Global leaders to be served traditional Korean liquor
Published : Mar 22, 2012 - 15:52
Updated : Mar 22, 2012 - 15:52

Global leaders attending next week's nuclear summit in Seoul will be served a unique Korean traditional liquor made from indigenous berries, the organizing committee said Thursday.

Omija -- a red Korean berry also known as "five flavor berry"

for its blend of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent tastes -- will be used in domestically-developed sparkling wine and rice wine to be served at welcome and farewell dinners on Monday and Tuesday, the committee said.

The March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit will be the largest global gathering for South Korea, which hosted the G-20 summit in November 2010. Representatives from 58 nations and four international organizations, including 45 heads of state and 17 first ladies, will attend.

At the welcome dinner Monday and luncheon on Tuesday, red and sparkling wine from 10 countries along with various Korean traditional liquors will be offered, according to the committee.

A Western four-course meal, using the theme of "Spring of Korea," will be served and include choices of avocado-tomato salad, asparagus soup and Korean beef tenderloin, the committee said.

Traditional Korean food will be served at the farewell dinner, hosted by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and first lady Kim Yoon-ok. Steamed tofu filled with crab, Korean-style barbecue, omija tea and the iconic bibimbap -- a steamed rice dish mixed with assorted vegetables and meat -- will be some of the options.

"Menu variations were developed and carefully chosen in consultation with culinary experts to appeal to all heads of states and their spouses," a committee official said. "It will also be a chance to step up our culinary diplomacy by presenting our unique cuisine." (Yonhap News)