Limits...
Traps as treats: a traditional sticky rice snack persisting in rapidly changing Asian kitchens.

Schwallier R, de Boer HJ, Visser N, van Vugt RR, Gravendeel B - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2015)

Bottom Line: Minimization of this effect in current transitional cultures could be met by placing value on the maintenance of heritage-rich food.Harvest of pitchers does not appear to decrease the number of plants in local populations.Social media proved a valuable tool in our research for locating research areas and in interviewing respondents, and we endorse its further use in ethnobotanical investigations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg 2, 2333, CR, Leiden, The Netherlands. rachel.schwallier@naturalis.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: An accessory to modern developing economies includes a shift from traditional, laborious lifestyles and cuisine to more sedentary careers, recreation and convenience-based foodstuffs. Similar changes in the developed western world have led to harmful health consequences. Minimization of this effect in current transitional cultures could be met by placing value on the maintenance of heritage-rich food. Vitally important to this is the preservation and dissemination of knowledge of these traditional foods. Here, we investigate the history and functionality of a traditional rice snack cooked in Nepenthes pitchers, one of the most iconic and recognizable plants in the rapidly growing economic environment of Southeast Asia.

Methods: Social media was combined with traditional ethnobotanical surveys to conduct investigations throughout Malaysian Borneo. Interviews were conducted with 25 market customers, vendors and participants from various ethnical groups with an in-depth knowledge of glutinous rice cooked in pitcher plants. The acidity of pitcher fluid was measured during experimental cooking to analyze possible chemical avenues that might contribute to rice stickiness.

Results: Participants identifying the snack were almost all (96%) from indigenous Bidayuh or Kadazandusun tribal decent. They prepare glutinous rice inside pitcher traps for tradition, vessel functionality and because they thought it added fragrance and taste to the rice. The pH and chemical activity of traps analyzed suggest there is no corresponding effect on rice consistency. Harvest of pitchers does not appear to decrease the number of plants in local populations.

Conclusions: The tradition of cooking glutinous rice snacks in pitcher plants, or peruik kera in Malay, likely carries from a time when cooking vessels were more limited, and persists only faintly in tribal culture today because of value placed on maintaining cultural heritage. Social media proved a valuable tool in our research for locating research areas and in interviewing respondents, and we endorse its further use in ethnobotanical investigations. Our gathered data urges for the preservation of sustainable, tribal plant use for the prosperity of both health and culture.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Modern preparation of glutinous rice snack prepared inNepenthes ampullariapitchers. Pitchers placed in steamer by indigenous Bidayuh family of Bau, Malaysia.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4374397&req=5

Fig2: Modern preparation of glutinous rice snack prepared inNepenthes ampullariapitchers. Pitchers placed in steamer by indigenous Bidayuh family of Bau, Malaysia.

Mentions: Another remarkable interview suggests a more historical preparation of the sticky rice snack. One informant took a highland trek with tribal guides who harvested Nepenthes pitchers, coated them in a thick mud and then placed them directly on the coals of the fire to cook rice. The sterility of unopened pitchers [37] might have initially made Nepenthes an attractive vessel option for serving food in times when kitchen hygiene was more cumbersome. Modernized cooking methods and supplies allow for deviations to this more rudimentary approach, as all of our ‘Experts’ steamed the rice snack in large batches, sometimes upwards of hundreds of pitchers at a time, in aluminum pots over an electric cooktop (Figure 2). The basic recipe consists of glutinous hill rice or Thai white glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk. Additions of sambal udang (prawns cooked in chili peppers), rousong (a dried meat product), chicken, peanut or pandan leaf were found on the Bau Wet market and the Kampung Duyoh Roadside market (Figure 3).Figure 2


Traps as treats: a traditional sticky rice snack persisting in rapidly changing Asian kitchens.

Schwallier R, de Boer HJ, Visser N, van Vugt RR, Gravendeel B - J Ethnobiol Ethnomed (2015)

Modern preparation of glutinous rice snack prepared inNepenthes ampullariapitchers. Pitchers placed in steamer by indigenous Bidayuh family of Bau, Malaysia.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4374397&req=5

Fig2: Modern preparation of glutinous rice snack prepared inNepenthes ampullariapitchers. Pitchers placed in steamer by indigenous Bidayuh family of Bau, Malaysia.
Mentions: Another remarkable interview suggests a more historical preparation of the sticky rice snack. One informant took a highland trek with tribal guides who harvested Nepenthes pitchers, coated them in a thick mud and then placed them directly on the coals of the fire to cook rice. The sterility of unopened pitchers [37] might have initially made Nepenthes an attractive vessel option for serving food in times when kitchen hygiene was more cumbersome. Modernized cooking methods and supplies allow for deviations to this more rudimentary approach, as all of our ‘Experts’ steamed the rice snack in large batches, sometimes upwards of hundreds of pitchers at a time, in aluminum pots over an electric cooktop (Figure 2). The basic recipe consists of glutinous hill rice or Thai white glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk. Additions of sambal udang (prawns cooked in chili peppers), rousong (a dried meat product), chicken, peanut or pandan leaf were found on the Bau Wet market and the Kampung Duyoh Roadside market (Figure 3).Figure 2

Bottom Line: Minimization of this effect in current transitional cultures could be met by placing value on the maintenance of heritage-rich food.Harvest of pitchers does not appear to decrease the number of plants in local populations.Social media proved a valuable tool in our research for locating research areas and in interviewing respondents, and we endorse its further use in ethnobotanical investigations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg 2, 2333, CR, Leiden, The Netherlands. rachel.schwallier@naturalis.nl.

ABSTRACT

Background: An accessory to modern developing economies includes a shift from traditional, laborious lifestyles and cuisine to more sedentary careers, recreation and convenience-based foodstuffs. Similar changes in the developed western world have led to harmful health consequences. Minimization of this effect in current transitional cultures could be met by placing value on the maintenance of heritage-rich food. Vitally important to this is the preservation and dissemination of knowledge of these traditional foods. Here, we investigate the history and functionality of a traditional rice snack cooked in Nepenthes pitchers, one of the most iconic and recognizable plants in the rapidly growing economic environment of Southeast Asia.

Methods: Social media was combined with traditional ethnobotanical surveys to conduct investigations throughout Malaysian Borneo. Interviews were conducted with 25 market customers, vendors and participants from various ethnical groups with an in-depth knowledge of glutinous rice cooked in pitcher plants. The acidity of pitcher fluid was measured during experimental cooking to analyze possible chemical avenues that might contribute to rice stickiness.

Results: Participants identifying the snack were almost all (96%) from indigenous Bidayuh or Kadazandusun tribal decent. They prepare glutinous rice inside pitcher traps for tradition, vessel functionality and because they thought it added fragrance and taste to the rice. The pH and chemical activity of traps analyzed suggest there is no corresponding effect on rice consistency. Harvest of pitchers does not appear to decrease the number of plants in local populations.

Conclusions: The tradition of cooking glutinous rice snacks in pitcher plants, or peruik kera in Malay, likely carries from a time when cooking vessels were more limited, and persists only faintly in tribal culture today because of value placed on maintaining cultural heritage. Social media proved a valuable tool in our research for locating research areas and in interviewing respondents, and we endorse its further use in ethnobotanical investigations. Our gathered data urges for the preservation of sustainable, tribal plant use for the prosperity of both health and culture.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus