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No. 50 (March 1965)
– 54 –

Rice is the Staple Food

In West Java rice is the staple food, garnished with vegetable and spiced with sambal. Sambal is a concoction of various peppers and chilis which is guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of non-Indonesians. Meat is available at a price, as is also fish, fowl and other temping morsels, but rice is the mainstay. With the increase in population (1,500,000 a year) rice supplies are becoming inadequate, and the government is trying to persuade people to accept such substitutes as corn. However it is not an easy matter to change the eating-habits of centuries. One man said to me, ‘We may have half-a-dozen tasty dishes, but without rice we don't feel as though we've eaten’.