Westerner's View of Korean Food in Modern Period - Centering on Analyzing Westerners' Books -

근대시기 서양인 시각에서 본 조선음식과 음식문화 - 서양인 저술을 중심으로 -

  • Received : 2013.06.03
  • Accepted : 2013.07.08
  • Published : 2013.08.30


The purpose of this study is to examine the Western perspective on the food and food culture of Modern Times in Korea (from the late of Joseon Dynasty until Japanese colonial era). Literature and written records were analyzed. This analysis revealed that the heart of the mill in this period involved rice, and that a common beverage was sungnyung made from boiled scorched rice (in contrast to tea as the common beverage in Japan or China). The most important subsidiary food in Joseon was vegetables, especially Kimchi. Westerners viewed Kimchi as a smell symbolizing Joseon and their meal times. Even though both Kimchi and cheese are fermented food, just like Westerners could not stand the smell of Kimchi, Koreans viewed the smell of cheese unpleasant. Westerners viewed German sauerkraut as Western food counterpart to Kimchi, as sauerkraut is also fermented food made of cabbage. Regarding the eating of dog meat in Joseon, most Westerners viewed it as brutal; however some interpreted it as a difference in food culture. In addition, the eating of raw fish and its intestines felt crude to Westerners. The biggest difference between Joseon's food and Western food was that Joseon had no dairy products and no sugar. The most highly preferred fruit for Westerners was the persimmon, and ginseng was already widely recognized and recorded as a medicinal plant. Joseon's desserts were also favorably evaluated. In contrast, the excessive gluttony, heavy drinking, and unsanitary conditions in Joseon were problems pointed out in many records.


Westerners;view;Korean food;Modern Period


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