SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — California’s legislature has passed a new resolution to celebrate kimchi, a popular Korean fermented side dish, to promote the consumption of healthier food, industry sources said Tuesday.
Under the bill led by Californian Assemblyman Steven Choi, which was passed on the previous day, the U.S. state of California plans to celebrate November 22 as “Kimchi Day,” according to the World Institute of Kimchi.
The latest move came as South Korea celebrated its first Kimchi Day in 2020 in line with efforts to promote the consumption of the dish.
“The increase in awareness of kimchi corresponds to higher awareness of Korean culture, including K-pop, K-beauty, K-food, and K-drama,” the bill added.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish normally made of fermented cabbage, salt and hot peppers, and is eaten with almost all meals.
The resolution also specified that South Korea is “the country of origin of kimchi,” amid continued attempts by some Chinese media claiming the Korean dish is Chinese, a move that has sparked strong criticism as many people regard it as Korea’s soul food and often link it to the nation’s identity.
South Korea’s exports of kimchi advanced a whopping 35 percent on-year in the first four months of 2021, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, on the growing demand for healthier foodstuffs amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
Outbound shipments of kimchi reached US$61.1 million over the January-April period.
By destination, exports to Japan accounted for the largest portion of $31 million over the January-April period, followed by the United States with $11 million and Europe with $5.5 million.