|▲ Sumidam / CEO Do Yong-gu|
Yugwa, oil and honey pastry, is one of the most commonly enjoyed snacks in South Korea. Though the flare burned down a little nowadays, it flourished to the level that the whole nation experienced lack of flour, honey and grain syrup at certain times during the Joseon period. King Jeongjo even announced a law to flog those who use the ingredients except for ancestry rituals and weddings.
Located in Seongju City, Sumidam is a South Korean yugwa brand which recently has been the talk of the social media for deep and crispy taste and the look. The dough at Sumidam is handmade and the sticky rice is at its best quality. Naturally, no machine is used but the way our ancestors made it with hands.
CEO Do Yong-gu and her husband, son and son's wife work together according to the manuals of the olden days. They rinse off sticky rice and soaked it in the water for 20 days during which the ripening also occur. Then make the dough with hands, dry it and fry it in fresh oil, and spread melon syrup and sprinkle popped rice to finish. Temperature and the level of moisture are crucial as everything gets ruined otherwise.
CEO Do has walked a single path as a cook for the last 30 years with some experience of rice farming and of running a dear farm. It was when she saw melons, a specialty of Seongju, being thrown away or sold dirt cheap due to minor flaws that she decided to use them to make into syrup which eventually led to yugwa business.
She made limited amount and sold during the Korean holidays at first but the words spread fast for excellent taste. In 2012, she secured production facilities with a help of startup fund and in 2015 obtained a 6th industry certificate and in 2018 listed her name in the New Intellectual in the category of food processing.
Sumidam yugwa is being sold online and at emart, Homeplus and NongHyup. Though small, Sumidam yugwa is also being exported to the US and Canada. Sumidam sponsored the Diplomats Incheon Global Campus Tour held on November 3, 2020 and was praised highly by diplomats who tasted it during the tour.
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