The Korean Food Philosophy And Its Food & Beverage Industry

  • By Satida Thipasathien
  • on 06 May 2022
  • Categories : Culture, Health & Fitness

From the global hit Korean Spicy Fire Noodle Challenge featuring Samyang’s hot chicken flavored ramen to drone pizza deliveries in the heart of Seoul, you know that Koreans take their ready to eat meals game very seriously. With the clever amount of spice, science, and a dash of creativity, Korea has made a grand entrance in the international food arena and has won the hearts of many with its colorful and sociable food. Korean cuisine and its food & beverage industry have come a long way!

History In Korean Food

Not only do languages transcend borders, Korean food too has traveled outside Korea. Every Korean favorite: kimchi’s origin can be traced back to more than 3,000 years ago as a method of coping with hunger and starvation during the winter!! Fast forward to the colonial period, Korea had been heavily influenced by both the Chinese and the Japanese’s customs, culture, politics, and religions.

Historically, Korean royalties are served large meals with two main components: rice and soup, along with 12 other dishes in the classic Korean style bronze wares or yugi. Despite minor changes to the materials used in the makings of yugi, these table wares can be seen in silver (from stainless steel), in many of today’s Korean restaurants all around the world, especially in those smoky Korean BBQ ones!

Food Is Love… And Medicine!

Centering around family and community, Korean eating culture often reflects those bonds. Featuring a center dish to share with everyone at the table, conversations are inevitable. Since dishes like kimchi require a lot of time and effort, especially when serving tons of people, physical labor is a much needed ingredient in Korean cuisine. The recipe for the perfectly crunchy and tingly kimchi calls for 2 to 21 days of fermentation.

But the fruit of your hard-work and patience is always sweet! This beloved national dish is packed with a lot of probiotics – which helps to prevent several conditions, namely certain types of cancer, heart problems, issues with digestion, inflammations, and skin conditions – sweet, right? Afterall, cooking is Korea's love language!

(Source: "Korean side dishes (banchan or 반찬) being sold at a traditional market" by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash)

Much like love, Korean food is all about balance. That’s why they serve you many side dishes! In any Korean meal, each component compliments each other. The many combinations of flavors: spiciness, sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness, and a taste of umami give Korean dishes its special vibrant colors as well as robust and unique taste. Traditionally, the color red is believed to help strengthen the heart. Good food means good physical health in Korea.

Not only does food nourish the body, it nurtures your mind too! Since your mind and body are one, filling your stomach with rich and nutritious food can significantly boost your mental well-being! No wonder why Koreans put in so much time and effort into perfecting their food!

What Koreans do to take care of their loved ones when they are riddled with diseases, is to make them a nice and warm vegetable, chicken, or pork jook (rice porridge) garnished with coriander leaves, seaweed, and fried garlic. As if those are not enough, your jook comes with side dishes of boiled eggs and kimchi. Who doesn’t love something easy on their stomach?

The Past, Present, And The Future Of The Korean Food & Beverage Industry

The popularity of the Korean food & beverage industry has been on a steady rise since its early exports of local products (seaweed, rice, and squid) since the 1960s. Exactly twenty years ago today, South Korea produced and exported its infamous ramen noodles, kimchi, and soju to the world, marking the country’s initial global success in the food & beverage sector.

Following its many highly successful cultural assimilation projects of its highly resilient domestic media industry, South Korea has introduced the world to many new food sensations from burning spicy tteok (rice cakes) to slimy live octopuses. The world is also reported to have already discovered yet another one of South Korea's best exports: premium fruits such as pears, grapes, and strawberries are believed to be on the rise.

As consumers are starting to become more conscious of healthy-eating and more selective of their food, the Korean food & beverage sector is mushrooming outside of South Korea. Today, Korean supermarkets dominate the United States. They are also growing in numbers in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. And there is no sign of this food & beverage industry slowing down any time soon!

Get A Taste Of The Korean Food & Beverage Industry!

If you are looking for a sign to start your dream internship in the Food & Beverage sector, this is it! Your time has come! Interning in South Korea’s rapidly growing food & beverage industry will keep you on top of the global market trends.

The Korean Food & Beverage field is HUGE! It manufactures an array of products from East to West, and fusions of the two. That said, it deploys a wide range of skills and provides you with a lot of room to exercise your creativity! Whatever your interests are, there is always something for you in Food & Beverage! Whether that may be food science, engineering, marketing.. you name it…!

What's truly special about this particular line of business is that it will never go away! You will be interning in one of the most innovative and quintessential sectors in the world alongside some of the brightest minds! In this line, everyday is fun! Not a day goes by in the food and beverage business without you acquiring new knowledge. Go see it for yourself!

AIP offers fully customizable internship opportunities to students in multiple leading industries like South Korea’s Food & Beverages across the globe. To find out more about AIP and our programs, follow the link here.

Internship in South Korea

About author

A language graduate from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. A culture enthusiast.

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