5 Recomendations Traditional Food from West Papua

Michael Manufandu
The 6th Indonesian Ambassador to Colombia(2008-2011). Mayor of Jayapura (1989-1993)
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16 Desember 2021 14:02 WIB
Tulisan dari Michael Manufandu tidak mewakili pandangan dari redaksi kumparan
Sorong is, more likely, one of the most strategic sea entrances to Indonesia's easternmost island, West Papua. Not only known as an industrial and tourism destination, but it also makes this city a haven for delicious and distinctive culinary exploration. In addition to the famous papeda dish, here is a list of other traditional food you must try when you visit this place.
Image by Nadine Doerlé from Pixabay

The Cheating Shrimp

The first Sorong traditional dish is the cheating shrimp.
There is somewhat a funny story behind the name. It has the body of a shrimp yet with big-sized and hard claws that look like the claws of crabs. The natives jokingly conclude that this animal is the affair result between a shrimp and a crab.
Belongs to the crayfish group of genus Cherax, cheating shrimp is a type of freshwater crayfish or shrimp. Its native habitat is the river, particularly the Baliem River of Jayapura, West Papua. The local people catch and take them to the market, making them finally arrive at many local restaurants.
You can order boiled or friend cheating shrimp. Having a similar texture to lobster, the shrimp has dense yet soft and fibrous meat. The original taste is savory and slightly sweet that mixed well with typical cooking spices.
The sweet and sour sauce is the most popular cheating shrimp preparation. You can eat all the body parts but the head.

The Sago Caterpillar Satay

The natives harvest the worms—often called koo—by cutting down the sago tree and leaving it rotten. They will sell them in many Papuan traditional markets. Thus, you do not have to bother to find them in the forest.
The dish preparation is similar to other satay cooking processes. You enjoy these unique skewers with peanut or soy sauce.  The texture of the caterpillar is soft and somewhat chewy, while the taste is either slightly sweet or savory.
The Floss Roll
Sorong floss roll has a similar shape to general floss roll bread you can find in many places. But, the difference is that the size can be extremely large and long, where the diameter can surprisingly reach 10 meters.
Moreover, the floss roll from this region offers generous floss stuffing abundantly popping out from both sides. Floss, chopped leek, and minced meat are the most common stuffing. However, you can many floss variations, such as chicken, beef, and tuna. Other popular stuffings are sausage, cheese, chocolate, and milk.
They are unquestionably a must-try dish or hand gift from West Papua.
The Keladi Chips
Sorong people make this kind of snack from keladi—a taro-type tuber—by slicing them into thin pieces in round or long shapes. You can taste common spices in these chips, like salt, garlic, chili, sugar, or ginger.
Various flavors you can try are original, salt savory, spicy, spicy-sweet, corn, etc. For your information, taro tuber contains some nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
You can find these chips in many places in West Papua, like local stalls, stores, tourist destinations, and airports.  Or else, you may purchase them online.
The Lontar Cake
At a glance, you will see that this cake almost has a similar shape to the Balinese milk pie. However, Sorong lontar pie cake has a long history as one of the culinary dishes from the Netherlands.
The cake ingredients are also simple like others, such as wheat flour, eggs, milk, and butter (or margarine). You can find this kind of dessert, especially during special celebrations like birthdays, Eid al-Fitr, Christmas, New Year, and other traditional local events.
Those are five local culinary heritages you need to try when you get the opportunity to visit Sorong city. They are indeed distinct specialties that have been existed for generations in the land of West Papua.