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 English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
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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