April and May on Jeju Island are cool, relatively dry and very pleasant for visitors. It’s also a sunny and fertile time for spring flowers and agricultural crops. Vast tracts of green barley, for example, sway in fields around the main island and perhaps most famously on Gapado Island, off Jeju’s southwest coast. We’ve written and posted extensively on this beautiful season for Gapado (click here for more).
Now that the month of May is wrapping up, we thought we’d take a look at just what becomes of the barley now that it has been harvested and how visitors can experience how this crop is used first-hand.
Add to that one of the world’s favorite foods — pizza — and we couldn’t pass up the chance to make our own locally grown barley dough pizza. The “Nine Rituals Village” in Nachon village, Hangyeong-myeon, has just what we were looking for.
All the ingredients (minus the black olives and canned corn) for the pizza’s topping are home grown. The Jeju cheese and black pork, in particular, were proudly produced here and as fresh and environmentally friendly as you could hope for!
Once the barley dough was pushed (not pounded!) out onto a pre-oiled pizza pan, we sprinkled the ingredients onto our creation. The scent of the yeast and barley really highlighted just how fresh and uniquely Jeju this experience was.
Plus it was an opportunity to reflect on how, unfortunately, we tend to lose sight of our reliance on local produce and agriculture… and how important it is to observe the tenet “think globally, act locally.”
In addition to the pizza experience program, Nine Rituals Village offers students and visitors the chance to try traditional Jeju persimmon dyeing, an ocean ecology experience program, wildflower viewing, tangerine harvesting, jam making and much more.
We were just happy to see how healthy and delicious our locally harvested barley pizza creation turned out… and in just under 30 minutes. We spent the rest of our time enjoying walking around the grounds, which are intersected by Jeju Olle walking trail No. 13.
One caveat: As this is a very rural area of western Jeju, it’s not an easy place to get to by public transportation. Here is a map with the buses listed (in Korean). Also in Korean: http://www.visitjeju.net/ko/tourView.jto?menuCd=DOM_000001718001000000&areaId=CNTS_000000000018407
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