Here is the question: I want to ship some kimchee in Italy but I'm wondering if the thing will get extra smelly (the bad rotten way) on the way. Do you guys have any idea if the refrigerated kimchee found in asian stores can take a lack of refrigeration for a few days. I've seen many kimchee in jars out of the fridge and, as many fermented foods, it should, but, i don't know.
My dad, 100% Italian, fell in love with it last time here in SF and I don't want to leave him without the pleasure of his steamed rice with kimchee.
I think the problem would be that it may explode or leak as the fermentation speeds up with the increased temperature. Since you are in SF, you can probably find a ceramic Kimchee pot so that he can make his own. The one I have has a cup that sits upside down in some water around the rim to provide a seal against air going in but allows some of the carbon dioxide given off during fermentation to escape. Similar in concept to the airlocks used when making wine at home.
Although I don't know about shipping, I have tried various strategies over the years for transporting kimchi on plane trips, and I have to say, it never works out all that well. At least for trips the duration of, say, seoul to boston, spoilage from being out of refrigeration is not at all a problem. However, as the other poster mentioned, pressure will be building up in whatever you put it in, and no matter what you put it in and no matter how tightly you wrap it, it always leaks somehow. My usual strategy is to have it inside a plastic bag, inside a ziploc bag, inside a lock-lock container, inside another ziploc, inside several layers of additional bags. The leaking doesn't usually make it all the way through the outermost layer, but definitely everything around will have a strong smell of garlic. (Those airport beagles will be onto it in a second!) I imagine that if it's shipped as a package, it will get tossed around more, so I imagine containment would be a bigger issue...
Why not ship it using a sturdy styrafoam bottle case taped securely shut with packing tape, in a really thick plastic bag and then packed in beans in a box. I've recieved several items that way.
Or he could make his own. I have,, using a recipe from hannaone, it is terrific. I was able to make it as I remembered at my favorite restaurant.