For Hannah Chung, at least one element of her parents' culture was something of an acquired taste.
But for Chung, it was a dish that made her feel removed from the dominant culture, not included.
"I actually rebelled against my parents by refusing to eat kimchi sometimes, and I've actually found out that that's a super common experience among second-generation Koreans," she says.
"I got made fun of for all the foods I ate," Chung, a second-generation Korean-American, recalls. "I didn't want to invite my friends over to my house because my house smelled like kimchi and Korean food, and it was really embarrassing for me."
Read more at Eatocracy's new home on CNN.com
The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked - even overwhelmed.
He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: "Ecstasy."
Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea's Choco Pies - two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream - are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.
But on the other side of the Korean border, the snacks are viewed as exotic, highly prized treats, selling on North Korea's black markets for as much as $10, according to analysts. Their rising popularity in the north reveals an unexpected common ground between the two Koreas, despite their fractious relationship - a shared sweet tooth.
Seoul's ever-shifting restaurant and bar scene is dependent on the fickle nature of Korean eaters.
This makes the capital a dangerous place to attempt new ideas, yet one that also forces restaurateurs and bar owners to embrace innovation and change.
A dozen noteworthy arrivals have opened in the past year and a half. They're listed here in alphabetical order.
I'm sitting in a tiny, open-air seafood restaurant in Yeonhwari fishing village in Busan, South Korea, waiting for my breakfast.
In the distance, on the rocky shore, a local haenyeo ("sea woman") is picking through her morning's catch.
"She's late," says a fellow patron when she notices me staring. "All the other haenyeo have already finished their diving and delivered their catch."