Today is Hari Merdeka, and what better way to celebrate our great nation and our national pastime by talking about FOOD?
Food connoisseurs like us would have at least heard of champagne or scotch whisky, and know that only bubbly wine made in Champagne or whiskey that are made in Scotland, that follow certain production methods can be called as champagne or scotch whisky.
These product names that are associated with their place of origin are called “Geographical Indicators”, which MyIPO defines it as “A sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.”
And Malaysia is not short of Geographical Indicators either, with 42 products making the list, among them the “Mangga Harumanis Perlis” or the Sarawak Kek Lapis which needs no introduction.
But since these products are already well-known, we’re showing you 3 tasty that you should check out on your next trip.
1) Durian Nyekak Sarawak
Whether it’s eating it by a roadside stall, watching random westerners gag over it, or secretly planting the fruit trees on government land without permission, the king of fruits holds a dear place in every Malaysian’s hearts.
By now, you’re well-versed with the Musang King, the D24, and the various kampung varieties out there, but are you familiar with the Durian Nyekak from Sarawak?
According to the ASEAN GI Database the Durian Nyekak has fruits that are “green when not mature, later ripening to a golden yellow colour”. The fruits are small, weighting between 200 grams to 1KG, and “and selected clones have a sweet taste with a soft fragrance, and a very fine, smooth texture”.
The Durian Nyekak is produced in central & northern Sarawak.
2) Sarawak Dabai
The next item on this list is also from Sarawak, which makes us wonder what other fruity gems that is hidden amidst the lush jungles of Borneo.
According to the GI Database, the Dabai fruit is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, is oblong in shape and black in colour not unlike an olive, with the locals dubbing it the ‘Sibu Olive’.
To eat Dabai, it must be soaked in hot water first until it is soft, as the fruit itself remains hard even when ripe. Once soften, the skin and its yellow flesh can be eaten plain or with soy sauce, revealing the three-angled seed inside. And according to the Sarawak Tourism website, the seed can be further cracked open to reveal a nut inside that can be described as ‘The second best thing that comes out from a fruit’.
And like the king of fruits, the Dabai can be enjoyed with rice too. Specifically, fried rice. A quick Google search reveals alluring recipes and styles to go with the fried rice.
3) Langkawi Cheese
When you think of cheese producing countries, France, Italy, and Switzerland naturally comes to mind as they have a long history of producing cheese as we know it.
But did you know that besides duty-free goods, Langkawi is also home to our very own cheese?
The cheese is made from milk that is produced from selected breeds of buffaloes, cows, and goats, which consume a unique diet that contains a mix of 6 types of grass and legumes so that they produce high quality milk.
In addition to the ingredients, what makes Langkawi Cheese distinctive is that it goes through additional processes that makes the cheese absorb in fresh Langkawi air.
The end result is a unique block of cheese that is described by as “Mild and pleasant on its own” and “chewy and rather milky” by another.
So the next time you plan your trip, be sure to try out these edible icons when you visit these places!