▲ More of Jeju's food is listed on the Ark of Taste by the Slow Food Food Foundation. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Six traditional Jeju foods received Ark of Taste certification on Oct. 14 by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. There are now eight local foods on the list out of 28 nationally.
The foundation “travels the world collecting small-scale quality productions that belong to the cultures, history and traditions of the entire planet” in order to increase awareness of local foods at risk of extinction and nurture them and their associated cultures.
The newly registered items are:
Barley drink (sundari)
This sweet, mild alcoholic beverage is made from leftovers of cooked barley. Most families up until the 1960s made their own, although very few now do.
Pheasant taffy (kkwong yeot)
With a similar consistency to taffy, other major ingredients are glutinous millet and barley.
Millet drink (gangsul)
An alcoholic drink made from a fermented glutinous millet grain with a thick consistency, similar to yogurt.
Jeju black pig (heukdwaeji)
Smaller and with more fat than other breeds, the pig’s head is long and it has a drooping belly area. Now rarely farmed, there are just a few hundred left.
Jeju persimmon (gam)
The fruit is only grown in Jeju and the summer harvest is crushed for its juice, which can be used for dying fabric, a practice that dates back to the 1600s.
Citrus tea (dangyuji pomelo)
This sweet citron tea is made from fruit of the dangyuji tree and the bitter fruit is prepared in a sweetened tea popular for cold prevention.
The first Jeju additions to the list were made in 2013 and these were seasoned green beans and Jeju black cattle. Some 2,000 foods globally have been added to the list and all must meet strict criteria such as being domestic species, geographically and culturally rooted and at risk of extinction. The foundation states:
“It is essential to interpret and apply the criteria with regard to the specific local situation of the product, always respecting the cultural, social, geographical, economic and political differences of the communities who preserve the products.”
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