Long hidden in the shadows of its more famous neighbor in Bali, the island of Flores has emerged as a unique destination on its own. Not only Flores in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, the staging point for your adventures to Komodo Island, Flores is also blessed with abundant wonders such as the Three Color Lake of Mount Kelimutu, the archaeological site of Liang Bua Cave, and traditional villages such as Bena and Compang Ruteng. With more than 50 spectacular dive sites, Flores is a paradise for divers and underwater enthusiasts. The island is also surrounded by beautiful beaches with soft pearl white sand.
Apart from these popular attractions, there is still a side of Flores that should receive more attention: its culinary delights. The island also has a wide variety of traditional foods, snacks, and delicious drinks that will complete your total adventure.
Here are some delicious traditional foods and drinks in Flores:
1. Ubi Nuabosi
Ubi Nuabosi is a type of sweet potato which is very popular in Flores. Sweet potatoes are processed in various ways, can be boiled, fried, or baked. Flores people usually serve it together with dried salted fish or other dishes. Here, Ubi Noubosi is a source of carbohydrates which acts as an alternative to rice.
Jawada is a traditional Flores sweet dish that is triangular in shape with a beautiful golden brown color. Consisting of a thin paste no different from glass noodles, Jawada resembles curly hair, from which he earned the nickname “hair cake”. Jawada is made from rice flour, palm sugar, coconut milk and salt. The dough is pushed through a small hole made in the coconut shell to create a thin hair-like shape. The dough is then fried, so that it can maintain its crunchiness.
3. Catemak Corn
Catemak Corn is a very popular dessert in Flores and East Nusa Tenggara Province. Made from corn, peanuts, green beans, and pumpkin, this is a truly healthy dish. Although known as a dessert eaten after the main course, Catemak Jagung is a savory dish.
4. Tapa Kolo
Literally translated, “Tapa” means toasted or seasoned, and “Kolo” means rice on bamboo, so simply put, Tapa Kolo is rice that is placed in a small bamboo and then cooked over an open fire. It is a special dish that is usually served for traditional rituals and ceremonies as well as other events. Not just plain rice, the rice for Tapa Kolo is a special brown rice which the locals call “Deal aka”. Tapa Kolo is usually served with chicken, pork, or other meats.
For meat lovers, Se’i is the perfect meal. Se’i is smoked meat cooked in the traditional Flores method. Se’I usually uses beef or pork, but sometimes fish is also used. To make Se’I, the meat is placed over an open fire at a height higher than the barbeque. In this way, it is not the flame that cooks the meat, but the hot smoke. For this reason it takes longer to make Se’I-like when compared to barbeque meat. The locals usually slice fresh smoked meat and eat it immediately or cook it again mixed with various vegetables.
6. Drink Moke
The traditional Flores drink is Moke, which is considered by the people of Flores as a symbol of friendship and hospitality. The drink is made from palm flower juice that is distilled and processed using traditional techniques. There are two types of Moke namely White Moke and Black Moke. White Moke is made from tapped palm flower juice, while Black Moke is a White Moke that has undergone a further refining process which increases its alcohol content and turns it into a liquor, a specialty of Flores.
So, you should try it if you are traveling to the area of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia