Ahad, 03 Jumadil Awal 1439 (Saturday, 20 January 2018 23:20)
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Central Maluku District - Maluku - Indonesia

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Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup
Rating : Rating 3 3 (2 vote(s))

A. Overview

Culturally, the indigenous communities who live in Maluku administratively located in Banda Islands or famously known as Banda Neira Island are Melanesia ethnic (source: www.wikipedia.org). This ethnic has spread out along the small islands in Pacific Ocean include Kei, Tidore, Ambon, Aru, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon, and Tonga. These indigenous communities can be said to be one ethnic considering of several aspects, which are same race, environment, language, folk songs, religion, income, until daily activity tools, which all have similarities.

Moreover, the food created on this typical Ocean Pacific or Melanesian culture, as well as its ingredients is almost the same, which uses sago and fish as the main material. Nevertheless, it still allows the diversity of cuisine creation from the society who has same cultural pattern, and this we can find among Maluku people, Banda Islands, which is famous for its beautiful sea garden and has become the destination from tourists around the world.

Banda community, who had spread over 13 islands and once attracted the attention of Europeans in the 17th century of their spices, has a wide collection of delicious culinary heritage. The privileges of the Banda Islands cuisine laid on its materials include the fish, vegetables, and spices, which are fresh and able to attract the culinary connoisseur.

One of typical dishes of Banda community is named Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup. The dish almost can be found in every opportunity, especially when the Holy Ramadan comes. In this sacred month, the dish is always put together with other various menus, such as Dunang-dunang and Acid-Nutmeg Soup, especially eaten at sahur and iftar.

However, do not imagine that the Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup is only presented in only one menu. In Central Maluku tradition, Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup that consists of fish soup and bekasang chili sauce is commonly eaten with rice and grilled fish.

B. Features

The experience of eating Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup might not be represented with language. However, while enjoying the dish that consists of fish soup and bekasang chili sauce, you will be drawn into Banda Island nuance in which the island is rich in nutmeg as if its flavor represents the nature in Banda Naira.

Agus Setyahadi recounts on his article in www.kompas.com, that according to local residents, the deliciousness of Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup has been known since a long time ago. In fact, because it was so delicious, the dish was always presented to the Dutch army officers who came to Banda. This tradition has lasted until the Dutch withdrawn.

The main source of the deliciousness lies on the fish soup, especially when the savory, slightly spicy, and sour fuse into one in mouth. The soup taste so fresh. The spicy flavor that is resulted from the soft nutmeg make the warmth spread up into our stomach. In addition, this soup can also be consumed as appetizers, but some people use it for dessert.

Meanwhile, the complement of the dish that should not be missed is bekasang chili sauce. This sauce complements the spicy sensation of our tongue, which is also tickled together with the taste of acid lime and can be used to remove the fishy smell of the fish, as well as serves as an appetizing.

The process of making bekasang chili sauce requires a relatively long time, which is considered almost takes one week. It needs finely ground tuna cooked with salt and closed for one week. The sauce is usually added to slices of red onion, tomato, and a little cooking oil to make it more delicious and tasty.

Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup is usually accompanied with salad of papaya leaves and soft fleshy grilled red snapper. The composition of such food is then eaten with rice and this menu only can be found in Banda Naira, not elsewhere.

Moreover, other privilege of the dish is the fact it is not always served on any restaurant, but only some that offers the kind of menu, considering the dish has become the daily menu of Banda community. Therefore, you should ask to the local people where to find this food.

C. Location

If you make a visit to Banda Naira city on Banda Island of Banda by ship, then just find a restaurant located around Naira Port. There, you can order Banda Nutmeg Fish Soup. However, this typical culinary of Central Maluku can also be found in most restaurants now in the Banda Islands, Central Maluku district, Maluku Province, Indonesia.

D. Prices

The price depends on the restaurant. To be noted, this menu is not presented every day, so you need to order first. If you are going to dinner with this menu, then you must order from earlier in the day. (Khidr Marsanto)

(Said/03/02/2012)

__________

References:

         The article entitled “Maluku”, downloaded on February 9, 2009, source: http://id.wikipedia.org

         The article entitled Ikan Kuah Pala Banda yang Membisukan, downloaded on February 8, 2009, source: http://www.kompas.com

Image source: http://community.kompas.com - Agus Setyahadi

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