Papuan Culinary “Treasures”; the Wrapped Papeda and Fried Louhan Fish – Papua has many unique culinary specialties. One of them is papeda wrapped with a side dish of fried Louhan fish from Kampung Abar. Abar is a village in the central part of  Sentani Lake. This village can be reached from Sentani Airport for about 25 minutes. Kampung Abar is known for its people still existing to make traditional pottery in Papua.

Every September 30, in Kampung Abar Papua, a Papeda Eating Festival in the Pottery is held. Papeda is a culinary that at first glance looks like porridge. The way of making is that sago starch is given lime juice, then doused with boiling water. Sago trees do grow naturally around Kampung Abar.

The Abar people have been accustomed to eat papeda since childhood. This is so that when they grow up, they do not forget the food inherited from their ancestors. Another processed sago is the wrapped papeda. This papeda is wrapped using fotofe or forofe leaves (a type of banana leaf).

Besides papeda, other traditional Papuan foods are taro, banana, breadfruit, and boiled cassava. This food is a garden product, served with stir-fried papaya leaves, papaya flowers or forest fern vegetables. The seasoning is simple, just add salt. As a side dish, louhan fish is fried dry.

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The Louhan fish is used as a daily side dish. Meanwhile, for important banquets or welcoming guests, tilapia fish or yellow gravy are usually served. For one month, the research team from the Papua Archeology Center conducted research on prehistoric sites in the Abar region. Every day, the research team enjoys papeda, whether it’s papeda with fish in yellow sauce or the wrapped papeda  with the fried louhan fish, bananas and boiled cassava.

To reach the research site on foot, about 30 minutes from Abar, follow a path on the slopes of the savanna hills. The traditional food  consumed every day, even without rice, can be a good and healthier source of energy.

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