Fri, 19 Apr 2024


Heritage food recognition promotes ‘Jeruk Tuhau’ to the world
Published on: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
By: Bernama
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Heritage food recognition promotes ‘Jeruk Tuhau’ to the world
KOTA KINABALU: The jeruk tuhau (pickled wild ginger) traders in Sabah hope the recent recognition of the traditional side dish as a heritage food will pave the way for promoting it worldwide, especially through social media.

 Kampung Randagong Women Smallholder Movement chairman Jamelah Lawa, 52, said that the gazettement brings immense pride to jeruk tuhau traders like herself, and she hopes that it will promote the traditional dish, especially among the younger generation.

"I have been producing jeruk tuhau since 2013 under the brand 'Wanira'. I sincerely hope that this recognition will also be a significant milestone for small-scale jeruk tuhau entrepreneurs like myself, enabling us to grow, especially with the help of social media.

"I sell my products using WhatsApp, where I send pictures of jeruk tuhau to customers who place orders to make their selection easier. Customers can also purchase my jeruk tuhau at the Kampung Simpangan Randagong Lama stall and the tamu market in Pekan Ranau," she told Bernama.

Jamelah said she sells 950 grammes of jeruk tuhau at RM20 and 200 grammes of sambal tuhau and serunding tuhau at RM25 respectively.

Ten food items including jeruk tuhau have been gazetted as heritage foods in a Declaration of Heritage Object 2024 by the Heritage Commissioner Mohamad Muda Bahadin recently.

Jeruk tuhau is a common traditional side dish of the Kadazandusun ethnic group, which is made of wild ginger and is scientifically known as Etlingera coccinea. The ginger is finely chopped and then mixed with ingredients like lime juice or vinegar for acidity, diced chilis, diced garlic, and salt. 

Eriy Dusun, 45, who has been running a jeruk tuhau business under the 'Que Yun' brand in Tamparuli town for the past eight years, also believes that the recognition facilitates promotional efforts on social media, as well as electronic media such as radio and television.

He said that the effort would provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to diversify tuhau-based products, and even popularise this traditional food as goodies for events.

"I hope that with this recognition, jeruk tuhau can become a menu item in cafes, especially at airports, resorts, five-star hotels, high-end restaurants as well as inflight meals,” he said.

Eriy said that his jeruk tuhau products are also promoted and sold through Whatsapp, Facebook, Shopee, TikTok, and as well as several supermarkets, including Kedai Mesra Petronas, at RM35 per bottle.

For Anddrey Andy Jude, 33, who has been involved in producing jeruk tuhau for the past 12 years, it is time to introduce this traditional heritage food of Sabah to the outside world.

He said that besides using social media, jeruk tuhau could also be introduced through state or country representatives involved in international competitions or tourism and culture events.

Indirectly, it will help small-scale tuhau traders increase their sales, said Anddrey who sells jeruk tuhau in shops around Kota Kinabalu and Penampang with prices ranging from RM12 to RM25 per bottle.

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