Food Culture: Vietnam and Korea
Different countries, irrespective of their geographical closeness, have different food cultures they may maintain or change depending on the extent of influence by another culture. The majority of the population in these countries is young but they also have some of the world’s highest life expectancy, which explains why they are keen on the types and the safety standards of the foods they eat.
In both cultures, health consciousness is of top priority and therefore, they have balancing schedules that spare time to eat, exercise, and work in order to lead healthy lives. They may even offer to pay a higher price for a type of food they consider is of high quality. The two cultures have rice as their common food and use a diverse range of herbs, which include lemongrass, long coriander, and mint among others. They mutually use a bowl and a chopstick in eating and sounds between the bowl and the chopstick are discouraged.
The most popular foods in Vietnamese culture include the bentos, noodles, chao and street foods. The Vietnamese culture portrays various techniques that range from fried dishes, stir-fry, stew or literally dried stew, simmering, boiling with water, clear broth soups, grilled dishes, congee dishes, roasted dishes to hot pot dishes. The main Korean dishes include kimchi, doenjang, rice, and seafood, but the seafood is of the highest value in the Korean people’s cuisine and healthcare. The Kimchi is made up of spicy red chili pepper powder and garlic to add flavor.
However, one of notable difference between these cultures is that the way they handle the bowl and the chopstick. The Vietnamese prefer to hold the bowl when eating and use the chopstick more often, and it is considered impolite to place the bowl on a surface and eat using one hand. On the other hand, the Koreans prefer a spoon to a chopstick and sometimes even more strict with some types of food.
How the American culture has influenced their culture, habits, and traditions
Food is closely related to the lives people and is considered a fundamental aspect of many cultures including the American, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. The Korean and Vietnamese food is famous worldwide and has been embraced by other cultures such as the Americans. For instance, the American Vietnamese gelatin is only a little different from the traditional Vietnamese gelatin in terms of texture, but still enjoyed by magnitudes of people.
The Vietnamese food culture is characterized by freshness, colorful dishes, and the presence of herbs, vegetables, and soups / broths. The Koreans and the Vietnamese are increasingly embracing the idea of tinned food, dairy and ready to eat meat, which is an idea of the American culture. The Koreans and the Vietnamese were not fond of eating snacks but now they have embraced it due to the American culture. On the other hand, the American culture is now embracing the use of bowls, in addition to plates, as they serve food.
The American culture tends to use food to characterize political significance and ethnic identity, which has had an influence in the culture of Korea and Vietnam. The resolve to assume a vegetarian diet or consume only natural foods is today a conscious means of expressing resistance to corporate diets.
The Korean and Vietnamese foods, among other eastern foods are cherished by the American population. These foods are associated with royalty or expensive dining, whereby wealthy Americans are more likely to dine on foods that are of Asian influence.
The American culture has influenced the market segment of Korean and Vietnam in the sense that there is increased access to fast foods across streets. These kinds of foods usually have a high fat content, leading to unhealthy eating habits and the increase of health conditions like obesity and heart conditions.