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A kimchi crisis

Posted by Devra First  October 5, 2010 03:15 PM

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hmartkimchi.jpg

Globe Staff Photo/Wendy Maeda

Making kimchi in the kimchi section at H Mart in Burlington.

South Korea is in the grips of a kimchi shortage. It's the season for making the spicy fermented dish, but heavy September rains have decimated the cabbage crop. Prices have jumped to more than $10 a head! And the Seoul city government has put a kimchi bailout program in place.

How bad is this? Imagine that Dunkin' Donuts announced a coffee shortage and started charging $10 for a small regular. Now multiply the Boston-wide freakout by about 10,000,000.

Today, let us remember to be grateful for our supply of cheap cabbage and unlimited kimchi. Go forth and enjoy some kimchi this week. Some of my favorite places to eat/obtain kimchi are:

Reliable Market, in Union Square. They sell small packages and huge tubs of their kimchi. I don't know what exactly they do that makes it so much better than other places', but it's excellent. My favorite kimchi to purchase in the Boston area.

While you're there, head to the nearby Buk Kyung, which serves home-style Korean fare. Kimchi pancakes, kimchi jigae, plus homemade noodles in black bean sauce and other goodness.

H Mart in Burlington offers maximum varieties of kimchi, with several walls stacked with the stuff, as well as a bulk area.

Have a snack at the food court, but for better food and more kimchi, head to New Jang Su, also in Burlington. You'll find Korean barbecue, bibimbap, jigae, and plenty of kimchi to eat with everything.

Oh, and don't forget about the kimchi hot dog at Mike & Patty's.

How do you feel about kimchi? Do you have any favorite Korean restaurants or markets?

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Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.
 

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