|Korea's tradition of homemade banchan is vaning. Many new products and services indeed (20160810 - twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/763151485890809856)|
Yet that creativity has yet to emerge for banchan in the Korean distribution, even online.
I'm less worried about fewer Koreans preparing their own banchan - a logical trend - than about Korean palates being exposed to fewer kinds of banchan. And over the past few years, the decline in diversity for side dishes offered in Korea's mom and pop restaurants has been very spectacular. If it's linked to their struggle to stay in business in these times of crisis, old customer habits don't help: many remain reluctant to pay a fair price for Korean food (yet ready to pay way too much for mediocre Foreign food).
The good news is that Korea, as usual experiencing societal changes at bballi bballi speed, seems to be rediscovering cooking way sooner than other nations. And not just young girls asking family recipes from their halmoni: people of all ages opening creative eateries, granddads venturing into the kitchen, food becoming a key driver in the startup ecosystem...
So be not afraid, Korea, and keep surprising us!
Seoul Village 2016
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* "Rise of pre-made banchan may herald end of an era: Busy schedules deal blow to culture of Korea’s quintessential side dishes" (KJD 20160810)