aT CEO Kim Choon-jin speaks during an event of celebrating Kimchi Day at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on Nov. 22. Photo courtesy of aT

aT promotes Korean traditional food across the globe

The Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) noted on Dec. 7 that the outfit had put forth efforts to make foreign countries designate a day for Kimchi.

Kimchi is Korea’s traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables like cabbage and radish. The country has marked Kimchi Day on Nov. 22 since 2020.

“We celebrate Kimchi Day on every Nov. 22 because the side dish is made of 11 ingredients to bring 22 benefits for health,” an aT official said.

“We have pulled out all the stops to encourage other governments to follow suit of us, and such efforts started leading to tangible results in many places.”

Indeed, California of the United States designated Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day midway through last year. Other states like Virginia, New York, and Washington D.C. made the same decision this year.

The act is also pending in the federal parliament to celebrate Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day across the world’s largest economy.

Such moves came at a time when an increasing number of people ate Kimchi.

Last year, a total of 87 countries imported Kimchi from South Korea. The shipment to the U.S. amounted to $24.5 million as of this October, up 4 percent from a year ago.

Once, China claimed that Kimchi originated in the country, which met strong criticisms from many people across the world.

“Through the initiatives of marking Kimchi Day in the U.S., we will try to expand the fan base of the food there,” aT CEO Kim Choon-jin said. “We will make more and more foreigners love Kimchi down the road.”

U.S. Health Magazine announced in its 2006 March edition that Kimchi is one of the world’s five healthiest foods, along with Spanish olive oil, Japanese bean products, Indian lentils, and Greek yogurt.

The process of making Kimchi, otherwise dubbed Gimjang, was listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in late 2013.