My Mother In Law Can Kick Your Granny’s A…ahem…Kimchi

courtesy of and

Now, I’m not saying that to be mean, but when it comes to kimchi, she really does. I recently purchased varieties of kimchi as a gift for someone, and of course I had to have a taste. I’m not pushy…I’m just hungry all the time. Besides, as the generous giver of it, don’t I deserve to sample it?

After my search, I narrowed it down to two companies. Mother In Law (MIL) kimchi and Granny Choe’s kimchi. Both are based in California. From Granny Choe I ordered a trio of original kimchi, daikon kimchi and white kimchi. Mother In Law offers two options, an original kimchi and a daikon kimchi, both which I purchased.

The Granny Choe had super fast shipping, but since everything is made fresh when they receive the order, when it got me a few days later, it wasn’t ready to eat. I know that because I tasted it. After tasting it again a few days later it kind of still fell flat. And after another few days, I am sorry to say that I was still disappointed. All three varieties had an OK amount of tang, not enough bite and it lacked flavor. I feel really bad for giving something with the name “Granny” in it a bad review, but I gotta’ do it. Forgive me Granny!

[4/25/2010 update: I took Granny’s Choe’s white kimchi and put the vegetables in whatever liquid was left from the regular kimchi jar, left it alone for a week and a half and boy did the heat come! Much, much better. I wish in the bottle had come with instructions saying to not eat the kimchi for another week or two, or that they had ready made bottles that had started fermenting that they could ship. A bit more flavorful and spicy, changing rating below.]

The Mother In Law kimchi took longer to come. About a week, and the recipient of the gift wouldn’t let me open it to try it. Bummer. Well, when he was ready to open it, there I was with a pair of chopsticks. Great heat, full of flavor and it fermented wonderfully. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I’m munching on it right now as I type this post up.

You can purchase both online to see which company is your favorite, or check out their sites to see which NYC specialty shops carry them.

Granny Choe: 4 out of 10 upon arrival….6.5 out of 10 after waiting another week and a half.

Mother In Law: 7.5 out of 10

-Joyce Huang

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