Barbecue expert Jamie Purviance was in Seoul this past week studying about Korean BBQ for an upcoming book on world BBQ. He particularly liked DalkGalbi (smothered stir-fried chicken) and Daechang (a part of cow intestine). Even so, I disagreed with his assessment of kimchi in America. He said that Americans find kimchi too spicy and garlicky. I think that Americans can easily handle the spice, considering all the buffalo wings and hot sauces they buy. The barrier for kimchi being embraced in America is its smell and pungent taste. It can be unpleasant to a first-timer if the kimchi isn’t done right. It’s like goat cheese and other fine products that take a while to get used to. Yet once one “gets it,” he becomes a fan of kimchi for life.
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