Food heritage and culture to stir up 'Demi Belachan Goreng!' event in KL

A villager at work pounding belacan (shrimp) paste the traditional way at a village in Pulau Aman, located off the coast of Seberang Perai in Penang in 1981. Photo: The Star/Filepic

A SERIES of conversations surrounding food culture and heritage cuisines are at the top of the menu of the Demi Belachan Goreng! event at the Badan Warisan Malaysia Heritage Centre, No. 2, Jalan Stonor in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 24 and 25.

The free admission public event (10am to 5pm), organised by the Malaysian Heritage and History Club (MHHC) and supported by Badan Warisan Malaysia, will present a line-up short talks in a casual yet informative setting at the heritage bungalow venue.

Thirteen presenters (of the foodie persuasion) are set to share fascinating facts about this region’s rich culinary histories.

"What did Niah prehistoric humans eat? A palaeontologist will tell us. What factors earn five ladies’ fingers on the Kandaqstan rating system? A nasi kandar addict will opine. How has geography influenced the way Malays eat? What do pantuns and glutinous rice dumplings have in common? What are saucy secrets of Kelantanese, Jaffnese and Borneo’s gastronomy? There’s Bugis food, but what characterises Bugis food in Sabah? At the Wangkang Imperial Feast, what delectables are served to the deities? What are the tools, taboos and rituals involved in Orang Asli’s meals? And what makes the humble kicap and friendly teh tarik so potent?" teases the Demi Belachan Goreng event description.

There is no shortage of diversity when it comes to food historians, culture activists, researchers, authors and writers who have been pencilled in for the talk sessions. They include Khir Johari, Reita Rahim, Cedric Tan, Kelvin Tan, Jahabar Sadiq, Mohammad Salleh, Fitriyati Bakri, Teckwyn Lim, Susah Orchid Bansin, Buvanes Tharmalingam, Ah Tshen, Nurul Hamzah and Adie Asraf Tan.

On Saturday, the event will also roll out a pop-up food exhibition with Chetti Melaka food, Portuguese pineapple tarts, and belacan goreng (shrimp paste) as highlights. Not to be missed is a booth featuring Orang Asal handicraft.

Kugiran Baba Melaka, a folk group quartet featuring Martin Theseira, will close the Demi Belachan Goreng! event on Sunday evening with Sambal Belachan And Other Sedap Songs, a deliciously titled live set.

In previous years, MHHC explored themes of Merdeka, Malaysian wildlife and Malaysian ethnicities (“roots”), which gave scholars, laymen, experts and enthusiasts a chance to meet, mingle and share knowledge.

More info here.

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