Seoul is facing a ferment in its effort to promote South Korean cuisine around the world: declining exports of its national dish, kimchi. The country recorded a $77.3 million trade deficit of the spicy pickled cabbage and other veggies over the past 3 years, BBC reports. A government report blamed competition with cheaper Chinese-made kimchi for the "kimchi deficit."
The sales slump coincides with Seoul's plan to spend $40 million on quadrupling Korean restaurants worldwide over the next decade. The slide also threatens to reverse gains made since a parasite-egg scare nearly turned Koreans off of kimchi. Just how big is the dish? Consider that Koreans have a museum for it and down it with nearly every meal, AFP reports.