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Korean housewives shun tradition

Another time-hallowed tradition is dying out in South Korea with 65 percent of women confessing they do not know how to make kimchi.

26 Oct 2007

The famed national dish made of fermented and spiced vegetables even has a museum devoted to it. And there are plans to send it into space along with the nation's first astronaut next April.

But the survey of 7,138 women by online shopping site auction found that 65 percent cannot make it, Korea Times reported. Of those who can make their own kimchi, 63 percent did not because of high vegetable prices.

"It is pretty surprising considering how important the staple food is to Koreans, but the survey demonstrates the latest trend," marketing strategist Kim Jong-Yong told the paper.

Kim, who works for the leading packaged kimchi maker, said housewives are turning to the ready-made product partly because of high vegetable prices.

Experts quoted by the paper said the advent of kimchi refrigerators is another reason women favour the mass-produced item.

The dish was traditionally prepared at home, then stored in jars in the ground during the winter months.

"Since people are getting used to conveniently storing kimchi instead of digging up the ground, they're wanting to go convenient all the way," said a spokesman for the fridge manufacturer.

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