The curious crowd was drawn by the tantalizing aroma permeating the morning air on Saturday, May 16. The occasion was the Perak Food Festival 2015 and the location was the well-frequented Taiping Zoo pavilion where 20 long-and-almost-forgotten Perak dishes were on display for tasting.
The dishes, using once-common ingredients and strenuously prepared, had been forgotten over time.
The state government through Tourism Perak Management Berhad, in collaboration with the state heritage department, resurrected the recipes via cooking demonstrations and free sampling. These dishes are also protected under the act to protect its authenticity.
Among the selected dishes were nasi lemuni (a Malay cuisine preferred by women in confinement), nasi ulam (with over 40 different herbs pounded in a mortar), bubur anak lebah (porridge with rice grains resembling little bees), gulai kemahang (a dish with yam as its main ingredient) and kuih kelamai (a traditional dish of the Rawa community). The origin, ingredients and recipes of the almost extinct dishes were displayed on every booth.
“This unique programme is aimed at raising public awareness on the preservation of Perak’s heritage and draw tourists to the state,” said Dato’ Nolee Ashilin Dato’ Mohd Radzi, the Executive Councillor for Tourism and Culture who was the guest of honour.
Present at the event were Mohd Zaky Hj Din, Deputy Director of Department of National Heritage, Dato’ Abdul Rahim Md Ariff, President of the Taiping Municipal Council, Dr Kevin Lazarus, Director of Taiping Zoo and Kamarudin Awang, District Officer of Larut, Matang and Selama District.