This chapter reflects on the authenticity of kimchi in the United States. It first considers kimchi made in Queens, New York compared to kimchi made in Korea before discussing the history of chile peppers found in innumerable cuisines of the world, from Indian vindaloo and Hungarian goulash to Spanish chorizo, Moroccan harissa, Chinese kung pao, Thai tom yum, American Tabasco sauce, and Korean yukgaejang. It then describes the practice of adding chiles, specifically dried red chile powder or flakes, to kimchi, along with different types of kimchi and the tendency to distill Korean food down to its spicy essence. It also examines kimchi's reputation as a functional food as well as the rivalry between Koreans and Japanese for supremacy of the global kimchi market. Finally, it looks at Korean restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and other cities where kimchi is served.
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