Have you heard of papeda? If it’s the first time for you, you should know more about Papeda, a traditional food you should try when visiting Papua! So, this traditional food should be on your must-try list!
What is Papeda?
Papeda is a typical food of the people of East Indonesia made from sago. As we know, sago is a staple food for people in Papua’s lowlands and coastal areas. Sago is one of the essentials things from the traditional Papuan tribes, especially the Asmat, Mappi, and Mimika tribes.
According to history, papeda is famous in the indigenous peoples of Sentani and Abrab in Lake Sentani and Arso and Manokwari. This chewy food often appears during important events in Papua, Maluku and surrounding areas. So it is not a new thing anymore if Papeda is one of the unique culinary heritage of the archipelago.
Therefore, as a typical traditional food, papeda keeps a recorded history. Indigenous Papuans respect sago as more than just a portion of delicious food. The tribes in Papua know the mythology of sago with the story of human incarnation.
By the people of Raja Ampat, sago is considered something exceptional. When harvesting sago, they often hold a special ceremony as a sign of gratitude and respect for the abundant harvest (sago) to meet the entire family’s needs there.
Papeda itself is more prevalent in the indigenous peoples of Sentani, Abrab, Arso, and Manokwari. Although papeda is identical to Papua, it is also easy to find this cuisine in several areas in Eastern Indonesia, such as Maluku and South Sulawesi. In Papua and Maluku, this sago porridge that we call papeda, while in South Sulawesi, they usually call it lime.
So, How Does It Made?
Before cooking papeda, the inhabitants of the interior of Papua first cut down sago trees that are ready for harvest with an age range of seven to ten years. Sago essence is taken from the tree trunk using traditional tools. It takes about two to three people to extract sago essence. They call this process as tapping.
We can easily find ripe Papeda with other dishes, such as stir-fried kale with papaya flowers and yellow fish sauce. To pour papeda into a serving plate, you must use gata-gata chopsticks. These gata-gata are rotated quickly so that the dough does not break when rolled into a round shape. Then, add some yellow sauces to the papeda.
The way to enjoy papeda is also unique, namely by sucking sago porridge through the edge of the plate while enjoying the sauce. In contrast to rice that we must chew, the texture of papeda is already soft, so it is safe if swallowed directly.
Its bland taste makes papeda best to eat with tuna, with delicious and savoury turmeric or yellow gravy. Papeda is also best to enjoy with vegetables from young melinjo leaves or Ganemo Vegetables.
The taste of the plain sago porridge combined with the delicious fresh yellow sauce makes this dish so delicious. Moreover, the fish is tender and delicious. The best time to enjoy Papeda is while it is still warm. It is because the texture will be harder if it starts to cool.
Is There Any Nutrition In Papeda?
Not only does it contains the traditional taste of sago. This culinary heritage from Papua and Maluku has various benefits beneficial for body health. Besides being rich in fiber, papeda is also low in cholesterol and nutritious. Papeda has essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc. Regularly consuming papeda can increase immunity and endurance, and reduce the risk of colon cancer, to clean the lungs.
So, that’s a glimpse of information about papeda, a traditional food you should try when visiting Papua. Therefore, for you who have been to Papua, have you ever tasted papeda? Tell us below!