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SUMATRA : Bataks berry

Looking for the Bataks berry

Sumatra, Toba lake, july 2016

Samosir market is a first indication : you can find Bataks berry or “Andaliman” everywhere, mostly fresh since this is the harvest season (july). As it is you can not keep it too long. It has to be dried in order to be used all year long.

The main production among the three zones is located 6 hours by scooter on the height of Toba lake, 1300 meters above sea level

Bataks berry : a spontaneous spice

After a fresh night, breakfast is served at 6.00am : chicken curry with bataks berry ! They use it daily here. This is their every day pepper After 2 hours walking and climbing, we find the first Zanthoxylum trees. A lot of fruits, it is harvest time. The foot of the Zanthoxylum Acantopodium is extremely thorny.

Harvest and berries sorting

Harvest and berries sorting in 360°.
Men’s hands are damaged by thorns and their fingers can become calloused. Village can supply with 1 ton of fresh berries, meaning maximum 250kg of dried berries once sorted. This represents further money for the 50 families that also cultivate coffee of high reputation and specific red rice you can apparently only find in this region.
The 4 harvest men are happy and proud to show their harvest methods, really efficient and ingenious. They use bamboo scales restrained by bamboo pillars. Precarious balance upon a thorns flood. Wood patina pieces with a hook form at the end are needed to catch up branches with mature fruits. I am impressed ! Once dried, bataks berry needs a high attention when sorting : take away the thorns and small branches is a very long and meticulous work. A woman can sort 5 kg of dried berries per day, at her best.

Bataks berry in store

Let you tempted by a pepper with fresh and camphor aromas, wild and musk notes

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