French Discover Korean Cuisine

    November 05, 2007 07:15

    France's leading daily newspaper Le Figaro assigned an entire page of its Saturday edition to an exploration of Korean food entitled "Slow Food in Seoul."

    "Traditional Korea cuisine, with its variety, very little fat, and abundance of vegetables is one of the most balanced in the world," wrote food reporter Alexandra Michot, who visited Korea for the article in October.

    Leading off with an introduction to the hit Korean TV drama "Daejanggeum," the story of a young woman who was a legendary court cook during the Chosun Dynasty, one of the report's segments was an interview with Han Bok-ryeo, an expert on royal cuisine.

    "The success of the drama has renewed interest in traditional Korean cuisine, not only among Koreans but also foreigners who are eager to taste it," Han said in the interview. "Although there are all kinds of global fast food chains in Seoul, Korean interest in local foods and health foods has also been increasing with the introduction of the five-day workweek."

    Another segment provided tips for enjoying Korean food. The importance of kimchi as the "basis of Korean meals" was referenced with an ancient proverb: "A man can live without women, but he cannot live without kimchi."

    Other tips included sampling raw fish at Noryangjin fish market and investigating the medicinal properties of ginseng and chicken broth. The writers also suggested traditional distilled rice liquor, red ginseng, and spoon and chopstick sets as good souvenirs from Korea.

    According to the report, the Korea Culture Center in Paris will hold a Korean cuisine festival at the Paris UNESCO building from Nov. 6 to 16. Korean cuisine chef Lee Jae-wook of the Grand Intercontinental Hotel and six other chefs will join the festival to prepare royal Korean cuisine.

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