Before I tell you about our trip to Panama, which I will do soon, I thought I’d tell you about my recent experience with Kimchi.

You know about Kimchi, right? It’s a delectable side dish found in Korea, made from fermented cabbage, carrots, radishes and other veggies. It sounds weird, but if you like pickles, you’ll like kimchi. It’s crunchy, salty, sour and a perfect accompaniment to cheese, sandwiches and assorted meats.

I’ve had a thing for the stuff for some years now, ever since I read in my dogeared copy of Nourishing Traditions that naturally fermented vegetables are good for you. Apparently, fermented foods boost your immune system, improve digestion and generate nutrients. You can read all about it on one of my favorite food blogs, Cheeseslave.

I also happen to love Korean food (almost as much as I love my adored friend M of birthday karaoke fame, who hails from Korea). I’ll taste anything she recommends and that her mother lovingly made for her as a child.

So in Whole Foods the other day, I nearly had a spontaneous orgasm when I spied this:

Sunja's "mild, white kimchi"

Also this:

num num num

I grew up on Marmite. But I already had a jar of it at home. Hubby thinks it’s almost as disgusting as my love for dried seaweed.

Realizing I was kimchi-less, however, I quickly grabbed the jar and loaded it in my shopping basket, anxious to slather it between two slices of bread and a slice of turkey when I got home.

Slather it, I did. And soon discovered that the label was a tad misleading. “Mild” it promised, “white” aka pure and restful, kimchee. Let’s just say that the consequences of my foray into store-bought fermentation were more violent than mild, though I certainly reached a new understanding of how it improves digestion. I now no longer need a post-holiday cleanse.

During my feeding frenzy, I accidentally dropped a few pieces of the pungent smelling stuff on the kitchen floor. I lit a lavendar scented candle to no avail.

For the past few days, every time I walked in the door, I smelled Kimchi. “Can the smell of fermented cabbage really linger so long?” I asked myself. Is this some subtle confirmation that Kimchi and I are not a good match?

I eventually figured out the problem. Hanging something on the wall yesterday, I glanced down and saw a dead mouse lying very sweetly, nay peacefully, on top of our heating pipe in the corner of the living room. I yelped and immediately ran into the kitchen, my children eyeing me with puzzlement.

Was our trusty cat Viktor responsible for this mouse’s end?

Did the poor critter inadvertently eat a piece of stray kimchee and die?

Or is this all a plot hatched by our new Dear Leader of North Korea, to prevent The Poop of Others from stopping the spread of communism?

He's definitely eaten too much kimchi

I may never know. In any event, I’m glad the smell was a mouse, and not the kimchi.

Though I’m not sure I shall be venturing into my kimchi jar again, any time soon, seeing as now it reminds me of dead rodents.

Ah well, there’s always my jar of Marmite…