Banchan: Promoting Traditional Korean… Milk?

They’ve done it again!

The Korean government food promoters have produced another hilarious Korean food promotion. This time it comes from the biggest winner for Hansik Promotion FAIL awards, the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation. It’s a highly produced (read: expensive) video asking you to try specific Korean foods, like kimchi, red ginseng, red pepper paste,  makgeolli (oh, in a stemmed wine glass), citron tea (yujacha), persimmons, Korean pears, paprikas (bell peppers–Konglish thing)… mushrooms… ramen (yeah, Japanese invented the instant stuff, but we’re gonna claim it)… milk?

Yes. Milk.


You may say that they’re doing this to help specific Korean agricultural and food producing sectors. So, as Professor Hodges notes, “What? No rice?!”

Oh, and like all promotion in Korea, we have to attach a K-Pop or Hallyu star to it that no one outside Korea knows (read: added expense). This time it’s CN Blue, which sounds more like a hygiene product.

You gotta wonder that in the middle of all this auditing on the effectiveness of this money pit the wisdom of doing this NOW. [HT The Marmot]

Speaking of wonder, remember the “K-Food Party” Wonder Girls video? Have you ever tried strawberries before? You must not have because they’re KOREAN.

(I just noted that they had the gall to put an ad on this video that was paid for with public money.)

Here is what’s happening in the (real) world of (real) Korean food.


  • I’ve been working on ye olde ZenKimchi Calendar. We’ve switched to a free-to-post model (as in, it’s free). It’s a simple form to fill out. Add your food-related events here.
  • Namyang Dairy is still in the news, now for a frog in baby formula.
  • Female Korean Chef Wins International Competition
  • Not for the kiddies: Cat stew (and Korean netizens are pissed)
  • According to this graphic, kimchi has more sodium than sausage and ham.
  • OB and Hite have been consulting with a European beer maker to introduce the first mass-produced Korean ales. Coming this fall. In a complete 180 from claims last year that Koreans were just fine and dandy with the current Korean lagers, a Hite Jinro spokesperson said, “[Korean consumers] increasingly want diverse beer options to choose from.”The data had been showing that Koreans were more interested in tastier foreign beers. But I’ll make the claim that the uproar after Daniel Tudor’s article in The Economist last year gave the big brewers the kick in the bootangie they needed.

    Credit: The Korea Times




  • Doesn’t matter how pretty you make it on top. Saltines as the base of your canape will always say, “Cheap.”

    Credit: 왕비의 햇살미소

  • Did a child make this?

    Credit: 노병의 맛집 기행


Author: ZenKimchi

Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canadan, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan. Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide. He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.

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