Kimchi

A Kimchi Disaster Is Brewing After Cabbage Fields Crippled

Customers check cabbages at a Hanaro Mart supermarket in Seoul on May 14.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

A series of typhoons in South Korea this summer has left the country blindsided by a kimchi catastrophe.

Fields of cabbages — which are usually seasoned with spices this time of year and left to ferment for months to make South Korea’s favorite pungent dish — were wiped out across the country due to the extreme weather, causing prices to surge more than 60%.

“Cabbage prices are going nuts,” said Jung Mi-ae, a mother of two who usually loads up on the vegetable in fall to make her own kimchi. “I had to rub my eyes to see the price tag again because it didn’t make any sense.”

In a normal year, South Korean households buy cabbages and other vegetables in bulk to make kimchi for the next year, a season

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