I read with some fascination Steven Yi's Mysterious Things I Have Eaten, since I have had four out of five of them myself. And I love the little story he tells about sea cucumber.
Kimchee, like lutefisk and surströmming, most likely comes from the days before refrigeration. The acid produced by fermentation preserves (what's left of) the food.
Oh, and if you're keeping score:
- Dried squid: Too salty. (Then again, I didn't have the jerky type; mine was shredded.)
- Sea cucumber: Awful.
- Kudu poop: Haven't tried it.
- Kimchee: Not bad.
- Shrimp chips: Awesome.