Tapey

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Tapey is the only known Igorot rice wine and the only known rice wine in the Philippines. It is mostly produced in the northern part of the Philippines. Its retail price is approximately US$3 for a 750ml bottle.

Tapey is made with rice yeast or bubod that look like rough, round biscuits, the red variety of glutinous rice or malagkit and banana leaves that have been washed, heated over fire and wiped with a clean damp cloth. It is then placed in a jar for cooking. The glutinous rice is cooked with lesser than normal amount of water. It is then removed from heat before it gets thoroughly cooked. The banana leaves are prepared and laid flat. The rice is slathered over the banana leaves to cool off. Simultaneously, while the rice is cooling, the bubod must be pounded into a very find powder, which should be mixed evenly with the rice. After which, it will be put in the tightly-sealed container. It is then placed in a cool dry placed and opened after seven days. The liquid part is ladled out of the jar.

It is ideal that the whole process is done in a cool dry place. It is also a superstition that the maker must not be disturbed and no one talks in the surroundings lest it will make the tapey sour. Mostly, it is the Igorot women who make the wine and the male head of the household is to open the jar once it is ready to be drunk or the oldest person in the household. The jars used have been owned by generations of families and have witnessed countless family traditions and stories. The wine, when properly blessed before serving, the wine helps who drink it to be away from trouble. This kind of wine is more often than not served during special occasions and when the men and women are ready to handle it already.

Overtly fermented rice wine becomes bitter and sour and is instead used to add flavor to various local dishes generally called pinaspasan.


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