MIRI: The women’s bureau of the Miri Melanau Association is actively promoting traditional Melanau delicacies to the public.
The bureau is holding a big bazaar at the association’s building near the Miri Civic Centre complex here once a month to sell their products.
Bureau member Pauline Peck said Melanau women wanted to market their traditional Melanau agriculture produce on a commercial scale.
“We Melanaus have some unique food such as jungle ferns, umai, fresh fish products and edible sago worms.
“The Melanau women bureau will organise this food bazaar once a month to give the public a chance to buy our food,” she said.
The first bazaar was held on Sept 30 and received good response from the public.
One of the exotic offerings at the food fair is the siet – the sago grub brought all the way from Mukah, the Melanau heartland.
The siet is prepared on the spot, grilled, smoked or fried. The grub can also be eaten raw.
There is a variety of sago-based dishes such as the linut, sago balls and the famous tebaloi, also known as sago and coconut biscuits.
Umai or raw fish dish is sold fresh and reasonably priced here.
Haini Dorani from Brunei, who was at the bazaar, said her favourite were the fish crackers.
She said such fish crackers were difficult to find in Brunei.
“The crackers are made from fillet of fresh fish.
“They are crispy and delicious,” she said, adding that the grilled fish was very tasty and smelled fragrant too.
Apart from traditional food, the fair also featured other small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) products such as virgin coconut oil as well as cosmetics-healthcare products from Kuching.
Traditional Melanau art and craft were also displayed here, such as the conical sunhat called terendak, that is one of the trademarks of the Melanau people.
One of the crafts, which is still practised today, is the art of weaving using materials such as the sago palm strips and leaves. These materials are reinforced with rattan strips to produce various containers and other essential items, including costumes.