North Korea's food
North Korean recipes collected from defectors published in South Korea - Reuters

A just-released book on authentic North Korean food reportedly discloses some of the mysterious dishes of the secretive nation. The Hidden Taste of North Korea Food is based on a series of interviews with the country's defectors to South Korea.

The 120-page book, published by the Seoul-based Korean Food Foundation (KFF), contains the recipes of 50 authentic North Korean dishes.

The publishers are hoping the book will become popular across the world given the awareness it will raise about North Korean cuisine. It contains recipes for some of the not well-known North Korean dishes which include Pyongyang onban (chicken in rice-and-soup), chogyetang (chilled chicken soup) and Haeju bibimbap.

Although there are scores of North Korean restaurants in South Korea, the food items are not authentic as they are prepared to suit the taste buds of locals.

"The English-language version of the recipe book will be published next year. We will publish another book introducing 50 other North Korean meals next year, which will also be translated into English," said a KFF official Song Mi-wha, according to the South Korean daily, Korea Times.

Many of the eateries are run by defectors from North Korea or by those who had spent their childhood in North Korea before the Korean War.

"The original taste of North Korean dishes is fading from memory in the South since the peninsula has remained divided for six decades, during which little information exchange about food has taken place. The book's publication is meaningful in that we preserve and promote authentic recipes for North Korean dishes at home and abroad," Song Mi-wha is quoted as saying.