known as ji, and it consisted solely of pickled Chinese cabbage. People began to experiment more with the dish around the 12th century, adding spices and other new ingredients to give kimchi a broad array of flavors. The most recognizable form of kimchi that we know today finally came about in the 17th century, when Portuguese traders introduced the Brazilian red pepper to Asia. This variety of kimchi skyrocketed in popularity in the 19th century, and has remained an iconic part of Korean cuisine since.

Today, kimchi is commonly made from a vast array of ingredients and seasonings, each incarnation reflecting the regional and seasonal nuances of modern Korea. One hundred and eighty seven distinct kinds of kimchi have been documented, and there is no telling what the future might bring. Come and be a part of the kimchi phenomenon today, with Old Village Korean Restaurant!