the korean kimchee crisis!

Do not mess with Koreans and their kimchee. It's madness in South Korea, as freakish fall weather has created a cabbage shortage resulting in a "national kimchi crisis." Don't laugh. The government has gotten involved: Kimchi crisis leaves South Koreans hot under collar.

With heavy September rains ruining much of the Napa, or Chinese, cabbage crop, prices have jumped fourfold to more than $10 a head.

In response, the federal government last week announced a temporary reduction in tariffs on Chinese-imported cabbage and radishes in a plan to rush an additional 100 tons of the staples into stores this month.

And on Monday, the Seoul city government began a kimchi bailout program, in which it is absorbing 30% of the cost of about 300,000 heads of cabbage it has purchased from rural farmers so it can be sold for less to consumers.

Depriving Koreans of their kimchi, many say, is like forcing Italians to forgo pasta or taking all the tea from China. The dish of fermented cabbage, radish and chile paste has such iconic status here that there is a museum dedicated to kimchi in Seoul, and portions of it were blasted into space with the country's first astronaut in 2008.

Served with virtually every meal, kimchi is believed by many to ward off aging, reduce cholesterol and fight disease. South Koreans together eat more than 2 million tons of it each year.
Man, that sucks. I know some folks out there are not going to understand this. You didn't think an entire nation could get so upset over spicy, fermented cabbage. But dammit, you take away that precious kimchee, and there is going to be some muthaeffin' drama. More here: Surging Kimchi Prices Bite Korean Restaurants.

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