In South Korea, Drinks Are on the Maple Tree

Posted on jejugrs.com
HADONG, South Korea — At this time of year, when frogs begin stirring from their winter sleep and woodpeckers drill for newly active insects, villagers climb the hills around here to collect a treasured elixir: sap from the maple tree known as gorosoe.
Every year, Hadong produces 317,000 gallons of sap.

“It’s important to have the right weather,” said Park Jeom-sik, 56, toting plastic tubs up a moss-covered slope. “The temperature should drop below freezing at night and then rise to a warm, bright, windless day. If it’s rainy, windy or cloudy, the trees won’t give.”

For centuries, southern Korean villagers like Mr. Park have been tapping the gorosoe, or “tree good for the bones.”

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