South Koreans start to like cheese - level 3

South Koreans start to like cheese - level 3

17-11-2015 15:00

There’s something cheesy going on in South Korea. Locals, who traditionally eat most meals with a generous dollop of the fiery local side dish kimichi, are gaining a growing taste for another imported fermented food – cheese.

While Japan is far the biggest consumer of cheese in Asia, neighboring South Korea is one of the fastest growing markets. The United States supplied 53% of South Korea's cheese

imports for the first nine months of this year, New Zealand with 13% and the rest came from Germany, France and others.

Cheese demand has been helped by increased exposure to Western dishes such as pizza, but South Koreans also incorporate cheese into local dishes like noodle soup and kimichi stir-fried rice.

Some diners at a restaurant said cheese helps to take away the heat from spicy dishes, but South Koreans have a way to go before becoming the cheesiest nation – they may be consuming 2.4 kilograms per person, but while that seems like a lot, it is still only about a tenth of the cheese consumed in France.

Difficult words: cheesy (this is a pun—to be covered in cheese and to be silly), dollop (a large amount), fiery (this is a pun—to be spicy or to be on fire), kimchi (cabbage that has been stored with vinegar), fermented (to last longer after it is changed by bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms), exposure (to be exposed to something –have something happen ot it), cheesiest (this is a pun—to be very cheesy and to be very silly).


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