Monday, November 16, 2020

[Food] Makgeolli (막걸리, Traditional Korean rice wine)


[Food] Makgeolli (막걸리, Traditional Korean rice wine)

There are two kinds of people in the world; people who love alcohol and those who don't :) So almost every country has their own way of drinking and brewing traditional liquor and alcohol. It's very interesting that most civilized culture invented their own liquor to enjoy their sweet, heavenly taste that often leaves one with a headache or stomach ache. 

Ancient people in the Korean peninsula didn't want to be excluded among those cultures so they decided to make traditional wine with rice.

Makgeolli (막걸리, Traditional Korean rice wine) is a typical Korean liquor, which means 'just refined'. It's made from rice and yeast because makgeolli is drunk when just after it's filtered and before it's distilled. So it has a white and milky color directly from rice. Milky, sweet, soft, slight crisp from fermentation has given great delight for many years.

Koreans loved it so much and used a tremendous amount of rice (which is the main meal in Korea) into brewing makgeolli, so some Korean kings and presidents even prohibited makgeolli brewing and drinking. Nevertheless, people have never stopped (who would?) drinking makgeolli. Today's Koreans appreciate their ancestors's solemn passion for keeping Korean liquor culture.

Today the descendants of proud Korean ancestors have created made versions of makgeolli with countless ingredients - tangerine, banana, kiwi, corn, chestnut, buckwheat, coffee, sweet potato and more flavors, depending on the environment within each makgeolli brewery.

Koreans think jeon (Korean-style pancake and pan-fried delicacies) is the best snack (or touchings) for makgeolli, and they love to enjoy it on a rainy day. So any jeon restaurant and traditional Korean bar is always crowded with people who drink makgeolli with jeon, particularly when it rains.

If you visit Korea on a rainy day, how about visiting a jeon restaurant and enjoying makgeolli with jeon varieties? The sound of raindrops will entertain you even more with the taste of makgeolli :)

Bon Appétit!

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