China and South Korea are arguing over a pickled food. The two countries are in a dispute over a savoury pickled cabbage dish. China is trying to win an international certificate for pao cai, a savoury vegetable dish from Sichuan province. However, South Korean officials are angry about this. They say this dish is too much like kimchi - perhaps the most famous food in South Korea. Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It is a traditional dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as cabbage and Korean radish. It is made with a wide variety of seasonings, including chilli powder, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and salted seafood. Pao cai is a pickle, usually made using cabbage, mustard, peppers and ginger.
South Korea is angry that China says it has won certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for its kimchi making process. South Korean officials say pao cai, "has nothing to do with kimchi". They added: "We need to understand that pao cai is different from kimchi." People in Korea are angry that China is trying to claim the standard for the kimchi-making process. A professor in Korea said: "China lacks efforts to understand the culture and history of surrounding nations." On social media in China, people said most kimchi eaten in South Korea is made in China. One person wrote: "Even the pronunciation of kimchi originated from Chinese."