No Frying Every Day, In Papua There Is Burning Of Rocks

Papua

The scarcity of cooking oil had gone viral in the community. The ancient Papuans may not have bothered about this, because there is fumigation there.

Before the opening of air transportation access to the interior until the introduction of aluminum pans, ethnic groups in the Papuan mountains did not know how to cook food by frying.

In culinary traditions in the mountains of Papua, the known ways of cooking food ingredients are smoking, grilling, cooking in hot ashes, and burning stones.

Smoking and roasting of food is usually for game meat, it can be deer or pork. Smoked or grilled meat, has a good taste.

Not only that, food can last up to several days. Smoking and roasting cooking techniques will also reduce the fat content in animal meat.

In roasting, the wood used is usually cassowary. While cooking in hot ashes, it is usually used for tubers such as taro, sweet potato, cassava or corn.

It is different again with burning stones, namely stones that are burned until they are red-hot. Before burning the stones, a hole in the ground was made not far from there.

Smoked meat in PapuaPigs in Papua Photo: (Day Suroto)

The hot stones resulting from the combustion are then laid out evenly in the hole. On the surface of the hot stone are arranged various types of food such as vegetables, taro, sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas and pork.

These foodstuffs are then covered with sweet potato leaves or other vegetables. After three hours, all the ingredients will be cooked and ready to eat.

The Papuan mountains are located at an altitude of 1650 to 4000 m above sea level. So it can be ascertained that coconut trees as a producer of cooking oil cannot be found.

The maximum growth that will be obtained from coconut plants is on the lowland coast, around 0-450 mdpl. If planted in the middle and highlands (around 450 – 1000 m above sea level), coconut plants will have a slower fruiting time for plants in general and have low oil content. At an altitude of 1000 m above sea level, coconut plants cannot grow at all.

Ethnic groups in the mountains of Papua do not know cooking oil made from coconut. Instead they use pork oil.

Smoked meat in PapuaMummy in Papua Photo: (Day Suroto)

This pork oil is applied to the body, to protect against mosquito bites. In addition, the spread of pork oil is also to warm the body. As is known, cold temperatures in the mountains of Papua range from 8 to 15 degrees Celsius.

Pig oil is also used to oil the hair and decorate the face. Face decoration is black or white. The black color is obtained by mixing lard with charcoal, while the white color comes from lime. Pig oil is also used in the process of preserving corpses typical of the Baliem Valley, namely mummies.

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This article was written by Hari Suroto from the Papua Archeology Center and modified as necessary by the editor.

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