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SEOUL — A popular annual food show in Seoul hopes to prove there’s more to Korean food than kimchi and chili peppers, though it also will offer lessons on how to make and use those two items most associated with Korean cuisine.

The Seoul International Health Food Expo 2004 runs from Thursday through Sunday at the AT Center in the southern Seoul district of Yangjae, organizers said.

The expo is to bring together hundreds of food vendors, offering their products both as free samples and as items to buy. In past years, huge sections of the expo have been devoted to special teas, bean pastes and, of course, kimchi.

“What types of food should you expect to see, smell and taste?” asked Van Siegling, an event organizer.

“Naturally, you will see many varieties of kimchi. Kimchi is actually a food-preservation process, not a specific dish. Since vegetables don’t run very fast, they often end up in a kimchi pot, fermenting with spices, onion, radishes, leaf-mustard, garlic, ginger and red pepper powder.”

In addition to the Korean food booths, foreign food producers and embassies will have displays with products from their respective countries. In recent years, officials said, the most popular booths have included the Polish and Hungarian entries.

In addition to the display and sample booths, the expo will have cooking demonstrations, “food-related entertainment” and performances of Korean music.

Organizers suggest planning at least a half-day at the expo.

To get to the AT Center from Yongsan Garrison, take subway Line 6 toward Bonghwasan and transfer to Line 3 at Yaksu station. Get off the subway at Yangjae station, Exit 7; a free shuttle bus takes people on a short ride from the subway exit to the expo center.

Admission is free. For more information, visit www.seoulhealthfood.com. The Web site can be viewed in both Korean and English.

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