The Not-So-Great Pretender

Vague allusions…

You'll never get to third base this way!

You’ll never get to third base this way!

When you shop for ingredients for a Korean dinner at a Japanese supermarket like I sometimes do, you find things you don’t want to.  How’s about a little “Kimchee Base”? Yes, it’s a real product I found nowhere near the kimchi.

Kimme kimme kimchee base!

Kimme kimme kimchee base!

The Japanese say “kimuchi” for “kimchi”.  The added “u” makes for an interesting commentary on linguistic differences between the Asian languages, but I digress…

Is it just me, or does this Kimchee Base product feel like an impostor?  As Mickey Rooney would have said: “Miss Go-right-ry, I must protest!”  And he would know something about impostors.  Oh, what’s a little “yellow face” between the races?  He was just following along, doing America’s bidding, embodying her virulent racism and obtuseness on the big screen.  But good thing his wife, Jan, was there to clear things up:

…they were married in Hong Kong and love Chinese art, food, culture and medicine, said the role was meant to be fun. “It’s terribly sad and I feel bad for the people taking offense,” she said.

Oh, well that settles it then, you like Chinese food and swear you wouldn’t have done it had you known that people would have been offended so I guess it’s okay.  After all, why should we expect you to be better than all the out-to-lunch, insensitive, fame-grubbing actors of your generation?

And not to be outdone in 2012, it seems that the producers of Cloud Atlas went on a Korean-eyesing-of-white-actors rampage in their failure to find not one  Korean actor to fill the role of a Korean man. Doh!  The ghost of Mr. Yunioshi alive and well.  But, again, I digress…

Sayonara, Mr. Rooney

Sayonara, Mr. Rooney

Check out what goes into it:

INGREDIENTS
Garlic, ginger, salt, red pepper, glucose, bonito extract, seaweed, vinegar, citric acid, msg.

And what they say to make you want it:

Kimchi is a Korean side dish consisting of pickled chard pieces and spicy red chilies. It’s a very popular dish, and can be incorporated into many different meals. Now you can make your own kimchi at home with this red hot Kimchee Base.

Do you want it?

When they write of ‘pickled chard pieces’ do they mean the leafy vegetable or pieces that are burnt? Or have they just mistaken cabbage for chard?  Or do some people in Japan use chard to make kimchi?  And what is this “bonito extract” of which they speak?  And why the two spellings of kimchi?  All these unanswered questions.  I may have to write the manufacturer a letter…

The company in question is Momoya and they also make another product that, when translated into English, is called “I still come there buttocks” (あまだきでんぶ).  Hmmm.

But yes, making your own kimchi at home is the way to go.  Check out these past posts and go forth:

Just Make It Yourself: Kimchi 

Doing It Herself: Learning How to Make Kimchi from my Aunt

Turns out I have been making “Kimchee Base” all this time and didn’t even know it:

Jiwon’s Kimchi Base

Maybe I should bottle it…

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One thought on “The Not-So-Great Pretender

  1. Pingback: Time to Make the Kimchi, Again | DIY Korean Food

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