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Jakarta Post

Local baker turns Palu 'choker' crocodile into 60 cm bread

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 21, 2020   /   02:46 pm
Local baker turns Palu 'choker' crocodile into 60 cm bread A customer poses with crocodile-shaped bread -- depicted with a motorcycle tyre around its neck -- at a bakery in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on February 20, 2020, related to the hunt of a giant Indonesian crocodile in order to remove a motorcycle tyre which is stuck around its neck. - The animal made headlines last month after a competition was rolled out offering punters an unspecified financial reward for any brave individual who captures the four metre (13-foot) beast. Officials later called off the contest and said they would redouble efforts to free the croc from its rubber vice, which conservationists feared could endanger the croc's safety. (AFP/Muhammad Rifki)

A wild crocodile in the Palu River of Central Sulawesi, its neck trapped for several years in a motorcycle tire, has been in the media spotlight in recent weeks, particularly after an Australian wildlife expert joined a local rescue team in an attempt to free it of the "choker".

Despite failing, the mission received wide coverage across the nation's media to become the talk of the country, and gave at least one entrepreneurial baker an idea.

Read also: ‘See you soon, mate’: Australian presenter Matt Wright returns home despite failing to rescue Palu crocodile

Abraham, the 58-year-old owner of Master Bakery in Palu, decided to take the local reptilian "icon" as an opportunity for testing his creativity and boosting his business – by making bread shaped like the crocodile, complete with a tire around its neck.

“At first, I made two 60-centimeter breads that resembled the crocodile. I left one [on display] in the store and took the other to a warkop [coffee stall] where I usually hang out to share it with my friends,” Abraham told kompas.com on Thursday.

He said he had not realized that the crocodile bread had gone viral until the orders started coming in – to the point that he was overwhelmed by the high demand.

“I did not expect this to go viral. My staff and I have been working overtime to make these crocodile breads,” Abraham said, adding that the breads were offered in various sizes and ranged from Rp 7,000 (50 US cents) to Rp 80,000 per piece.

Crocodile-shaped bread has long been popular fare among Jakarta's indigenous Betawi culture. Two pieces of sweetened bread shaped like a crocodile (sans tire) are a must at every traditional Betawi wedding, as the reptile symbolizes loyalty and long life.

Meanwhile, the "Palu crocodile" breads at Master Bakery have received good reviews from culinary enthusiasts.

Abraham said that he had come up with the idea of making crocodile-shaped bread in October 2012, and that he had simply not acted on it until the recent rescue attempt brought widespread attention to the crocodile and its plight.

He added that he planned to make one life-sized bread that accurately resembled the 4-meter crocodile – or at least as closely as he could make it, including the texture and color of its skin.

Jemmy, a Master Bakery customer, applauded Abraham’s creative innovation and said he was excited about trying the bread.

“I’m curious about the bread that looks like the crocodile with the tire necklace. It went viral, and I want to buy one for my child, who I think will absolutely love it,” said the 30-year-old. (syk)