Sundari

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Sundari

Shindari

Sundari or shindari (shin means “to spoil”) is a traditional sweet, mild alcoholic beverage made from using leftovers of cooked barley, because barley and millet were the typical crops grown in the soils of Jeju Island, which are not well adapted for rice cultivation. In the past, before electric cookers and refrigeration, there was no storage solution to prevent extra cooked grains from spoiling, so residents of Jeju Island made sundari, most often in the summer time. This beverage has a low alcohol content and a sweet or slightly sour taste depending on the fermentation. It is believed that this drink can be traced to sometime between the late-1200s to late-1300s.   To make sundari, yeast is mixed with water and barley and held at room temperature during the summer time for 1-2 days. The fermentation period depends on the quality of the yeast, the quantity of the yeast and the barley, the quantity of the water added, and the condition of the barley. Fermentation usually takes place in clay jars (onggi). Sundari is considered ready when it becomes bubbly and grains have begun to dissolve. It can be drunk with the liquid and rice still mixed together, or with just the liquid drained off. It can also be drunk before or after boiling. If not boiled, the sweet and sour taste is stronger and will continue to change as the drink continues to ferment. If allowed to ferment further, sundari will develop into vinegar.   Until the 1960s, most households in Jeju made sundari, but few still do. It can occasionally be found in restaurants today. Even fewer peple follow the traditional production method. Traditionally, sweeteners are not used, though some people have begun to add sugar in recent years. Additionally some have begun to make sundari with inexpensive rice imported from mainland South Korea, also giving the product a sweeter taste. Due to changes in technology, people no longer need to process extra barley into alcohol to prevent its spoilage, and attitudes on food waste and making use of leftovers have also changed. The traditional flavor has also changed with the introduction of commercially available yeasts, instead of homemade versions. 

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Territory

StateSouth Korea
Region

Jeju-do