One Of Kim Jong Un's Favorite Foods Is Simply Cheese

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un - Pool/Getty Images

Some things in life are constant, no matter how much responsibility rests on your shoulders, and nothing is more universal than food. Kim Jong Un doesn't get a lot of love in the West but it's good to take a step back and remind ourselves that we're all human. And as human beings, a lot of us have one thing in common -- an undying love for cheese. North Korea's Supreme Leader may have discovered his love for Emmental cheese while studying in Switzerland as a boy. Emmental is a semi-hard Swiss cheese that can be mild, nutty, or fruity in flavor.

While other political leaders have their own favorite foods, Kim Jong Un's love of cheese may be the most passionate. Ten years ago, the Supreme Leader's pursuit of the supreme Emmental was causing such bodily distress that he's reported to have stepped away from the public eye to resolve what appears to have been a particularly nasty case of gout. Accurate information coming out of North Korea isn't always the most readily available given how cut off the country is from the rest of the world, but Kim Jong Un's health issues were widely reported in various newspapers at the time. Although Emmental isn't the only cheese Kim Jong Un enjoys, it is at the top of his list -- so much so that in 2014 he sent emissaries to France to learn how it's made. For someone with so many types of cheese available to him, it's a recommendation that's hard to ignore.

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Is Cheese The Great Unifier?

emmental cheese
emmental cheese - Picturepartners/Getty Images

For someone who openly criticizes the Western world as much as he does, it is somewhat ironic that he loves our food so much that it's making him ill. But if there was ever anything that would unite humanity together, cheese does feel like a good candidate for the job. It's obviously not enough to fully overcome our differences, but an optimist can hope that the Emmental is slowly melting the divide all the same.

It may seem odd to talk about the food preferences of one of the world's most infamous leaders. In a Western news source, you're more likely to hear Kim Jong Un's penchant for food framed as a modern Nero gorging on delicacies as his empire crumbles around him. Perhaps the depiction is warranted. In any case, the way to come together is to focus on our commonalities and if Kim Jong Un loves to chow down on splurge-worthy cheeses from around the world as much as we do, we think that's a good place to start.

More recently, though, Kim Jong Un may have put a stop to his cheese craze. The leader seems to have lost some weight over the past few years with some analysts speculating as to the cause. Some point to a potential health complication while others speculate he is simply taking better care of his health through diet and exercise. Maybe the gout scare he had has kicked him off his cheese habit after all.

Read the original article on Tasting Table