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Story Publication logo October 11, 2023

Into the Community Kitchen to Taste Local Food (bahasa Indonesia)

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The diversity of food sources and culture which is the foundation of a sustainable local food system...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Harian Kompas. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in EnglishSpanishbahasa IndonesiaFrench, and Portuguese.

Warga sepulang dari gereja mampir membeli kebutuhan sehari-hari di pasar tradisional di Desa Hoelea, Kecamatan Omesuri, Kabupaten Lembata, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Minggu (13/8/2023).
Residents returning from church stop by to buy daily necessities at a traditional market in Hoelea Village, Omesuri Subdistrict, Lembata Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Sunday. (13/8/2023). Image by Agus Susanto/Kompas. Indonesia, 2023.

There are no stalls selling local food in Lembata. To experience the variety of local food, we had to shop for ingredients at the market and visit people's kitchens.


Traditional markets on Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara, are abundant with sea fish, vegetables, titi corn, and tubers. However, there are no stalls selling a variety of local non-rice foods on the island. To experience the variety of local food, we shopped for ingredients at the market and visited the locals' kitchens.

As on other islands in East Nusa Tenggara, it is not easy to find food stalls selling a variety of local foods on Lembata Island. One of the most crowded stalls in Lewoleba, the capital of Lembata Regency, sells a variety of foods such as those usually sold in tegal stalls. Another stall sells a variety of Padang dishes.

"It's hard to find food stalls that sell local food here. If you want to eat local food, you have to cook it yourself," says Abdul Ghafur Sarabiti, a cultural activist in Lembata and honorary staff member of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

Following Ghafur's advice, we went shopping at the Lewoleba TPI Twilight Market. That Thursday (10/8/2023) afternoon, the market was crowded with visitors.


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Pedagang ikan menunggu pembeli di Pasar Senja TPI Lewoleba, Pulau Lembata, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kamis (10/8/2023). Pasar yang berada di pinggir pantai tersebut hanya buka mulai sore hari. Bermacam sayuran dan hasil laut melimpah dengan harga terjangkau tersedia di pasar tersebut.
Fish traders wait for buyers at the Senja Market of Lewoleba TPI, Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday (10/8/2023). The market, which is located on the beach, only opens in the afternoon. Various vegetables and seafood at affordable prices are available at the market. Image by Agus Susanto/Kompas. Indonesia, 2023.
Bermacam biji-bijian dijual di Pasar Senja TPI Lewoleba, Pulau Lembata, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kamis (10/8/2023). Bermacam sayuran dan hasil laut melimpah dengan harga terjangkau tersedia di pasar tersebut.
Various grains are sold at the Lewoleba TPI Twilight Market, Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday (10/8/2023). Various vegetables and seafood at affordable prices are available at the market. Image by Agus Susanto/Kompas. Indonesia, 2023.
Ragam pangan non-beras yang kami olah dari Pasar Senja TPI Lewoleba, Pulau Lembata,
Variety of non-rice food that we processed from Senja Market of TPI Lewoleba, Lembata Island. Image by Ahmad Arif. Indonesia, 2023.
Nelayan dari Desa Lamalera A, Kecamatan Wulandoni, Kabupaten Lembata, Nusa Tenggara Timur, menurunkan potongan ikan mola-mola (sunfish), Jumat (11/8/2023). .
Fishermen from Lamalera A Village, Wulandoni District, Lembata Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, unload pieces of sunfish, Friday (11/8/2023). Image by Ahmad Arif. Indonesia, 2023.
Pedagang ikan menata dagangannya di Pasar Senja TPI Lewoleba, Pulau Lembata, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Kamis (10/8/2023). Pasar yang berada di pinggir pantai tersebut hanya buka mulai sore hari. Bermacam sayuran dan hasil laut melimpah dengan harga terjangkau tersedia di pasar tersebut.
Fish traders arrange their wares at the Senja Market of Lewoleba TPI, Lembata Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday (10/8/2023). The market, which is located on the beach, only opens in the afternoon. Various vegetables and seafood at affordable prices are available at the market. Image by Agus Susanto/Kompas. Indonesia, 2023.

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