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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Korea a country with a long history, a rich culture, an ancient court, and an elaborate system of etiquette. Korean food is hearty, boldly flavoured, and highly nutritious.

The Koreans like to say that they are descended from a single race, and, indeed, they are primarily Mongolian, slightly more stocky than the N. Chinese, but taller than the Japanese. Around the time of Christ, there were three kingdoms in ancient Korea, Koguryo to the north, Paekche and Silla in the south. These kingdoms were culturally advanced and boasted royal courts, nobility, class systems, and centralized governments. It was around this time also that Buddhism was introduced to the area, becoming the preserve of royalty, while Confucianism flourished among the minor aristocracy. With the aid of the Chinese, Silla conquered the other two kingdoms and established a unified country with elaborate palaces and imposing monuments.