February 20, 2018

Sarawakian Local Delights : Nipah Palm

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Gula apong, aka attap sugar aka palm sugar is the sweet sap of the nipah palm (Nypa fruticans)

Nipah palms grow naturally and abundantly in the lower reaches of rivers in Sarawak.

Traditionally, the coastal people harvest the sweet sap from nipah palms which are old enough (usually 5 years and older). A cut is made on the flower to allow the sap to flow into bamboo containers (now recycled plastic bottles). the sap is then for 8 or 10 hours with constant stirring so as to evaporate the water content.

Usually 10 liters of sap produce 1 kg of gula apong.

the thick sugary mass is  stored in small plastic bags or plastic tubs for sale in native markets in Sarawak.

One of the reasons why the gula apong is so tasty is because of the combination of sea salt and the sweetness of natural palm.

the gula apong today is used in more ways than you can imagine. Creative chefs have been challenged to introduce new uses too.

Lovely new product - Gula Apong Icecream


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The Nipah Palm flowers are beautiful. Female flowers are at the tip which later form the seeds in a large globular cluster (up to 10 inches) on a single stalk. These clusters will float away and grow into palms on the muddy flats.





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Male flowers


Beautiful nipah flower at a riparian forest in Sibu, near Bawang Assan.

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Female flowers are in  a cluster like this.







5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nipah at Bawang Asan? Oh dear salt water has reach Sibu!!! Didn't know that!

Anonymous said...

The rise of the west last 200 hundred year or so was just a historical abberation and all aberation will die a natural death!

Anonymous said...

Half of CHina's population is still in poverty and it will be some time before China becomes a superpower and developed country. In te meantime, the interregnum will be quite a while and country like Japan and Germany have been trying to play a role. Alreaydy Germany and Japan already campigned to become permenant members of the UN Security Council! The group is called G4 that includes India, Gemrany, Jpan and Brazil! But even then, the economy of Japan and Germany are also shrinking day by dday. What they are doing is just temporary. CHina will eventually emerged as a world superpower!

During the inter regnum, cregional powers like Iran, Turkey, Russia and to a certain extend Suadi Arabia try to play a role in teh vaccum left by the US. One only needs to look at the crisis in Syria today.

Also the signs and symptoms of a declining America is there. During the State of the Union speech by Obama, he said that those who said that US is on the decline actually do not know what they are doing. But why then did Obama propose the Tras Pacicific Partnership (TPP)? and why Obam stop US NASA plan to send a men to the moon again? Because of the decline, there is now a need to prioritise their limited resources. The same wit trump. Under him, US is withdrawing from the Asia PAcific! A sympto of a power on decline! The future will be shape by the EAst!






Anonymous said...

After the US under President Trump withdrew from international affairs, cutting back on the State Department budget for diplomacy, and has promoted America First, I would say that the US has withdrawn from diplomacy as a way to resolve international issues.

This has made China not the next superpower, but the current superpower, by default.

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