For many families, food serves as a bridge between generations: Recipes can be passed from parent to child or be immortalized in family cookbooks.
For food writer Eric Kim's family, it's a "time capsule." In a short Twitter thread, he explained that his mother had saved a batch of gochujang, a Korean fermented red chile paste, that his grandmother had made before she died ten years ago.
"(My mom has) kept it in the basement freezer all these years and wanted to surprise my dad with it one day," Kim wrote on Friday. "So one day, a few weeks ago, my mom brought it out for dinner."
Kim wrote that he and his mother watched "carefully" as his dad tasted it, adding in another post that his grandmother's recipe was "less sweet than store-bought" versions and tastes good with barley rice or roast chicken.
"It didn't make him cry or anything sappy like that, but it did make us talk about his mother (my grandmother) the whole dinner," he said. "What she was like, how they seemed to always have a small dish of gochujang with meals growing up. Most of all, he noted what a strange sensation it is to taste something he thought he would never have again."
The short thread quickly garnered responses from other social media users who had their own food-based family stories to share.
Kim told TODAY Food that the overwhelmingly positive reaction had been a "real 'Dear Evan Hansen' moment" for his family, referencing a scene from the critically acclaimed 2016 musical that shows how the Internet can connect people.
"I felt very lucky to have gone viral for something so wholesome," Kim said. "The internet can be a scary place, but it can also be really beautiful. I loved reading everyone's responses."
Kim said that he was in the middle of writing a narrative cookbook about his family's recipes and found the Twitter thread to be a "nice extension" of the project, where he hopes to tell "more stories like my grandmother's."
He also added that the gochujang might actually be older than expected.
"My dad pointed out (it) might actually be closer to 15 years old," Kim said. "It's likely she made it and passed away a few years later. To top it all off, it was my grandmother's birthday this weekend. Happy birthday, Grandma."