Indonesia's terasi, shrimp paste, becoming a popular tourist souvenir

An illustration of shrimp paste.
An illustration of shrimp paste.PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/FILE

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Terasi (shrimp paste) produced in Toboali, South Bangka regency, Bangka Belitung Islands province, is one of the most popular food souvenirs from the area.

Antara news agency reports that the red-coloured paste comes with a pungent shrimp aroma.

Known for its high quality, Toboali’s terasi is said to be less bitter than other shrimp pastes.

Mr Akung, a terasi seller in Pangkalpinang Morning Market, said the shrimp paste was popular not only among locals, but also among people from outside Bangka Belitung Islands.

During this holiday season, both local and foreign tourists from France and Japan are said to look for terasi to take home.

Mr Akung said that during a normal period, he could sell between 15kg and 30kg a day. However, this holiday season, the shrimp paste's sales increased to between 70kg and 100kg a day.

Another seller, Ms Leni, shared a similar experience, saying she could sell up to 75kg a day during the holiday season.

Despite its high quality, Toboali terasi is considered an affordable food souvenir, with prices ranging from Rp 50,000 (S$4.70) to Rp 80,000 a kg.