Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kimchi Crisis!

Morning after close up
NPR reports on Napa Cabbage shortages in South Korea:
An unusually long stretch of bad weather nearly halved the latest cabbage crop, causing prices to soar. At markets in Seoul, shoppers were up before dawn fighting to buy heads of Napa cabbage that once cost about $4 but now go for as much as $14.

Seeking an immediate substitute, the government temporarily suspended tariffs on Chinese-imported cabbage and other produce this week, part of a plan to rush an additional 100 tons of the staple into supermarkets and stores. The Seoul city government, meanwhile, is providing the busiest markets with 300,000 heads of Napa cabbage at just 70 percent of the market price — enough to feed 10,000 households.
I guess the good news is that there are dozens and dozens of kimchi recipes in South Korea... though I'm pretty sure the most popular are the cabbage based varieties. I don't know how much the failed South Korean crop will affect the price of Napa Cabbage here in the US... South Korea has(had) fairly large tariffs on imported Cabbage... but while I was hoping to make another batch of kimchi this fall, I don't think I want it quite bad enough to pay $14 for a head of cabbage!