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Title Encounter with Korean Food at German bookstores
No 44 Inquiry 453 Date 2017.06.27

Only year or two ago, it was not so easy to find Korean food books at German bookstores. There are various kinds of cookbooks in Germany, which can be classified by country and by publisher. Many Asian cookbooks from different countries such as Japan, China, Vietnam, India, and Thailand are also often found on the shelves of bookstores. Then, why was there no Korean cookbook in the past? Of course, one could find some of them in online bookstores like Amazon, but still not in offline bookstores. In most cases, Korean food was introduced in books that cover 'Asian' cooking. Even the books written by Korean-German authors were not entirely dedicated to Korean food, dealing with the overall Asian food.

 

 

 「Kimchi Princess」, a Korean cookbook in German bookstores, has a friendly and tidy cover.

 

In recent years, however, books on Korean food have noticeably increased in German bookstores. 「Kimchi Princess」, which was published in May, is perhaps the most popular one. This is a book by Young-Mi Snowden-Park called 'princess of Korean food' in Berlin. She has three Korean restaurants in Berlin: Kimchi Princess, Angry Chicken, and Mani Mogo. The German publisher GU, which planned this book, mainly publishes specialized books that provide expert knowledge of each area. Their series of cookbooks are regarded as 'the most successful series of cookbooks in the world.' 「Kimchi Princess」 is the first Korean cookbook published by GU. Shortly after the publication of the book, German bookstores started to display it on a conspicuous place.

 

The profile of the author of Korean cookbook 「Kimchi Princess」. The book provides a wide range of information on major Korean dishes.

 

For those interested in Korean food, 「Kimchi Princess」 is probably the most famous Korean food brand in Germany. Even if you do not know this brand, the vivid cover of the book catches your eyes. This uniquely Korean but friendly design is very inviting. The story of the author, Young-Mi Snowden-Park, fills the front pages of the book, followed by recipes for various kinds of dishes ranging from the most well-known to the newest, as well as fusion desserts such as cocktails made with Korean spirits. As the book does not contain many pictures of the cooking process, it seems not so easy to make food just by following the provided recipes. However, this book looked more like a youthful Korean cuisine encyclopedia than a cookbook. If you are interested in Korean food or enjoy it, then this book is one that you must include in your book collection whether you can cook or not.

 

At another bookstore, there were more Korean cookbooks along with 「Kimchi Princess」. 「Our Korean Kitchen(So kocht Korea: Vielfältig, frisch, gesund)」 also stood out. This book was written in English by the author living in London and its German edition was published in September last year, attracting the notice of German readers. One of them who bought the book reviewed, 'It's one of my favorite cookbooks. Those who like Asian cuisine must have this book. Just follow any of these simple recipes and you can make a dish of a great taste. All the ingredients can be purchased at Asian supermarkets.'

 

Korean cookbooks found in another bookstore.

 

Ira Moritz, a German professional cookbook reviewer, praised Korean food in the review of this book: 
“A few years ago, for most Germans, Korea was not a country that evokes images of tasty or healthy foods. Rather, we associated this country with cars and electronics. In the meantime, many have changed. We can find Korean restaurants recently opened around the world. It has been a long time in New York or London since Korean food gained popularity. However, in Germany, it was not until recently that it became the latest trend. It is because ‘authentic,’ ‘healthy’ and ‘indigenous’ food have become more important to us along with traditional recipes. We are getting more and more open, and Korean food has a good tradition and quality.”

 

The bookstore seemed to have stocked many other Korean cookbooks in the occasion of the publication of 「Kimchi Princess」. Above all, the publisher of this book is expected to be active in book distribution and marketing as a leading publisher in this field. In Germany, the reliability of the author as well as that of the publisher has a great influence on the reliability of the book. Once the book has entered in German bookstores, there is one more channel to encounter Korean food even for those who are not much interested in it. I expect that there will be more opportunities to experience Korean food in Germany, with eyes in bookstores and with palate in Korean restaurants.

 

* Lee Yu-jin, Correspondent in Germany