|Title||Jeonju a new member of UNESCO’s creative city network|
The gourmet capital of Korea, Jeonju (www.jeonju.go.kr) was appointed as a new member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network this May, joining the ranks of other cities around the world that flourish in urban planning and development through creativity and imaginative action. Following on from Jeonju’s certification as a member of Cittaslow International in 2010, a global network of slow cities in recognition of its well-preserved Hanok Village and authentic cultural heritage.
If you think that ‘Bibimbap’ is just a dish of mixed rice, ‘namul’ (seasoned vegetables and herbs) and ‘gochujang’ (red pepper paste) then you are wrong. Within Bibimbap, locally obtained bean sprouts are the main ingredient to be added to rice and the rice is cooked in beef broth. Just before the rice is fully cooked, bean sprouts are mixed with the rice and then the other ingredients such as ‘mung’ bean curd, raw beef and nuts are put on top.
In choosing the ingredients the colour is also considered carefully, according to traditional cosmology: each direction of the compass, the precise location of the diner and what season it happens to be are all indicated by the use of 5 basic colours, which are blue (and green), red, yellow, white and black. Blue symbolizes the east, yellow is the spot where one happens to be standing and also the earth; white signifies the west and autumn; and black is for north and winter. So people used to believe that having a bowl of Bibimbap meant one was absorbing the energy of the universe.
Jeonju received high marks for its long-lasting, distinctive traditions of local foods handed down from generation to generation alongside its rigorous support towards preservation of a vibrant gastronomic community through active research initiatives in both public and private sectors. The city also gained a positive evaluation for hosting gastronomic events, such as the Jeonju Bibimbap Festival and the International Fermented Food Expo (http://iffe.or.kr).
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