“Kimchi is a cultural staple of Korean cuisine,” said Virginia Del. Irene Shin, who sponsored the bill that created the holiday in the Commonwealth.
Tuesday is Kimchi Day throughout the DC area.
DC and Virginia have already designated November 22 as a holiday, and a proclamation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan added the state to the festivities.
Kimchi is a fermented side dish that usually involves cabbage, but can also use other types of vegetables like cucumbers or radishes. It usually has a spicy, tart flavor.
“Kimchi is a cultural staple of Korean cuisine,” said Virginia Del. Irene Shin, a daughter of Korean immigrants who sponsored the bill that created the holiday in the Commonwealth. “I think it’s really cool to see how far kimchi has come.”
Shin said that when she was growing up, her family ate kimchi in their house, and when her non-Korean friends came over, “they were like, ‘What the hell is that?’ And now you can go to Costco or Trader Joe’s and find kimchi very readily available.
Kimchi Day is celebrated from November 22 to 22, in recognition of the 11 gut health benefits of kimchi and the 22 ingredients that can be used to make it.
And while Shin told OMCP that the dish was delicious, the holiday isn’t just about the food.
“I think it’s a celebration of the cultural contributions of the Korean American community. In Virginia, the third most spoken language in our Commonwealth is Korean,” Shin said.
In Maryland, Hogan announced early Monday morning that the next day would be the state’s first Kimchi Day. His wife, Yumi Hogan, is of Korean descent. In the governor’s announcement, he said the governor’s mansion in Maryland is the first in the country to have its own kimchi fridge.
Yumi Hogan, who posts cooking videos on YouTube, has already shared her salad kimchi recipe.
“Proclaiming the first Kimchi Day in state history is another way to celebrate our incredible Korean American community and their many contributions,” Hogan said in a statement. “Our administration is proud of the special bond we have with Korea, and all that we have been able to do to further strengthen these cultural and economic ties.”
To celebrate Kimchi Day, Shin suggests adding it to your lunch or dinner.
You can make the dish yourself, but Shin advised, “I would say it takes a lot of work and store-bought kimchi is just as delicious.”
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