Traditional Jeju Rice Wine, Makgeolli
Makgeolli is a Korean rice wine that is very slightly sweet in flavor, and milky white in color. It is traditionally made from rice, and sometimes is flavored with other ingredients. Some types of makgeolli that are favorites on the island are the hallabong makgeolli (a citrus fruit), and the Udo peanut makgeolli, which uses the famous peanuts from Jeju’s Udo Island.
As well as hallabong, Jeju is famous for its mandarin fruits. Buy some mandarin chocolate for a sweet taste of Jeju summers. This is a great option for giving as a gift, as it is lightweight and small.
Jeju tea is a wonderful present to bring home to loved ones as it is easily transportable and delicious. Jeju tea is green tea that is grown on the island, and whose tea plantations can be visited. Osulluc is one of the top tea companies on Jeju Island and offers a Jeju Tea Museum, which should not be missed. Purchase tea on-site as Osulluc roasts their tea at the same location as the tea plantation and museum. Though not cheap (a bag of tea can go for as much as 30 USD or 26.73 EUR), the Jeju tea is a distinct product of the island.
The dol hareubang, or translated as “stone grandfather”, has become a common symbol of Jeju Island, as the grandfatherly statue is only found on Jeju Island. Originally carved out of basalt, or volcanic rock, the statue is in the form of a grandfather holding his stomach with both hands, usually one on top of the other. Also wearing a hat, the dol hareubang has become synonymous with Jeju Island.
Dol hareubang statues and figurines are usually a dark gray color, but you can sometimes find them in a dark shade of reddish brown or marroon. These have been made with a different type of igneous rock called scoria, and they also make a unique collector’s item. You can find mini dol hareubang figurines, as well as chocolates, keychains and other items in the form of this figure at most major supermarkets, tourist shops and traditional markets around Jeju Island.
Jeju onggi are traditional clay ceramics made on Jeju Island. Rich in clay from the island, the ceramics are breathable and lend to the fermented food culture of Korea. Used as tableware, Jeju onggi is a true rarity to the island. The earthenware has a notable shine to it without being glazed, stemming from the volcanic ash prevalent in the traditional art form.