Food Scare Sends Koreans Back to Making Kimchi

      October 03, 2005 22:32

      An increasing number of Korean households are expected to go back to pickling their own cabbage for winter this year, not least because of revelations that some Chinese-made kimchi brands contain disproportionately high levels of lead.

      A poll of 359 women over 30 by online shopping mall on Sept. 28 through 30 announced Monday found that 70.2 percent or 252 respondents will do their own kimjang.

      Kimjang is the autumnal Korean custom of pickling the national staple dish kimchi. Traditionally, large jars packed with the spicy mix of cabbage or radishes, garlic and hot chili are buried in the ground to preserve them till the coming spring.

      Some 28 percent of respondents said even if they will not bother with the kimjang themselves, they will ask their parents or relatives for home-made kimchi. In a poll of 292 customers by Lotte Mart last year, only 60.3 percent said they would make their own kimchi.

      "Less than 2 percent of respondents wanted to buy their kimchi," said. "That reflects a widespread distrust of commercially available kimchi since the made-in-China kimchi scandal."

      The interpretation is backed by the 74 percent of respondents who said they do not trust the quality of kimchi in the stores. Of those who were going to do make their own, 21 percent answered it was to meet their family's tastes, while 5 percent cited financial reasons.

      Asked what influenced their choice of kimchi, 66 percent of respondents cited brand name, 33 percent flavor and 1 percent price.

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