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Getting Koreans to cheese it up

Getting Koreans to cheese it up

| On 09, Jun 2012

Koreans don’t eat a lot of cheese, seeing it only as a small snack for children or reserved exclusively for wine lovers.

But a French marketing firm, Sopexa, wants to change this perception as part of its project to promote French wine, cheese and meat abroad. It recently introduced a cheese-oriented four-course meal at a small scale press event at Gastro Tong restaurant in Tongeui-dong, central Seoul.

The course started with a freshly baked Emmental cheese pastry and ended with Geramont cheese ice cream. Each course included different types of French cheeses with their signature tastes, but were meant to blend seamlessly with other ingredients. The main dish, a combination of salmon and brie, was fantastic when served together as a quiche.

About 130 different types of French cheese products are currently available in Korea, but Korea’s cheese consumption is quite low compared to Japan, China and Southeast Asian countries, according to Cho Sun-hyung, an assistant manager at the Korean branch of Sopexa. Cho presided over the press event.

“The main reason lies in Korea’s unique food culture. Since it is hard to find Korean foods which use cheese as the main ingredient, cheese consumption in the country is low,” Cho explained.

To try and counteract this trend, the marketing firm has developed a number of zany and creative recipes by teaming up with chefs from here and abroad.

One such idea is camembert kalguksu, hand-made Korean clam noodle soup with camembert cheese. Kalguksu is a widely loved noodle soup in Korea, and chef Yim Jung-sik created the unique dish at Sopexa’s request. The camembert kalguksu was once available at the New York branch of Jung Sik Dang, an upscale Korean restaurant. For those who want to try making this concoction, the recipe is on the right.

By Sung So-young [so@joongang.co.kr]

Source: Korea Joongang Daily

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