As the well-known diverse archipelago, Indonesia has many different cultures, languages and ethnic groups. Some may say that food is a part of the culture. Whether you agree or not, there are certainly various culinary delicacies throughout Indonesia, including West Papua.
Located in the easternmost part of Indonesia, West Papua has its own beauty. Apart from the beautiful sceneries, you can also enjoy culinary specialties. Here are must-try culinary in West Papua for you:
Papeda is sago porridge, specifically sago starch. It is a must-have food of Papuan locals. Papeda is an entrée, eaten with side dishes just like other porridge in Indonesia. It can also be found in Maluku.
The texture of Papeda is sticky with white glue color. Papuans usually eat it using traditional fork made of wood. The relish that complements Papeda are seared vegetables and yellow, rich soup. The vegetables commonly used are the flower bud of papaya and water spinach.
The word “lontar” is a mispronounce from the word “rontaart” meaning “round tart” in Dutch. The pie is filled with milk and caramelized sugar; it has a sweet taste. The delicacy can be found in big cities of West Papua’s cake shops. It is usually eaten on a special occasion such as a birthday or Christmas.
Another delicacy popular in West Papua is Sago worm. The worm can be found inside a sago tree. It has a plump and large body. The sago worm can undergo a metamorphosis and became a species of snout beetle.
You can eat raw sago worm just like some Papuan or make a satay out of it. The skewered sago worm is grilled until the outside is crispy, and chewy on the inside. The Papuan usually eats sago worm because it can rejuvenate and reenergize their body, due to its high nutritional value.
Bagea is some pastry snack. It usually consists of abon or shredded beef, but nowadays there are many variations such as cheese, chocolate, chicken and tuna. You can find Bagea easily in gift shops. Many tourists buy this snack as gifts from West Papua.
Manokwari Grilled Fish
Another special culinary in West Papua is the Manokwari grilled fish. As the name implies, you can find this dish mostly in Manokwari. The type of fish used is mackerel tuna and is topped with a sauce made of red shallots and chilies. The taste of the sauce and the smell of the grilled fish complement each other, making it delicious. Local restaurants that serve Papuan foods will most likely have this on their menu.
Sago lempeng is another snack made from sago. The sago is baked and has a hard-sandy texture; it is usually enjoyed with tea and milk. Lempeng Sago also has a long shelf-life. Therefore, it is recommended to buy them for souvenirs if you plan to go home by ships.
Those are local specialties for you to try. If you are hesitant to try them, do not worry. There are lots of places to eat. Here are some recommendations:
Misool Filling Station
This so-called station is a unique boutique café, and it is located in the opposite of an Airport named Domine Eduard Osok. It is most likely to be Sorong’s best spot to enjoy healthy smoothies, tasty vegetarian snacks, and fresh coffee.
Another great thing is that you are also supporting the conservation of Raja Ampat because 3% of all your purchases will go directly into Misool Foundation. However, the Misool Filling Station will most likely be closed from the 7th to 9th month of the year due to the resort’s off-season. You can find out their opening and closing schedules on their website.
Tembok Berlin is located the opposite of Marina Mamberano Hotel, and it is the best place to eat fresh seafood. There is no wall here; the name is a metaphor for a row of food stalls or warungs. You can pick your fish and watch it being cooked in front of your eyes. The stalls open every after sunset.
Rumah Kopi is a café located near Tembok Berlin. It is a colorful two-floored building. You can see the ocean from the second floor, and you can also enjoy beautiful sunsets.
Rumah Kopi opens daily from 3 pm to 11 pm. They serve good Indonesian coffee and free Wi-Fi. It is a recommended place to enjoy your time or hang out in West Papua. They serve Indonesian foods, pizza, pasta and many more.
Those are culinary in West Papua along with three recommended places if your taste bud does not suit the traditional ones. You will most likely find the traditional cuisines in every shops and restaurant. Visit West Papua, enjoy the scenery along with its unique culinary tastes for an unforgettable journey!