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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is kimchi?

A. Kimchi is the name for Korean fermented vegetables, and the most popular variety is spicy chopped cabbage kimchi. But kimchi is so much more than fermented vegetables. Kimchi is one of the most important traditional Korean foods, and the basis for entire cookbooks. It is the subject of proverbs* and the favorite food consumed to excess in Korean eating contests. Kimchi is the stuff of legend and is Granny Choe's raison d'etre.
* "A man can live without a wife but not without kimchi."

Q. What do I eat with kimchi?
Anything and everything. We Korean folk traditionally have kimchi as a side dish with each meal. Think of it as a zesty alternative to pickles, salsa or sauerkraut--so it's great on burgers, sausages, sandwiches, etc. Granny Choe recommends yogurt topped with kimchi as a tasty snack (but the rest of us are dubious). If you haven't had kimchi before, you might want to try it with something that will mellow out the spiciness a bit (lMac n' Cheese is heavenly with kimchi, or one of our kimchi recipes). Like many fine foods, you have to develop a taste for kimchi before you can fully appreciate it. 

Q. Why is Granny Choe's kimchi so super?

A.  Customers frequently tell us that Granny Choe's is the best kimchi they've ever had. It's because we make our kimchi by hand with a traditional recipe using only fresh, natural ingredients. Our kimchi is also free of additives like the MSG, artificial preservatives, and high-sodium fish pastes that are commonly found in other brands of kimchi. It also helps that Granny Choe is a genuine Korean grandma who grew up in the old country making kimchi the old fashioned way (in clay pots buried in the ground). So she doesn't just know kimchi. She knows kimchi. 

Q. Where can I buy kimchi?

A. If you don't have an Asian grocery store near you, you can sometimes find kimchi in the refrigerated ethnic foods section at a regular grocery store. But the best kimchi that money can buy (Fresh! Handmade! All-natural! Award-winning!) is available right here at Granny Choe's online kimchi shop. To all you lucky ducks in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii, you can save on shipping (and get a lower price) by visiting one of the select natural grocery stores that carries Granny Choe's kimchi.


Q. How is Granny Choe's kimchi packed to arrive fresh via mail order?

A. We are unique in that we make our kimchi fresh and then let it ferment while it is in transit to you. We pack our boxes with an ice pack (that you can reuse) and insulating/cushioning foam to accomplish this. But if your order arrives a little warm, don't fret. The intent of the ice packs isn't to keep the shipment at refrigeration temperatures, it's just to keep the product from getting excessively hot while it ferments. Pressure/leaking are often an inevitable result of this natural fermentation process that makes kimchi so delicious, so we also bag each kimchi jar individually to catch any rogue kimchi juice. Granny Choe recommends opening the jars slowly over the sink with a paper towel over them to prevent a mess. 

Q. Why don't you fill your kimchi jars to the brim?
A. When our product goes to retail stores, we have to allow a little room for the kimchi to expand without overflowing out of the jar and onto shelves. After it reaches the peak of active fermentation shortly after it is packed, it then shrinks a bit, and the jars can sometimes look like they were filled a little low. We say "sometimes" because we make and pack our kimchi entirely by hand, so every jar is filled slightly differently. As previously mentioned, our kimchi is a raw, living food that (much like yogurt) is teeming with good for you bacteria that gives it a unique flavor. Some kimchi companies use additives or processing that make their product more shelf stable, but decrease the amounts of beneficial bacteria and affect the fresh flavor.  

Q. I have a serious kimchi craving that needs to be taken care of, stat. How long will it take for my tasty, tasty kimchi to arrive?
A. We understand that you want your kimchi (and you want it now!), but before you place your order, please note that it may take up to 14 business days for delivery. Package time in transit is typically only 2-5 days (depending on how far you are from Southern California), however, since we are a small, family-owned business, and we spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen and handling administrative stuff and enjoying time with our family, we only ship orders once a week. Thank you for your patience.


Q. How much does shipping and handling cost? 

A. We ship from Granny Choe's kimchi headquarters in Southern California via USPS Priority Mail, and flat rate shipping prices to anywhere in the United States are as follows:

1-4 jars: $11.30
5-9 jars: $15.30
10-13 jars: $26.60

Q. Does Granny Choe's ship internationally?
Due to the perishable nature of our product, we ship primarily within the United States. We do ship orders to Canada, but be warned- the shipping cost is at minimum, a whopping $49 USD. If you would like to place an international order and you are willing to pay a somewhat exorbitant shipping fee, please email us to see if we can place a special order for you. 

Q. Do you ship to military addresses?
A. In the case of overseas military addresses (APO, FPO), we will automatically upgrade orders of 4+ jars to the USPS Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box so that we can add extra icepacks free of charge, but we are very sorry to say that due to the perishable nature of our product and the unknown extended time in transit, we cannot guarantee that the kimchi will arrive at its destination unspoiled. Please contact us if you'd like to pay the additional cost to upgrade to Global Express Mail to ship an order to a military address.

Q. Why don't you sell your kimchi in bigger jars?
Because our product is heavy and perishable, the only way that we can get our kimchi to you at a reasonable cost is by using USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes-- we designed our product to fit inside these boxes and can't make the jars any bigger. And because you've been smart enough to read all the way to the end of the FAQs, we'll give you a tip: You'll get the most bang for your shipping dollar if you order 4 or 9 jars at a time because that's the maximum number of our kimchi jars that can fit in the medium and large flat rate boxes, respectively. For example, if you order 2 jars of kimchi, you end up paying $5.65 shipping per jar. But if you buy 9 jars, you only pay $1.70 shipping per jar.

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