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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Jajangmyeon and Junggukjip:: The Changing Position and Meaning of Chinese Food and Chinese Restaurants in Korean Society

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2005, v.45 no.2, pp.60-88

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Abstract

This paper examines the position and meaning of Chinese food and restaurants in Korean society. Chinese restaurants opened in Korea from around the late 19th century and the early 20th century to provide mostly male Chinese-Koreans with very simple food. Chinese foods had been cooked, sold, and consumed exclusively by Chinese-Koreans until the 1940s. In the 1950s and 1960s, though the cooking and selling of Chinese food were dominated by the Chinese, the food became a representative food for eating out for Koreans. By the 1970s, Koreans were the overwhelming majority of customers in Chinese restaurants, and Chinese cuisine became established as a part of Korean food culture. Chinese food was still almost the only item for eating out and the only foreign food, which common Korean people could easily access. They consumed exoticness and convenience through Chinese food. As Korean society became more modernized and globalized, the Koreans demands for food became more varied. In order to satisfy those demands, not only have the restaurants become diversified, serving various ethnic foods, but Chinese restaurants themselves have also been diverged into various styles. In those new styles of Chinese restaurants, people consume modernity, exoticness, and authenticity.

keywords
Chinese food Chinese restaurant localization exoticness authenticity modernity globalization jajangmyeon Chinese food Chinese restaurant localization exoticness authenticity modernity globalization jajangmyeon

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