Best Kimchi - 2012
Granny Choe's Kimchee Co.
Any kimchi jar that bears amusing warnings like "pungent contents under pressure — open with extreme common sense" begs to be opened quickly and a little chaotically, maybe even shaken first. With the kimchi from Granny Choe's Kimchi Co., such irreverence is rewarded with an oxygen-fueled condiment variety show. The vinegary red chili sauce and Napa cabbage begin audibly bubbling and gurgling like a particularly spicy midnight showing; if you're lucky, the naturally fermented brew, made in small batches in Moorpark by South Korea native Oghee "Granny" Choe and her granddaughter, Connie Choe-Harikul, soon will begin creeping slowly over the lip of the jar. While some prefer to stir carefully measured amounts into soups and leftover fried rice, or drizzle the gingery condiment on sandwiches and sides, we prefer to eat our kimchi in defiantly independent, spicy bites. Available at Southland grocers including Whole Foods (Glendale; National Boulevard, W.L.A.; Venice; Santa Monica; Woodland Hills). (805) 750-0888, grannychoe.com/store_locations.php.