Yeast from Keningau produces high quality tapai
KENINGAU: High quality tapai, the traditional rice wine produced by the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) community, doesn't just involve skills but taboos that must be strictly observed.
While there's no denying that a tapai maker must have the experience and skills in preparing the drink with the right mix of rice and millet, there are some taboos in getting the perfect yeast or “sasad” for the drink to be well fermented.
“Yeast is the key secret to producing quality Tapai,” said yeast maker Juraidah Jauhim, 36.
The best yeast is produced by the KDM community and they strictly observe the taboos.
“If these taboos are not followed, there is a likelihood that the yeast that is made mainly from millet, would not produce the taste that we expect from fine quality tapai – it could turn sour and that means it cannot be consumed at all,” she said.
Among the taboos that one must observe before preparing the yeast is to refrain from touching sour fruits and to keep away from getting into arguments or confrontational situations for at least a week.
The yeast is largely sold ahead of the Kaamatan (harvest) in May and during Christmas.
Juriah said that she earned up to RM1,300 a month just from selling the yeast, adding that she could make up to RM3,000 a month during the festive period. - Bernama