I saw kimchi at WinCo in Boise today and bought some. I've sampled a few unusual animals (warthog, otolan, fermented sea slug--best stored outdoors, conch penis, and animals I've known personally), but my unusual plant foods have been limited to palm wine, millet beer, and red fruits that looked good during the hungry season in Senegal. Kimchi was on my bucket list.
My kimchi is made of nappa cabbage, garlic, green onion, hot pepper, sugar, salt, paprika, and ginger. As promised, the cover was bulging when I pried off the shrink wrapped security ring.
Kimchi has a remarkable odor: although it was 9 hours since breakfast, lunch suddenly seemed optional. The contents behaved as directed and bubbled up to overflow and run onto the countertop.
I fished out some of the pieces of cabbage and found them disappointingly like cabbage with garlic, onion, and red pepper. I had bought the Mild kimchi; I'll try the Strong stuff next time. The cabbage was still delightfully crunchy, unlike the cabbage in my fridge.
The label warns me to keep my kimchi refrigerated. It's hard to imagine that it could spoil; perhaps the warning is to keep it from growing enough to take over the kitchen.