SIBU: Tuak, the traditional Iban rice wine, which is a must serve for Gawai celebration, might taste a little different this year due to the increase in the price of one of its main ingredients – sugar.
A homemaker Nancy Mit Jerangku, who has already started making the tuak about two weeks ago, said her tuak tastes less sweet this year because she had to reduce the amount of sugar.
“It tastes less sweet but it’s ok. In previous years, I will use up to 4 kilogrammes of sugar to fill a 15 litre container but this year, I only use 3kg,” she said when tasting the freshly brew rice wine at her rented house in Huo Ping Road here. The main ingredients for making tuak, she said are glutinous rice, yeast and sugar which she learned from her mother and friends.
The 29-year-old will be bringing the tuak back to her longhouse in Nanga Lasi, Julau as she is planning to return home for the Gawak Dayak this year as her husband who is currently working in South Africa will not be back for the festival.
“My husband will miss the Gawai celebration for the second time this year because he will only be returning home at the end of the year,” she said. Husband Jeffery Malang works as a grader driver at a timber camp in South Africa.
In their 10 years of marriage, they are blessed with two girls, Victoria Elam, eight, and Vanessa Enching, six.
Meanwhile, on Monday secretary-general of Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Mohd Zain Mohd Dom announced a 20 sen increase for the price of sugar.
This brings up the price to RM2.30 per kg from RM2.10. Zain said the increase was to reduce the government’s annual sugar subsidy by RM116.6 million. The last sugar price increase was 20 sen in December last year.