Food Habits Essay
The Factors that Influence Food Habits and Culture There are different kinds of dishes that we eat from various ethnic groups. Every culture has their own way of making dishes and style, which makes them unique. There are religious values that causes some people to not eat certain foods like meat, fried foods, and others. America has many different kinds of foods from various ethnic groups that are different from the American way of cooking. The countries in Asia have their own types of food, the vegetables that they grow, and different ways of growing their vegetables.
Since they have all the seasons, they are able to grow many different kinds of fruits and vegetables that we aren’t able to produce. Different countries have different kinds of fruits, and vegetables that we may or may not find here in America. There are only a few places that I have visited and have tried their foods, but my main topic will be about Korean dishes. American dishes are very simple and it’s mostly the taste that matters rather than the presentation, but for Korean dishes it’s the presentation that matters then the taste. I’m Korean and grew up eating different kinds of Korean foods
made from my parents and compare to the food in America the dishes are very different. The most common main Korean dishes that I would find in America are the Bulgogi, Short ribs, kimchee, and bibimbap. But there are more dishes that we have that are a part of traditional events, the different types of kimchee, and the different parts of Korea that the dishes are from. There are some influences from other countries that are some of Koreas famous dishes today. The first thing that I’ll be talking about is the main dish, which is Kimchee. This is the main dish that is always served at a restaurant, and home.
Kimchee was first made around the 7th century and to this day it has become a popular dish that many people would know about first when introduced to Korean food. The reason that it was made was because during the winter season in Korea it would get really cold, since they are surrounded by water on three sides they had to find a way of securing vegetables and that’s how kimchee and fermentation first started. They would also start preserving soybeans that are made into a paste called “DeonJang”, which is used in a sauce based and also a soup called “DeonJang Jeekae”. Anyways, kimchee is a side dish that is
included in every meal throughout the day. During the 7th century, the red chilli paste was not added into the kimchee because at that time it wasn’t introduce. It was just a salted vegetable rather than a spicy cabbage. The vegetables that it is made with is vegetables like cabbage, green onion, cucumber, and radish. It is a spicy dish that is fermented for a month or so depending on the weather and season. First the vegetables are soaked in water then the vegetables will be covered with salt and this will help it from going bad, since it’ll be fermented for a while. Then we would have the vegetables
soaked in powdered chilli or chilli paste, minced ginger, and a little bit of sugar. After mixing it with all the ingredients, it’ll be put into a jar and left alone. Instead of just a side dish of kimchee, we’ve made a soup called “Kimchee Soup”, which is made with kimchee, water, kimchee juice, and meat. Also, there is another dish called, “Kimchee fried rice”, that we mix kimchee with rice and sesame oil. Both these dishes have become very popular and are easy to make at home. Kimchee is even being added in pizza, where in Korea they have kimchee pizza’s, kimchee tacos, kimchee burritos, and
many others. Like every culture, Korea has a lot of traditional dishes that are made during special events and holidays. During the New years there’s a soup called “Ddeok Guk”, which is a soup based dish with rice cake, green onion, seaweed, cooked/sliced eggs, and dumplings called “Mandoo”. The soup symbolizes an additional year of life, granted luck for the new year, blessing, and purity. The soup is made with protein, and seasonings. Traditionally, it is eaten first thing in the morning to start off the new year. Another type of soup called “Miyeok Guk”, is a seaweed soup that is made during and
after a women gives birth, since it contains a high content of calcium and iodine. This dish has nutrients that help the mother recover from giving birth and for this reason it is eaten on birthdays as a reminder of the first meal that the mother has fed the child through breastfeeding and it’s suppose to bring good fortune to the family for the whole year. The way that it is made is by soaking dried seaweed in water until soft and then adding the seaweed soup. Then it’s seasoned with minced garlic and sesame oil. Another traditional soup in Korea called”Samgyetang”, consists of a whole young
chicken and Korean ginseng. The whole chicken is stuffed with dried seeded jujube fruits( which are not sweet once cooked), garlic, and ginger. Also, there are other medicinal herbs that are added into it if they want, which are the wolfberry, codonopsis pilosula, and the angelica sinensis. In English it is translated as “ginseng chicken soup”, is believed to prevent illnesses. In China ginseng isn’t used to when one is sick, they believe that it’ll trap the sickness in the person. But Koreans believe that ginseng can help illnesses from coming and has a meaning to long life also.
This dish is traditionally served in the summer because of the nutrients it can give to the person, which helps people in Korea through the hot and humid summer days to gain energy. In tradition Korean weddings, the chestnuts that are thrown to the bride by the grooms parents symbolizes them to have many kids and to live a happy marriage. There are moon cakes, Korean flower cookies called “Yakgwa”, that is a very traditional homemade dessert that is very sweet from being made from honey, rice wine, cinnamon, salt, ginger juice, sesame oil, and white pepper. Another important dish to our Korean
tradition is “kimbap”, which is a seaweed wrapped sushi. This famous dish was made because of the Japanese rule in Korea from 1910-1945. It is a dish which you can use your fingers or chopsticks. Because of the invasion of the Japanese in Korea, “Kimbap”, was influenced by the Japanese way of making sushi and that’s how kimbap became the Korean sushi. Korea and China have two dishes that are influenced by one another and they are called “Jajangmyeon, and Jjamppong”. It consists of wheat noodles topped with a thick sauce made with black soybean paste that has a little bit of salt in it.
Jajangmyeon was created in the city of Incheon where the they had chinese migrants to Korea. There was a Chinese restaurant called “Gonghwachun”, that first made the Jajangmyeon, but it was in Incheon which is a part of Korea. The only difference between the two types of jajangmyeon is that Korean jajangmyeon uses black chunjang that’s made with onions and caramel. It is one of the “National Foods” of South Korea and is popular in China. It’s inexpensive and very good. In Korea people would have it delivered to their homes and with this we eat yellow fermented radish, that’s very sweet and sour.
We also eat kimchee with jajangmyeon, but the sweet and sour yellow radish is the traditional side dish to eat with this. In the old times, Korea had a wine called “Makgeolli”, which is a traditional wine made way back in Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). The first local rice liquor was written in 1287 during the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392). The first alcoholic drinks would be based on grains such as rice and barley. Makgeolli is said to hold an important meaning in not only the Korean liquor history, but in their culture also. It is said that there were more
than 350 varieties of liquor in Korean history, but because of the invasion of the Japanese they lost all their traditional drinks and since then makgeolli was made. During the Joseon Kingdom, many people made their own rice wine and this formed a new culture called the “Gayanju Culture”. Makgeolli is a traditional wine that is made with milky white rice wine and is the oldest alcoholic beverage in Korea. Also, it is an unfiltered drink, which contains lactic acid, fibers, vitamins, only a 6-8% alcoholic content, and good bacteria that is found in yogurts. This kind of alcoholic beverage was
popular among the farmers, which was later named “Nongju”, meaning farmer liquor. Makgeolli became a very popular drink for special ceremonies during the reign of King Dongmyeong. Makgeolli would be taken in a white or silver bowl with chicken soup on the side and some side dishes. Another popular drink that was made in the 13th century is called “Soju”, which is another type of alcoholic beverage that is widely known throughout Korea and in America. While drinking soju, the type of Korean foods that would go with it is “samgyeopsal”, which is a Korean pork belly soup. These are the
traditional drinks that have been mixed into flavored sojus and there is also a makgeolli cocktail that has been made. As you can see, Korean food has been influenced by other cultures style of foods. Japanese sushi turned into Korean Kimbap, Chinese jajangmyeon that was made into a Korean dish with new ingredients and the Jangpong that’s a spicy soup based soup with a lot of vegetables in it and seafood. We all share foods that are made into each others style and culture. South Korea is pretty diverse with their foods. They’ve made Kimchee pizza, kimchee tacos, and bulgogi burritos.
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