South Korea: Korean food goes global

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – First there were Korean cars, television sets, and semiconductors. Then came the “Korean wave” as a flood of K-pop, Korean films, and other manifestations of Korean culture lapped up on the shores of other Asian countries before drifting to the United States and Europe.

Now it’s time for Korean cuisine to get “globalized,” in the view of Korean government officials, restaurateurs, and chefs. In a world long accustomed to delicacies and their derivatives from China, Japan, India, Thailand, and Vietnam, why not Korean kimchi, beef bulgoki, and kalbi?

That’s a question that several hundred delegates tried to answer in a day-long series of seminars – and a multicourse luncheon – about popularizing Korean food in a world that tends to shrug it off as a specialty mainly for Koreans.

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