Korean Traditional Food: Status, Prospects and Vision for Globalization

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This Bulletin describes the unique properties and diversity of Korean traditional food, as well as some prospects and directions for its future development as an industry. Traditional foods are prepared with the use of ingredients unique to a particular area and people. They are considered as historic food, and are transferred from generation to generation with some local variations. Korean traditional food can be classified based on the ingredients used: rice products as staple food, beverages, vegetables, fish, and fruits. Traditional foods using meat are very limited. Other classifications are based on production methods, such as steamed foods (almost all of the grain products), puffed foods, brined foods, and fermented foods. Traditional foods are used more as seasonal and banquet food or for religious ceremonies rather than as staple food, but it has become popular as a delicacy food in recent years. Korean traditional foods have not been given enough attention for a long time, but recent domestic consumption has gradually increased in view of people's recognition and consciousness of such products as health foods. The food culture of Korea has also caught the interest of other countries through the export of traditional food. Traditional food has been developed on the basis of unique techniques from each country, and efforts to export them are now expanding. Hence, it is now considered a competitive product, what with its unique materials and production techniques. In order for traditional foods to meet the international standard, it is necessary to develop new policies and strategies, such as the development of traditional foods for foreign consumption, fusion foods, adaptation and brand marketing, and scientific and safety guarantees. The need for international standardization of traditional food and improvement of packaging and design must also be addressed.

Dong-Hwa Shin
Chonbuk National University, Korea