Friday, June 8, 2007

A white man's brew

Twelve years ago, German Herman Scholz came to Sabah as tourist. And he has since made the state his home.
So at home is the 37-year-old entrepreneur that he can converse in Bahasa Malaysia and Kadazandusun apart from English and his mother tongue.
"There's a book with the title 'Sabah, the stealer of hearts'. I can really relate to that," said Scholz who turned some heads at the two-day state level Kaamatan or Harvest Festival celebrations at the Hongkod Koisaan in Penampang near Kota Kinabalu on May 30 and 31.
Garbed in traditional black with gold coloured lace Kadazandusun costume, he was seen offering samples and selling bottles of rice wine or lihing as it is known among the Kadazandusun community to locals and tourists alike.
And many eyebrows were arched when the perspective customers learnt that Scholz himself was the one who had brewed the lihing using pulut or glutinous rice and sasad or yeast extract.
Asked about his brewing skills, he said it was prompted by his affinity for lihing. "I liked this wine so much I learned how to make it from an elderly Kadazandusun lady at Kampung Maang in Penampang where I live," Scholz explained.
Unlike other rice wines that are packed in 'recycled' beer bottles, Scholz's lihing bearing the The Flying Dusun label is packaged in attractive glass liqueur bottles with a little booklet explaining how the wine is made and recipes dishes such as drunken chicken or cocktails
The rice wine is sold at certain handicraft and souvenir shops around Kota Kinabalu.
"This is my little way of making Sabah more well known. Sake is synonymous with Japan and when people think of Sabah in the future, I hope among the things that come to mind is lihing," he said.


Anonymous said...

lihing, eh? got to try the flying dusun when i get back to sabah.
speaking of kaamatan, i did make a small celebration here on may 31, by popping open a sapporo beer...

Ruben Sario said...

It's good stuff. Sweet so you'll need some pusas. Then again maybe I'll join you and we can have profound discussion the future of this ethnic brew.


Kawan, it is always the case, isnt it? It takes a foreigners to appreciate one's culture. i often wonder why we are so taking it for granted....
whatever it is, i really hope we will all count our blessings, small though they be