Thursday, March 1, 2012

Writing Intelligently About Korean Cuisine

Korean food is a distinct cuisine with some influences from other cultures, but one cannot draw a conclusion about Korean food based on what they know about Chinese, Japanese, or other Asian cuisines. Unless one has studied the history and culture of Korean cuisine, one cannot speak with authority about the history and origins of Korean food. Generations of Koreans have eaten jjampong, a spicy seafood noodle dish, but to say that it is a traditional Korean dish would be false. The jjampong eaten in Korea has its origins in Chinese cuisine, with some Korean touches, so it is a Chinese Korean dish. The same can be said for yakiniku. Generations of Japanese have eaten this dish, but to say that it is an authentic Japanese dish would be false. It has its origins in Korean bbq, but with some Japanese flourishes, so it is a Korean Japanese dish. It is very presumptuous to assume that a dish has been influenced by another culture just because of its similarities to a dish from that cuisine. That is not good research or critical understanding.

It is our personal responsibility to make sure that we do our due diligence and spread awareness instead of ignorance and misinformation. This behooves you if you have a public forum to express your views, especially if you are a professional working in the media, particularly the food media. Food media professionals should be held to a much higher standard than personal bloggers, but no one is free from the responsibility to thoroughly research and disseminate the proper information. So I have been seriously disappointed by some food magazines and media outlets that have gotten it wrong in such an egregious way about Korean food, particularly such basic information as the name of Korean dishes, things that could easily be discerned through a proper internet search. I cannot believe that in the diverse melting pot of America, it would be that difficult for a food writer to find experts in Korean cuisine, be they Korean restaurant owners, cooking instructors, etc. If one is a professional writer, one should have the know-how to discern who the proper experts are and locate them. There are Korean government sites like the Korea Tourism Organization and Korea Taste, etc. that are actively promoting Korean food and would probably help you learn more about the cuisine as it is in their interest to do so. (I have listed them on my sidebar under "Korean Food - History and Culture".) But none of this information would be necessary if one truly researched and respected the topic at hand. 

Posted by tastingkorea

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please do not spam the comments section with links unrelated to the post. If you have an informative link that is directly relevant to the topic, you may add it to your comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...