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- Thanks to four distinct seasons and well-developed agriculture, rice and mixed grains are a major element in Korean food. The peninsula is surrounded by water, and is home to plenty of marine products, as well as a variety of vegetables and aquatic plants. Naturally, cooking methods incorporating these ingredients have developed. Preserved and fermented food, such as different types of sauces, kimchi and salted fish, have also been a big part of Korean cuisine since the early days. Korean food well represents the characteristics of the different seasons and regions, and places importance on the harmony of different tastes. A lot of devotion and effort is needed to make Korean food, thus a proper attitude and spirit are important. Not only are the nutritious aspect, color, taste and temperature of the food important, but also the harmony of the tableware and the food. There are over 2,000 types of Korean dishes and each one is unique in taste, scent, presentation and color. Korean food also contains a variety of essential nutrients, thus helping to prolong life, maintain health and even prevent illnesses in some cases. It is, indeed an exceptional and refined cuisine, a rarity in the world.
- One of the biggest features of Korean food that distinguishes it from other cuisines is the distinction between main and side dishes. Rice, or the main dish, is eaten with different types of side dishes. Rice can be divided into two types: white rice and rice mixed with different grains such as barley, red-bean, millet, beans, etc.
- Side dishes include a variety of dishes, such as soup or stew, kimchi, different types of sauces and various dishes made from meat, seafood, marine plants and vegetables. Such method of eating rice along with other side dishes is quite rational in the sense that it ensures proper consumption and balance of nutrients.
- There are a wide variety of foods and cooking methods, as well as preserved foods.
The use of condiments and garnishes is a very rational way of cooking.
Seasoning is very important, thus salt and different types of sauces were considered an important basic in cooking.
Not only is the taste of the food important, but also its shape and color, as well as the vessels the food is served in. Serving ample amounts of food shows the devotion of the person who makes the food.
Presentation is important and varied depending on the food, as well as the occasion.