Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rice in pitcher plant

Among the Bidayuhs of Kuching pitcher plants are used as wrappers for glutinous rice.

Like the one above which I bought for RM0.50 a piece at the Serikin tamu, the rice cooked in the pitcher plant is indeed very tasty and aromatic. However, to make it even more appetising , crushed peanuts and a flavoured paste is added in. Yummy, yummy ,I love it!.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Looking up the trees

By the end of this week I hope to be in Kuching. As a prelude to my next visit, I am looking up at Kuching's palm trees. These were taken during my last trip there. The above palm tree is exceedingly tall, reaching more than 25 m high. Called the giant fish tail palm ( Caryota no) it has leaves like the shape of fishes tail! The fronds can grow to 4 m long. But what fascinates me is its beautiful long yellow inflorescences which is about 2.5 m long. This palm is native to Borneo and as such its synonym is caryota rumphiana var. borneensis.

The above is the local livistonia palm species called the Malayan Fan Palm ( livistonia rotundifolia). It is distinguished by its brick-red spherical fruits. It can grow tall maybe between 15- 20 m high. Another recognizable characteristic is its palmate leaves which are rounded with tips divided. The inflorescences are also long, up to1.6 m.
It is my hope that in the coming trip I will gather more pictures and information about Kuching trees, palms included for a proposed book I am planning to launch by October this year.