I was about 7 or 8 years old when I had my first encounter with Korean food. I don't remember much about the experience except for the fact that I had to drink a full glass of water in between each bite (possibly an over-exaggeration), due to it's spicy nature. After that meal, I decided I must not really be Korean. I always thought in the back of my mind... that maybe they had it all wrong and I really came from Japan. This only seemed logical because of my passionate love for Japanese cuisine!
Well, ladies and gents... a time that I never thought would come, has arrived. I have become one with the kimchi. Almost 5 years ago, I discovered Sam Hawk Korean Restaurant in Provo, Utah. It was the second Korean meal I had ever had and probably the most delicious! Sam Hawk made me fall in love with Korean food but still, I hadn't fallen for kimchi just yet.
It was a few weeks ago, when I was absolutely craving Korean food that I decided I was going to take my daughter out for a girl's lunch date (code for, mommy wants to eat out). We went to one of my favorite little family owned sushi/teriyaki joints and ordered a big bowl of bibimbap with lots of kimchi. It was that meal that changed my relationship with kimchi forever. We just connected.
So there you have it, I am a Korean Adoptee that has finally gotten in touch with the taste buds of my birth country. It is odd to me that it took me this long to actually crave Korean food. I'm almost certain that I was exposed to a hefty Korean diet while in utero, so how is it that it didn't feel like home until now?
I can honestly say that Korean food is a comfort now and I love that I love it! Unfortunately for my waistline, food is my way of connecting and coping with most things in life... and my adoration for Korean food only makes this journey and visiting Korea that much more exciting!
So, if you're cringing at the idea of digesting a mouthful of fermented veggies with a kick... just go for it! Be sure to pair it with some Korean BBQ, Bulgogi or Japchae. You will not be disappointed!