The Jakarta Post
Colorful ingredients are seen for sale at Ubud Market in Bali. (Shutterstock/-)
Although most cities in Indonesia have seen an increase of modern supermarkets offering convenient shopping, some people still love to buy their daily supplies at markets. Here are their reasons why.
“First, it’s healthier for several reasons,” said Padraig Eoghan Carty, an Irishman who loves shopping at markets in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
“Supermarkets have a long chain of where the goods come from and have control over where the stuff is from. We don’t know where they’re from; at traditional markets, local people bring all the stuff, which means the supplies are from local farmers.”
Strengthening local economy
“The supplies are sourced from local farmers, bringing local products to customers. Without creating debt, the cash will flow regularly, which is good for the economy,” added Nigel Sankey, who loves to buy seafood at Jimbaran fish market in Bali.
“Unlike other countries in Europe and America, [in Indonesia] you have the luxury of enjoying the freshest ingredients,” said Heinz von Holzen, a Belgian chef who is also the founder of Bumbu Bali restaurant, which is famous for its cooking classes.
“The vegetables were harvested the previous day, brought by truck to a traditional market as soon as possible, and reached the market within hours. If you buy imported fruit at the supermarket, you don’t know when it was harvested, right?”
Maria Salihah, a regular market customer, said: “We can find out whether the vegetables are still fresh or not because the sellers will tell you which vegetables have just arrived and which ones are not fresh.”
“If you shop for fish, for example, you have to come as early as possible to get the freshest ones that have just come straight from the fishermen because, if you come last, you’ll have to face the consequences,” she added.
(Read also: Good things about a money-conscious concept)
“You can bargain, of course,” said Maria. “In Lombok, sometimes people still barter; they exchange rice for fish. If I go to the market, I can spend just Rp 50,000 [US$3.78] a week."
“At the market, you can discover the dynamic flow of prices. For example, during rainy season, tomatoes will be more expensive because most of them will rot quickly due to the high level of humidity. The prices change day by day.”
“I love going to the market at dawn on my bicycle so I can exercise at the same time,” said Retno, who lives in Jakarta.
“The market is close to my home and I know the sellers very well so I don’t have to bargain over the prices; they already give me a good price. I can also ask them to deliver the supplies to my home as they wouldn’t mind doing that for me.” (kes)
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