The remote hilly state Arunachal Pradesh, located at the border of China and India holds myriads of attractions for the tourists. Its unexplored forests and wildlife zones and vast mountains attract the footloose travelers from all parts of the world. However, the cuisine of Arunachal is no less enticing than its Buddhist heritage and culture of native tribes. In fact, the state’s tribal cuisine can leave visitors amazed. Along with the foods, the beverages prepared by the local tribes can leave your taste bud enticed. You should not miss savoring Apong while visiting the state.
Nuances of Apong in Arunachal
Nearly every state in the North east India has a popular indigenous beverage and Arunachal has Apong. It is one type of beer made with rice through fermentation. The sweet, malty yet spicy drink is integral part of tribal cuisine in Arunachal. Usually served in bamboo stems, this drink is stored in room temperature and it has short shelf life. Owing to abundant supply- it is among the cheap beverages you can find in the state. Based on distillation, its taste can vary.
Apong is more than just a beverage in Arunachal- despite the fact it is prepared in a majority of households. It is not sold in wine shops but you will have to head to the tribal villages. The Adi tribe prepares it in major festivals like Solung and it is also consumed by the Mishing tribe a lot. It is also prepared in wedding events and New Year related celebrations by the tribes. Along with various types of animal meat, this beverage is also offered to animistic deities of these tribes in festivals.
How Apong is prepared?
You can have a firsthand experience of Apong making in the tribal villages located in Arunachal’s Ziro valley region. The tribes are particular about using their age old methods and utensils to prepare Apong- in authentic way.
The rice husk is first roasted in earthen ovens until it becomes black. Then rice is mixed with yeast and it is kept in earthen large pots for fermentation. This is done for a period of approx 2 weeks. After fermentation, it is blended with water and brewed in containers. The stronger version of Apong is called poda while the lighter brew is named pori. The colors of both types vary slightly as well.
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