Protein-rich Sago Caterpillar, Extreme Culinary Typical of Papua


PAPUADAILY –Indonesia is rich in unique culinary. Some are even not only unique, but also quite extreme. One of them is the culinary of sago caterpillars in Papua. Sago caterpillars are widely consumed because they contain high enough protein. Reporting from various sources, sago caterpillars have a protein content of 32.54 percent in each unit.

“The sago caterpillar is an additional menu for the coastal communities of Papua, because it is not always possible to find these caterpillars. For one hundred grams of sago caterpillar, it contains 181 calories with 6.1 grams of protein and 13.1 grams of fat,” said Hari Suroto, a researcher at the Papua Archaeological Agency as quoted from Tempo.

This sago caterpillar culinary is unique because, in general, some people actually feel disgusted with caterpillars. However, in Papua, caterpillars are actually consumed. The Papuan people have even been consuming sago caterpillars since Prehistoric times. As reported by Tempo, sago was the staple food of prehistoric humans in Papua at that time. Mushrooms, flour, and sago caterpillars are food produced from the sago tree.

In general, sago caterpillars are three to four centimeters in size and white in color. The trunk of an old and fallen sago tree is usually a place for sago caterpillars to live. Sago caterpillars are in the trunk of the sago tree because in the trunk there is a lot of starch, the main food of sago caterpillars.

Sago caterpillars also contain several vitamins that are beneficial for the body. A Papua State University study conducted in 2013 showed that sago caterpillars contain aspartic acid, lysine, tyrosine, methionine, and glutamic acid.

The uniqueness and benefits of the sago caterpillar make it the target of many tourists, both foreign and domestic, when visiting Papua. One of the culinary preparations of sago caterpillars that tourists can try is sago apatar. Processed sago caterpillars can be found in Inanwatan, South Sorong, Papua. Sago caterpillars are processed by mixing sago caterpillars with aci and then wrapped in sago leaves. After that, the wrapped caterpillars and sago aci are burned until cooked, for 15-25 minutes.

In addition to the sago apatar caterpillar, there are several processed sago caterpillars that are no less interesting. Sago caterpillars can also be processed into satay, soup, bakwan, meatballs, and sago caterpillar chips. In addition, sago caterpillars can also be used as additions, toppings, or other food contents. For example, sago caterpillar stuffed bread, spaghetti with a sprinkling of sago caterpillars, and fried rice topped with sago caterpillars.

Sago caterpillars are not only unique foods. With its high protein and vitamin content, sago caterpillars are also a useful food.