This is from Chef Flor who is starting up the movement to popularize Korean food in Latin America. She makes some very good points on how Korean food and Latin food are well matched. I mean we’ve already seen the Koreazy Tacos and Koreazy Quesadillas from Kogi Taco- so it makes sense that these flavors would pair well.
Flor, thank you so much for the letter.
Hi Daniel, How are you hope very well.
I read your article on the globalization of Korean cuisine in Korean Herald, and I loved it, first I feel obliged to express my opinion, I don´t know if it helps, but I want you to know my point of view from Latin America, I will give you a brief explanation why I am so fascinated with Korean cuisine, the one for me started as a novelty as a chef I like to know of the cuisines of the world and here in my country Venezuela “does not know Korean food,” and of course I have other personal reasons which lead me to want to learn more, such as on health benefits and is a bit funny that the government wanting to globalize Korean cuisine forget the Latin countries and only focus on other markets, may shock you to know the similarities of flavors that possess the Latin cuisines with the Koreans, in my case I am Venezuelan and as a chef looking for those flavors that can be adapted to our food.
I don´t know how important it is to change the name of a liquor or which may help to globalize more or less a “product”, I think attack the roots of traditional cooking, I love the contemporary kitchen, I like the fusion flavors I think the flavors are universal, but also defend the original flavors and native of the region, is that you define a culture, so the same way I am working to bring the culinary flag of my country to other countries and I would not change the name but I love other cultures to try new things and be creative in the Venezuelan cuisine creating new things, I’ve done.
Maybe it’s a bit strange to explain the passion I feel for Korean cuisine, is the same passion I feel for the cuisine of my country Venezuela, and that is why I try as much as possible to learn every day a little bit about Korean cuisine and recreate the same dishes, my goal to travel to Korea later this year to learn.
Turning to the focus on the Latin countries. Latinos have a highly developed palate with strong flavors and aromatic, spicy, sweet, salty, sour. Maybe they are underestimating the global market. You’d be surprised as Latinos love Asian food “known” here in Venezuela, for example love Japanese cuisine, is a success, then why not focus on the Latin American market?
Maybe I’m not well informed, but I don´t see much news about globalization of Korean cuisine in Latin America, maybe you can explain it, And I can understand.
While I agree that some flavors might be difficult to introduce in some palate of flavors, I also believe that there are plenty of dishes that can easily be translated into new markets.
At least in my country, rice is a daily dish on the table, we eat rice everyday, it’s almost our bread, dismissal of the arepa, the foundation of our national dish is done on rice and black beans, we have fermented beverage of rice, and thus may continue to appoint, and as in Venezuela, similarities as they spread throughout Latin America.
It should also exploit the fact of the Hallyu boom in Latin America (though in my case was reversed, I met the food first and then the haliu LOL) and take advantage of that opportunity and do more festivals in embassies and consulates of Latin countries, So I did my Spanish blog I hope to gradually introduce speaking in their native language to Korean cuisine, a girl who saw a video of a recipe I put in my YT channel, she told me how “good the recipe in Spanish, I would try all the recipes I see appearing in dramas”, but I know I have a long way I planted the seed and hope to cultivate the fruits of my future work, although my view of Korean cuisine, is beyond what I see in dramas, I see more gourmet and sophisticated but it is a good place to globalization. (have as many expectations as to know the real Korean cuisine I don´t want to take sides in a way. I know it all.)
I hope my Latino perspective, and as chef to help you have another vision, I would like your opinion and I am in the order of perhaps using a different approach on this issue of the globalization of Korean cuisine, and thanks for take your time in reading this long e-mail.
From Venezuela with great affectionHelena Flor Medina.