In the Central Highlands, Ruou Can plays an important role in the life local people. This kind of specialty and offering appears in social and spiritual life of families and the community. And it is included in the cuisine of the Central Highlands.
Ruou can is typically drunk for special occasions such as festivals, weddings, or harvest feasts. People always dance and play gong after drinking. When a guest is invited to drink ruou can by the local people, it means that this he/she is seen as distinguished guest.
Only women make Ruou Can. In local people’s opinion, during 3 days and nights of fermenting, the women who makes wine is not allowed to take bath. For thousands years, the wine has been passed from mother to daughter as a sacred thing. It takes several stages to make a jar of wine, namely making yeast, cooking rice, keeping the mixture of rice and yeast in the jar. Today, people use ordinary rice, sticky rice, corn and cassava to make wine. And people use ready-made yeast instead of herbs as they used to. But the quality of wine is kept unchanged. Wine jar are arranged at the corner of the house. The longer the wine is kept, the better the wine tastes.
According to ethnic people, pregnant women are not allowed to come to the place where wine is made. During the time of making wine, the makes must keep their body clean or the taste of the wine will be affected. Visiting the Central Highlands, you’ll find wine jars in houses of ethnic people here. However, each family has their own way of making wine depending on their taste. Wine is a special product of rustic ethnic people.
In the past, women had to go to the forest to find roots of more than 20 kinds of herbs to make yeast. In the last 10 years, it is hard to find the herbs. So, ethnic people use ready-make yeast balls to make wine. For generations, Ruou Can has closely attached with the life of people living in the Central Highlands.
During the drink, there must be a chairman called “Gai-pe”. “Gai-pe” is responsible for giving the tube to members of the drink in the order old-young, female-male. At first, “Gai-pe” drinks wine and spit out. Then, he gives the tube to other members. This shows that the wine is good and unpoisonous. During the drink, the tube is given from one to another. When a member does not want to drink, he covers the tube with his thumb. Everyone can join the drink. While they’re drinking, they talk to each other. This shows the union and love of the family as well as of the community.