"Is That Kimchi in My Taco? A Vision of Korean American Food in One Bite" with Dr. Robert Ku


Wednesday, October 24, 2018


5:30 pm


Rockefeller Hall 200-Auditorium

It was not so long ago when Korean food was a minor blip on the radar of American “ethnic” food. In the rare occasion when attention was paid to Korean food, it was often negative, as the media usually harped on either the stink of kimchi or the inhumaneness of dogmeat. Today, Korean food, and especially the once-maligned kimchi, is all the rage. Consider, for instance, the ubiquity not only of bibimbop and kalbi but the Korean taco. How did Korean food suddenly become so hot? How did it become so hip? In determining some of the factors that contributed to Korean food’s sudden rise from culinary afterthought to toast of the foodie world, we need to at a minimum examine the role of hallyu (aka Korean Wave), celebrity chef-dom, and the South Korean government’s campaign to spread the gospel of Korean food around the world. That said, long before the Korean food became a “thing” in America, Korean Americans subsisted on Korean food, not as fad or trend but as quotidian fare. Today, as many Americans “discover” Korean food for the first time, it is perhaps important to remember that the single biggest consumer group has always been and continues to be Korean Americans.

Sponsored by the Sociology Department

Amy Jo Arndt

Sociology Department