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  1. #1

    Why is traditional Korean food so spicy?

    Korea really is not in a part of the world where spicy foods naturally grow. Foods from the surrounding countries aren't typically thought of as spicy; such as Japan, Mongolia, and China.

    How did spiciness become so ingrained into Korean cuisine? Are there just sources I'm unaware of?

  2. #2
    moreover, korean food is fucking disgusting with the aforementioned spiciness and overbearing flavors in general. I don't see why foreigners see it as luxury cuisine on average even without the beef.

  3. #3
    Is it? Don't think I've had anything distinctly Korean.

    But since spicy food is amazing, I assume it's simply because they have good taste.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by s_bushido View Post
    Is it? Don't think I've had anything distinctly Korean.

    But since spicy food is amazing, I assume it's simply because they have good taste.
    Yeah in general, Korean Food is rather spicy. Even dishes you'd make at home for your family, kids included, American's would generally call spicy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by YUPPIE View Post
    moreover, korean food is fucking disgusting with the aforementioned spiciness and overbearing flavors in general. I don't see why foreigners see it as luxury cuisine on average even without the beef.
    Never seen it called a luxury. When I go to a Korean restaurant in Chicago the food will be reliably spicy. I've never found Korean food disgusting but if you don't like Kimchi, there are A LOT of dishes you will not enjoy. There are a lot of universally common ingredients in their cuisine that if you don't like them it's a safe bet you won't like the palate overall.

  5. #5
    Where did you get the idea that Chinese food isn't spicy? Or Japanese food? I don't have enough experience with Mongolian cuisine to talk about that. The other two are pretty well known for having spicy food, even if it's not ubiquitous. But yeah, about 500 years ago, they started cultivating peppers from the Americas.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripster42 View Post
    Where did you get the idea that Chinese food isn't spicy? Or Japanese food? I don't have enough experience with Mongolian cuisine to talk about that. The other two are pretty well known for having spicy food, even if it's not ubiquitous. But yeah, about 500 years ago, they started cultivating peppers from the Americas.
    I didn't mean to say ALL Chinese food and ALL Japanese foods are not spicy, just that it isn't generally associated with them as strongly as Korean foods. Also, rather than the American peppers, weren't there spicy things from India? Spicy stuff is generally from tropical areas and India fits the bill.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by whynotchris View Post
    I didn't mean to say ALL Chinese food and ALL Japanese foods are not spicy, just that it isn't generally associated with them as strongly as Korean foods. Also, rather than the American peppers, weren't there spicy things from India? Spicy stuff is generally from tropical areas and India fits the bill.
    They have spices. I wouldn't say those spices are 'spicy'. Truly hot stuff is generally from the americas: chilies. India basically had mustard and black pepper as their hottest spices before American peppers got there. So yeah, via trade mostly. The pepper I would think most identify as iconic in Korean food is a chili pepper originally from S. America IIRC.
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  8. #8
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    Why do some people think just salt and pepper equal seasoning their food?

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripster42 View Post
    They have spices. I wouldn't say those spices are 'spicy'. Truly hot stuff is generally from the americas: chilies. India basically had mustard and black pepper as their hottest spices before American peppers got there. So yeah, via trade mostly. The pepper I would think most identify as iconic in Korean food is a chili pepper originally from S. America IIRC.
    I also didn't mean all spices, I mean obviously Asian cuisine has spices beyond hot stuff, but really? The most common Korean spicy spice is from South America? Huh. That's crazy! Maybe the Korean War? I'd never really thought of that.
    Last edited by whynotchris; 2021-04-26 at 01:18 PM. Reason: clarification

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by whynotchris View Post
    I also didn't mean all spices, I mean obviously Asian cuisine has spices beyond hot stuff, but really? The most common Korean spicy spice is from South America? Huh. That's crazy! Maybe the Korean War? I'd never really thought of that.
    There are entire regions of china known for spicy food that are bigger than korea. Everywhere except like europe I think loves spicy food cus it's delicious.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by whynotchris View Post
    Maybe the Korean War?
    No:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ripster42 View Post
    But yeah, about 500 years ago, they started cultivating peppers from the Americas.
    Chilis didn't exist in the "old world" until they were exported from the new one.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by whynotchris View Post
    I also didn't mean all spices, I mean obviously Asian cuisine has spices beyond hot stuff, but really? The most common Korean spicy spice is from South America? Huh. That's crazy! Maybe the Korean War? I'd never really thought of that.
    The 2nd most common form of carb in Europe are potatoes. The national spice/identifying spice of Hungarian cuisine is paprika.

    What's your point?

    You understand we discovered the New World over 500 years ago. Diets evolve.

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    Last edited by Mihalik; 2021-04-26 at 01:47 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by whynotchris View Post
    I also didn't mean all spices, I mean obviously Asian cuisine has spices beyond hot stuff, but really? The most common Korean spicy spice is from South America? Huh. That's crazy! Maybe the Korean War? I'd never really thought of that.
    Wait until you learn where tomatoes and potatoes come from. The “discovery” of the new world had a massive impact on cuisine worldwide.

  15. #15
    reddit thread relevant to your interests OP

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...hich_is_a_bit/

    that said, personaly, I love variety of seasonings, but i very much dislike burning hot food. I cannot taste anything when things are hot, they basically burn any feeling or nuance from my tastebuds. all I feel is pain. no flavor. but to each their own. I had a friend in highschool with whom I used to go to this Indian restaurant several times a week after school (in part because it was so affordable at the time and in part because it was fucking delicious and started my lifelong love affair with cumin, among other things). i would always order mild versions of dishes. she would order spicy versions and then would add extra cayenne and black pepper. I couldn't eat the way she did, and she couldn't eat as mild as I did.

    sensitivities to hotness vary. doesn't mean there is no flavor to be found outside of "hot" . /shrug

  16. #16
    Because it's delicious and they have excellent taste.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ripster42
    Where did you get the idea that Chinese food isn't spicy? Or Japanese food?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sorensen
    Everywhere except like europe I think loves spicy food cus it's delicious.
    In broad strokes, Japanese tolerance for spice is babby mayonnaise level.
    Ichimi/Shichimi Tougarashi and wasabi exist as condiments, but you don't really use a lot of them.

    As for Korean food, because it's delicious and they can probably grow peppers in the area readily, similar to the Sichuan and Hunan provinces in China. The chili flakes also give a gorgeous red color to everything.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by YUPPIE View Post
    moreover, korean food is fucking disgusting with the aforementioned spiciness and overbearing flavors in general. I don't see why foreigners see it as luxury cuisine on average even without the beef.
    Okay mayonnaise. How can you turn down korean bbq with some ssam, lettuce, and veggies? Shit's delicious.
    As are jijim, japchae, and the Korean version of hot pot, Budae Jjigae.

    Anyone saying the entirety of a country's food traditions are disgusting is a troll(which you are), or incredibly ignorant.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by YUPPIE View Post
    moreover, korean food is fucking disgusting with the aforementioned spiciness and overbearing flavors in general.
    You can just say you have no taste.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiac View Post
    You can just say you have no taste.
    He also has no sense from supposedly only sleeping 2 hours a night.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calfredd View Post
    He also has no sense from supposedly only sleeping 2 hours a night.
    Maybe if they ate better they'd sleep for longer? *shrugs*

    Piquancy is good for the health. It keeps you sanguine.
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