Sago Caterpillars, a Papua’s Favourite Culinary that is Rich in Protein

goodmorningpapua.com – Indonesia is rich in unique culinary. Some are even not only unique, but also quite extreme. One of them is the culinary of sago caterpillars in Papua. This sago caterpillar culinary is unique because, in general, some people actually feel disgusted with caterpillars. However, in Papua, caterpillars are even consumed.

The Papuan people have even been consuming sago caterpillars since Prehistoric times. As reported by Tempo, sago was the staple food of prehistoric humans in Papua at that time. Mushrooms, flour, and sago caterpillars are food produced from the sago tree.

In general, sago caterpillars are three to four centimetres in size and white in colour. The trunk of an old and fallen sago tree is usually a place for sago caterpillars to live. Sago caterpillars are in the trunk of the sago tree because in the trunk there is a lot of starch, the main food of sago caterpillars.

Sago caterpillars are widely consumed, since they contain high enough protein. Reporting from various sources, sago caterpillars have a protein content of 32.54 percent in each unit. “The sago caterpillar is an additional menu for the coastal communities of Papua, because it is not always possible to find this caterpillar. For one hundred grams of sago caterpillar, it contains 181 calories with 6.1 grams of protein and 13.1 grams of fat,” said Hari Suroto, a researcher at the Papua Archaeological Agency.

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Sago caterpillars also contain several vitamins that are beneficial for the body. A research of the Papua State University conducted in 2013 showed that sago caterpillars contain aspartic acid, lysine, tyrosine, methionine, and glutamic acid.

The uniqueness and benefits of the sago caterpillar make it the target of many tourists, both foreign and domestic, when visiting Papua. One of the culinary preparations of sago caterpillars that tourists can try is the Apatar sago. The processed sago caterpillars can be found in Inanwatan, South Sorong, Papua. The sago caterpillars are processed by mixing sago caterpillars with aci and then wrapped in sago leaves. After that, the wrapped caterpillars and sago aci are burned until ripe, for 15-25 minutes.

In addition to the Apatar sago caterpillar, there are several processed sago caterpillars that are no less interesting. Sago caterpillars can also be processed into satay, soup, bakwan, meatballs, and sago caterpillar chips. In addition, sago caterpillars can also be used as additions, toppings, or other food contents such as, the sago caterpillar-stuffed bread, spaghetti with a sprinkling of sago caterpillars, and fried rice topped with sago caterpillars.

The sago caterpillars are not only unique foods. With its high protein and vitamin content, those are also a useful food.

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