Korean Custom of Dietary Life



Korean Custom of Dietary Life


The Korean people have long led a frugal and meticulous dietary life.

This can be proved by the fact that they kept kitchens clean, and cooked in decent clothes.

Women kept tableware and other kitchen utensils in good order and handled them with care.

It was a rule for them to put on a kerchief on the head and wear an apron when they do kitchen work.

The custom of dietary life also found expression in saving foodstuffs and using them effectively.

A Chinese historical book reads that the people of Koguryo (277 BC–AD 668) practised a good custom of working diligently and having frugal meals.

Such custom developed into their fine traditional manners with the passage of time.

Women of any family did not use all foodstuffs at one time but kept some of them in reserve for later use when they were indispensable.

They also would dry or pickle vegetables, edible herbs and fish, and use them when non-staple foodstuffs were in short supply.

Especially, they prepared kimchi to provide vegetables between November and March to April next year. And they used soybeans to make sauce, paste and curd, or grew bean sprouts, diversifying the non-staple foods.

From of old the Korean people had decent table manners, that is, how to set a table, how to use spoon and chopsticks, how to eat food, how to speak and behave over the table and how to finish the meal.

The Korean people have regarded it as their duty to give priority to their parents and seniors and treat them with sincerity during meals.

When they had guests, they made use of all available foodstuffs to prepare delicious dishes for them.

Such custom of dietary life reflects the Korean people’s spiritual and mental traits.

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