Many would be surprised to discover that this seemingly traditional food was in fact first developed in the late 19th century. Also, the most important ingredient of kimchi, red pepper, was first introduced to Korea in the early 17th century through either China or Japan. The import of cabbage in the late 19th century from China explains the rather late emergence of cabbage kimchi.
That is from Seoul: A Window into Korean Culture, a very good book by Choi Joon-sik.
Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.