Lee Geun-yi, founder of Woobo Farm in South Korea, grows Korean heirloom rice. It is being revisited by chefs and breweries eager to harness the ingredient’s flavour potential, but will remain a niche product. Photo: Matthew C. Crawford
Lee Geun-yi, founder of Woobo Farm in South Korea, grows Korean heirloom rice. It is being revisited by chefs and breweries eager to harness the ingredient’s flavour potential, but will remain a niche product. Photo: Matthew C. Crawford

‘Heirloom rice has huge potential’: Korean chef and farmers on a chewy, nutrient-packed alternative, and the brewery using it to make beer

  • A century ago Korea logged 1,451 native rice varieties. Today a farmer grows a third of them, but admits heritage rice will remain a niche product
  • Koreans’ interest in health foods doesn’t extend to rice, one observer says. Yet a brewery uses heirloom rice to make beer and a top chef is trying it out

Lee Geun-yi, founder of Woobo Farm in South Korea, grows Korean heirloom rice. It is being revisited by chefs and breweries eager to harness the ingredient’s flavour potential, but will remain a niche product. Photo: Matthew C. Crawford
Lee Geun-yi, founder of Woobo Farm in South Korea, grows Korean heirloom rice. It is being revisited by chefs and breweries eager to harness the ingredient’s flavour potential, but will remain a niche product. Photo: Matthew C. Crawford
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