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Jakarta Post

Finding authentic Betawi food a challenge in changing times

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 20, 2019   /  08:58 am
The Jakarta Post Image
People line up to buy "kerak telor" (traditional Betawi omelet) at the annual Jakarta Fair in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. In the lead up to the capital city's anniversary on June 22, more and more vendors are selling traditional snacks and dishes.(The Jakarta Post/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Finding authentic Betawi food should not be an issue due to how popular it is, yet such is not the case. It is widely assumed that the Betawi people – an ethnic group native to Jakarta – and their culture and authentic cuisine can be easily found in Condet, East Jakarta, but after The Jakarta Post recently explored the area, it found few Betawi influences and many fast food joints. There, one store – the only of its kind – has a sign that reads "Betawi asli" (authentic Betawi). The store, Dodol Betawi Ibu HJ Mamas, is one of the few shops in Condet that proudly markets itself as an authentic Betawi sweets seller. The store mainly sells traditional sweets and delicacies such as dodol (red sugar toffee), tapai (fermented rice cake), kue talam (sticky rice cake) and kue geplak (grinded rice cake).  “The Betawi people have a strong ...