Mon - Fri : 09.00 - 17.00
Papoea by Nature
Mama Usi & her daughter Cathrina are ‘Ikan Assar’ fish smokers in Jaiyapura, West Papua. Their family originally come from Biak, the largest island in the Cenderawashi Bay. As islanders fishing, cooking & preservation traditions for seafood have been passed down over generations but only recently have they used their heritage to make a living in the city. Papoea by Nature is proud to source our ‘Ikan Assar’ directly from Mama.
Every morning mama goes to the Hamadi port in Jayapura to buy line caught yellow fin ‘Ahi’ Tuna by Papoenese fisherman which are sold by a Javanese fishmonger. She said her family used to fish themselves but now with such competition and demand it is easier to buy at the port. It was clear when we accompanied Mama to witness her daily routine that she is a popular regular here. She seemed to come alive as she stood next to the sea, joking and laughing with the fishermen as they watched the fish being brought in on wooden dug out boats. Perhaps this is a way she stays connected to happy childhood memories on the island where she grew up?
The fish are cleaned, gutted & skewered with bamboo sticks. Then smoked throughout the day. By late afternoon Mama Wusi takes the fish to Passar Mama Mama in Jaiyapura to sell. ’Passar Mama Mama’ is an evening market which has been created to support Papoean Mamas and their traditional produce. Mama Wusi usually sells between 300 - 500 fish per night. Some of which will be the ones our Papoea by Nature customers will get the chance to taste.
Charles Toto is ‘The Jungle Chef’ from Jayapura, West Papua. His passion and life purpose is to ensure the preservation and education of Papoean food culture in an age which threatens the wealth and abundance of a lifestyle in harmony with the jungle. In 2006 he founded Jungle Chef Community, which provides more than 120 local residents with hospitality training so they can cook for tourists from the mountains to the beach.
During our research and development to create a launch menu inspired by and true to Papoea’s Nature. We were treated to an all day culinary workshop lead by ‘The Jungle Chef’ & hosted by the gracious people of Kampung Abar on Lake Santani who are part of The Jungle chef community. We learned of new ingredients unique to the Papoean jungle, their medicinal qualities and how to process them for optimum flavour and health benefit. These include Bua Merah the Giant Red Pandan fruit and Sayur Lilin the giant grass flower that grows 3-4 meters high.
Chef Charles showed us several different Papoean cooking techniques that used wood fires and hot stones layered in a ground pit between banana leaves creating an earth oven. We discovered that Papoean food uses next to no seasoning, the culinary excitement coming from the freshness of a jungle harvest that is immediately processed and eaten. It was incredible to taste food from a cooking culture that intuitively understands the nutritious value and natural flavour of each ingredient purely for what it is. Especially those that have grown in an abundant and magical Rainforest like Papoea. Knowing excactly when and how much to hunt or harvest is key. We learnt about a salty leaf used to wrap meat in a stone bake or smoked wild ginger to bring a delicate sparkle to the Bua Merah pulp. We all felt richer, wiser, more refined and totally insipired by the end of the day.
Pak Glorio is a first generation Papoean whose mother is from Jogja and father is from Flores. ‘I know kopi from when I was very young because my grandmother has a kopi plantation in Flores’. So in a way he is a natural born barista! Pak Glorio became serious about kopi in 2011 whilst he was studying Indonesian literature in Jogja. He returned to Papoea in 2015 to open his own kopi shop ‘Otentick Kopi’ in Jaiyapura.
Whilst setting up his café, he met Pak Niko Bukega a Papoean kopi farmer and founding chairman of Coffee Cooperative ‘Ok-Yum Pegunungan Bintang’. They set off on an adventure to a planation on Pegunungan Bintang (mountain of stars) where he was introduced to the Papoean coffee farming community. His passion was fueled when he experienced how ‘Ok-Yum’ was building awareness for the community through Coffee.
Pak Glorio invited us to his ‘Otentik Kopi’ Café in Jayapura. Where we met his wonderful family, had a home cooked Javanese meal made by his mother followed by a coffee & tea tasting with many stories of his adventures into the mountains and pristine nature of papoea. How each organic wild bean was grown and by whom. The best way to roast and drink each brew. We all drifted upon the aroma and flavours as if in a dream and now Papoea by Nature has a Kopi enthusiast who can bring to you the very same experience to Jakarta, direct from source.