Trader Joe’s offers Dried Kimchi

kimchiAdventures in Korean Snack-Eating

Trader Joe’s 에서 판매하는 “말린 김치 스낵”. 도대체 어떤 맛인가?!

Yesterday, dedicated taste-testers Cheryl and Jini procured a small 0.7 oz package Trader Joe’s “Dried Kimchi: a crispy, crunchy snack and condiment”. Always keeping an eye out for interesting and/or unusual Korean-related food, the foil vacuum seal pack naturally grabbed our attention. The burning question? How would it taste? We opened the bag and with a fair amount of skepticism, put it to the test not only with our own somewhat jaded taste buds, but also with the staff at Korea Daily San Diego.

I like kimchi. I am a bit particular about my kimchi, but I like kimchi. This stuff ain’t kimchi. Kind of crunchy, kind of chewy. It felt sort of like chewing on thick, crispy paper. It was very salty, had a pungent fish aroma and a strong pepper kick to it.

kimchiReactions from others ranged from surprise, to amusement, to utter, unrestrained distaste. Facial expressions were priceless. Indeed, in retrospect, I am regretful that only an audio recording was made of the event and not a video production. “Salty” was the main comment. “Fishy” was also used to describe both the odor and the flavor. The drying process seemed to concentrate the saltiness, fishiness and spiciness of the natural kimchi flavors. No one tested particularly liked the product. Indeed, two taste-testers reacted vehemently with “I hate it!”

To be fair, the product recommends using it as a condiment or a snack and we only tried eating it plain. Online reviews report better results sprinkling into soup. Personally, I’m going to stick with fresh kimchi and save myself the $2.99. However, for those wanting to carry kimchi in their glove compartments, this may just be the ticket….

One comment

  1. Holy cow, the Kimchi almost killed Designer Kim 😮
    One must sample their seaweed, now legalized in all 50 states.


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