Kimchi Is the Perfect Food · 8 January 2022

I may have said it before, but I am going to justify it here today. Kimchi is the perfect food.

(I do not know why, but I am on a kimchi writing kick. Call this, Kimchi Part 3, if you will.)

I would not say that I love kimchi, but I do like it. Whenever we have it in the house, I binge on it. Okay. Not really binge, but I do eat it like it is going out of style. I like the taste. I like the smell. I even like the texture. But truth be told, I used to think it had to go with rice. Lots of rice.

To be sure, I am not going to hate on rice or anything like that. I like rice. I always have. I grew up eating it at pretty much every meal. Rice for breakfast with eggs. Rice with lunch with bologna. Rice for supper with anything and everything. Okay. Not with everything. Not with potatoes. Mom drew the line at that combo. Potatoes or rice, but not both. Unless of course, we were at a potluck and somebody brought some of each. Apparently, it was okay to have them both at the same meal, but not to cook them both for the same meal. Needless to say, I cannot hate on rice. Especially since I like sushi. Unfortunately, my body just cannot eat it every day like I used to do.

Where was I? Oh yes. Rice and kimchi.

I used to think that rice and kimchi were an unbreakable pair. If you had kimchi, you had to have rice. Period. Then, I tried something new. I tried kimchi with spaghetti squash. Surprise! It was marvelous. I never knew that kimchi could combine with anything but rice. I was ecstatic. “Why?” You ask? Because having kimchi without rice made me realize that kimchi was the perfect food. If it could work with spaghetti squash, it could probably work with anything.

Then I realized something else. Kimchi is good all by itself. I was amazed when I made that discovery. All these years of thinking that I had to eat it with rice. Then finding out it went well with other food. I was overjoyed when I found out that it was good all by itself. I figured it out by accident. I was just hungry for it but had nothing to go with my kimchi. So I just ate it by itself. Which made it even more perfect in my mind.

But of course, there is more to being a perfect food than going with anything or even going with nothing. A perfect food should also be good for you.

I am not sure of all the science, but apparently, fermented foods are good for you. Something about good bacteria in your colon or something like that. (I looked it up and apparently, kimchi is a probiotic, which means it is good for digestion. Who knew?) What I do know is that kimchi is rich in antioxidants. And foods rich in antioxidants are good for you.

Playing nice with other foods and being good for your health are two keys to being a perfect food, but I think there is one other factor. Aroma.

I know. There are those out there who think that the odoriferous qualities of kimchi would not qualify it for having a pleasing aroma. But even though I thought that when I was a kid, I think kimchi smells wonderful now. I even think it is a good thing that it smells good to me but not to others. It means that I can have it all to myself. People do not want to be near the stuff when you eat it. And in this day and age when we are supposed to keep at least an arm length apart, kimchi breath keeps people away after you eat it. Not just the trifecta of food, but the quadrifecta! (I doubt quadrifecta is a word, but that is okay by me.)

At any rate.

I may not have convinced anybody with my arguments, but the qualities of going with anything, having positive health benefits, and being able to keep it all to myself are enough to convince me that kimchi is a perfect food. If not the perfect food. But if this blog post did not convince you. Perhaps you should take the advice the kids use to give Mikey in the old Life commercial.

“Are you gonna try it?”
“I’m not gonna try it. You try it.”
“I’m not gonna try it.”

“Hey! Let’s get Mikey.”
“Yeah. He won’t eat it. He hates everything.”
“He likes it!”

So go ahead. Try it. You might like it. Even if you do not agree that kimchi is the perfect food.

© 2022 Michael T. Miyoshi

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