Blueberries were selected by the Time magazine as a top ten superfood. Rich in anthocyanins, it is renowned for its ability to inhibit the oxidation of molecules and protect eyesight. In Korea, blueberries are widely cultivated throughout the country but the blueberries produced in Hwacheon of Gangwon Province tend to be of a superior quality as they are grown in a region with a large daily temperature range and clean natural environment. One of Hwacheon’s blueberry farms, Chae Hyang Won, is attracting attention both in the domestic and foreign markets with its brand “Eye Blue.”
Tasting Blueberries in Russia Inspires a Blueberry Farm in Hwacheon
About 25 years ago, then university professor Kim Ung-su visited Russia for a research project and accidentally came across blueberries there. He could not forget their flavor and started collecting information on the berry from Russian researchers. After studying blueberry cultivation under experts in Russia, he finally started his own blueberry farm, Chae Hyang Won, in 2006. Kim Ung-su said, "I went fishing in Hwacheon and realized that the area has all the essential conditions for growing blueberries such as large temperature fluctuations, clean water, and proper humidity. The Russian experts agreed with me. Although I was a rookie farmer, their guidance helped me produce good quality blueberries."
Chae Hyang Won’s Blueberries Attract Attention from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Japan
Kim went beyond simply cultivating blueberries. To increase the value of his products, he started processing blueberries, first by making them into wine. Kim said, "Because I taught marketing at a university, I wanted to use that knowledge to add value to fresh blueberries. I visited a German winery with a long history and by applying what I had learned there to my farm, I started producing wine, juice, salt, and other products." Chae Hyang Won offers blueberry wine matured for three years to reach its best flavor.
In addition to the wine, Kim also succeeded in developing a blueberry vinegar, vinegar beverage, juice, jam, wine salt, and cookies. Chae Hyang Won’s blueberry juice is made with 100% blueberries, and the jam contains 90% blueberries. Kim said, "In contrast to common jams where the fruit content averages 30 to 40%, we have increased it in our jam to 90%. The juice is made from only freshly squeezed blueberries. The vinegar beverages taste best if you mix it with 3 or 4 parts of water.”
Kim’s undertaking attracted attention in foreign markets. Chae Hyang Won first shipped its vinegar beverage overseas last year, to Hong Kong and Vietnam. A test shipment was made to mainland China. Japanese buyers have also shown interest in Chae Hyang Won’s products.
Visitors to the farm can participate in various experience activities, such as picking blueberries, making jam, baking cookies and fish-shaped buns, and brewing natural vinegar and wine. The activities are also open to foreigners. According to Kim, foreign tourists especially enjoy making fish-shaped buns filled with strawberries.
# Additional Information / How to Enjoy Blueberry Products of Chae Hyang Won to the Fullest
It is recommended to mix one part blueberry vinegar beverage with three parts water. You can also add the beverage to milk or yogurt or use it in cooking to give a dish a refreshing flavor.
The blueberry vinegar can be used for cooking or drinking. To make it into a drink, mix it with water 1:10. In addition to fresh blueberry, the cookies contain walnuts, almonds, and other nuts that are good for children’s health.
Chae Hyang Won corp.
· Tel : +82-10-9366-2527, +82-33-441-1302 (Kim Ung-su, CEO)
· Fax: +82-441-7792
· E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Hyun Woo email@example.com
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