Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Le mea

Le mea..., it is not the words of French !. It is the name of Rejang's cuisine instead. Le mea is made of fish-fermented bamboo shoots. How to make it ?. The washed bamboo shoot was chopped into small pieces, typically less than 1 cm3, and then mixed with fish and small amount of water, and finally fermented for 3-5 days in the closed media.
The longer it is fermented, the stronger le mea get smelled and tasted.  Don't ask me  about its smell. Just to give you an idea that the fermentation also softened the fish bones elements. Once the fermentation gets done, the raw le mea must be cooked before it is served. It is very simple to cook it. Raw le mea is usually mixed with hot chilly pepper, garlic, shallot, and other desired spices,  and added with sufficient amount of water before cooking it. People tend to add more fish for a better cuisine. It was very popular as an appetizer to have lunch or supper indeed, accompanying the main course, usually consisting of rice, vegetables, meat or fish.  Please bear in mind that most Indonesian takes rice for their lunch and supper. (note : Indonesian rice consumption is almost 130 kg per capita per year).  So, having cooked le mea in your lunch or supper will improve your appetite, encourage you to take more rice. I can see people always get sweating  when they take their luch or supper with le mea.

Le mea used to be a very popular cuisine for the people of Rejang . With the increase of economic ability , people tend to buy better cuisine to accompany their main courses.  Although we still somehow find in the traditional market, I am afraid that the existence of le mea will slowly disappear  from the weekly menu of Rejang people,  and will soon remain as history. I am wondering if someone already registered this food as a patented product. May the local government should immediately register it. Why not?

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