It's rare these days, especially in the U.S., that people make their own gochujang. But Merle is old school and there's a micro-batch of their gochujang available for purchase.
Gochujang is a staple Korean cuisine: fermented red chili paste that can be used to make sauce for bibimbap, marinades, and more. You'll find it on the shelf in grocery stores but many of the store bought brands use high fructose corn syrup and other additives that halt the fermentation process. Not so with Merle's batch. You'll receive a living fermented gochujang with the microbes still working their magic; and there's no high fructose corn syrup--just Merle's homemade Korean rice syrup (a several hour process) and organic maple syrup, Merle's nod to being a mixed race Korean in the upper midwest. This is gochujang that is a product of place. Traditionally, gochujang is started in the fall or winter and fermented a handful of months outdoors in full sun. Because of the harsh winters in MN, this batch begins indoors and will be moved outside after the hard freeze passes: there, the gochujang ferments under the cover of cheesecloth to let the sun in overhead; this also means that the vessels are carefully watched and covered when it rains. Care is taken from start to finish to create a great-tasting product that is a world of difference from cheaper store-bought options. The vessels that Merle uses are traditional Korean onggi as well as ceramic fermentation crocks that are given a smoke bath of pine and sesame seeds to sterilize the inside as well as as subtle flavor; Merle also cuts in roasted sea salt to add to a slight backdrop of smokiness which marries beautifully with the deeper flavor that maple syrup brings.
You may use the discount code found in the website banner if you intend to pick up in S. Mpls. Local pickups are reserved for those who know Merle IRL since pickups are from their home. Pick-ups will be Sat. May 28 10-1pm. If you cannot make this time, you will need to opt to have your order shipped. All orders will be sent USPS priority on May 31, and all subsequent orders will ship on Mondays thereafter.
This product does not ship internationally.
Ingredients: gochugaru, yeotgireum (gf barley malt powder), mejugaru (fermented soybean powder), spring water, organic maple syrup, roasted sea salt, ssal jocheong (Korean rice syrup, homemade by Merle).
*the yeotgireum used is labeled GF even though barley typically isn't GF; if you are celiac or have gluten sensitivities, use your own judgment. According to all packaging and ingredients, this gochujang is gluten free.