Tuesday, April 29, 2008

F-Grade Keropok Lekor in KL...

I read a letter to the Star from someone who gave his initials as WMR.

A Terengganu native, he was lamenting the widespread sale of imitation keropok losong in the Kuala Lumpur.

What's being sold in KL is not the real deal, he said.

He is proud of Terengganu's keropok and said that it is part of the state's heritage. He wrote:

"...my concern is the keropok lekor sold in Kuala Lumpur that is passed off as keropok losong. It does not in any way resemble the real deal physically. How can it claim to taste like the real thing?

These imitations are giving the Terengganu keropok industry a bad name. I once asked a keropok seller in Sungei Besi, Kuala Lumpur, where his keropok was from and he didn’t know. Some had the cheek to hang up “Keropok lekor Terengganu asli” labels at their stalls."

WMR ended his letter, saying:

"I urge the Terengganu state government to do something to ensure that imitations are not passed off for the real thing. Please, keropok is our heritage.

Don’t, because of money-hungry individuals, let our heritage be ruined by F-grade keropok.

Actually I can well understand his sentiments. Terengganu is known for the best keropok ever and it is something I make sure I get from anyone visiting this north-eastern state. And especially keropok lekor. My pal, Zainul Arifin can attest to this,

I may not be from Terengganu, but over the years, I have learnt to differentiate between "authentic" keropok lekor and as WMR said, "imitation" ones.

As a KL consumer, I know I have little choice when it comes to buying "authentic" foodstuff and delicacies (of the various states) because most of these items usually masquerade as the real McCoy.

You won't know this until you go on holiday, say in Kelantan , Terengganu or up north in Kedah or Perlis.

Then, you realise that the "kuih-muih" and peculiar cuisine in these places are so different from those in KL where they cost a lot more too.

Almost every evening, I head for Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi to buy pisang goreng. Four miserly pieces of oily pisang goreng cost RM1. I can eat those in one go, so I buy RM4.

I complain but when I see the Mak Cik laboriously preparing the bananas and frying them, I tell myself, "oh well....that is hard work."

I do buy pisang nangka, pisang tanduk or pisang nipah from the market and fry them myself at home -- if and when I have the time which is hardly.

And when my supply of keropok lekor (courtesy Zainul) runs out, I buy the fried ones near the Taman Tun Pasaraya in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

WMR, you are so right. And I hear you.

The keropok I get here is F-grade. But I buy them anyway. Until my next authentic supply arrives.


mutalib saifuddin said...

i suppose keropok in terengganu itself isn't really delicious anymore. the quality has been deteriorating as i've tasted in years back (and today).

you can try the mersing keropok lekor. sounds funny- it's in Johor but the taste is just better than those in Kelantan and Trengganu.

Anonymous said...

saya pengunjung tetap blog anda, mungkin boleh singgah sebentar ke blog saya, ada yang saya ingin kongsi bersama...

Johari.Pantai Hospital said...

Dear Kak Ana.

Ha Ha ha.You like keropok ekor and goreng pisang.You want a good one,you go to a store near Pantai Hospital.You can get the best Pisang Goreng in the country.

Anonymous said...

Muslim Traders must stop this nonsense of misrepresenitng what you sell.

It is sinful, no "barakah". Start from a clean slate right with the Halal Money to buying halal supplies of ingredients, clean conditions including using clean Oil [not recycled 5 times over] to putting up leasant face when selling.

The real Halal Hub.

wak segen said...

How come no more TWB. How's your Bapak. Heard there was a birthday bash for him recently.Do a posting la... rindu la..eh rindu with TWB ..Not with u la.. hehehe..
Iyala keropok lekor made in kg baru so teruk one.. u dry out in the sun n see...kucing pon takmo...hehehhe..
..jangan mareh..

Roy said...

yes, the real keropok lekor is delicious. I've stopped eating what's being sold here after tasting the keropok lekor in Kemaman. Tanjung Sepat near Kuantan has delicious keropok lekor too.

LifeBloom said...

Thanks for bringing this up...I am totally nuts about Keopok lekor (lekor)..Agree with WMR totally..There is a stall near Pasar Keramat alleging that their lekor is from losong and that they have been operating for the past 12 years...Imagine how frustrated I was when I bought a whole lot and it turned to be ...F grade....Feel like going to Pulau Redang there and then where I swear some of the best lekor exists...

bergen said...

Sounds like the job forrrrr

K Man - the keropok police.

Anonymous said...

those fine keropok lekor.......mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, makes my mouth water just by thinking of them(not to mention the chili sauce). I do agree that those that i tasted in Terengganu years back was really OMG! compared to what i tasted in other states, but some really have the qualities although they are not from Terengganu. Well hope those in Terengganu think of a way to sell their authentic keropok lekor to other states.

Anonymous said...

Delicious or otherwise is one thing. Now keropok lover's like myself have to be worry about eating "straw" keropok instead. Whereby numerous news have been made regarding the use of melting plastic (straw and cooking oil container) to make the fried item crispier.

Check it out yourself for more info:

Oldstock said...

Err... Saudara Mutalib,

I can't agree with you there. I have worked in Trengganu for 2 years and my in-laws are from Mersing. I have tasted the keropok from both places. The Trengganu (especially the Kemaman variety) keropok wins hands down.

But I do take your point about quality. Not all keropok from Trengganu are top notch. Some taste better than others, even within Kemaman area itself.

Roslina said...

I can totally relate! Sigh...I wish for my true, honest to goodness, authentic Johorean botok-botok !

Anonymous said...

That's funny. IF he think by keeping the A-graded keropok in Terengganu will save the day. He better think about it again. KL will make you famous. Just like Ipoh coffee. It was just famous in Ipoh until when it came to KL. the whole Malaysia knows about it. Branding man! haha...

shahbandarmalakat said...

The best keropok lekor now, is in Seberang Takir, opposite the "muara"; you can cross by boat or by car throuh the brigde . The 'Losong' has lost its reputation. The one in KL definetely not from kuala Ganu.Too much starch. The ratio of fish and starch must be in correct balance. The Trengganu one is 'slightly more blackish', perhaps more fish?

as for goreng pisang it must be 'coated' with rice flour with kunyit and a bit of limestone(kapur), then it forms the crispy(kerak). This is Trengganu's style of 196o era

me said...

European Union laws have provisions for enforcing regional trademarks with protected designation of origin legislation.

Wikipedia link:

For example, Feta cheese not made in Greece cannot be branded as "Feta cheese" within EU states.

Although anyone can be sceptical of such measures in piracy-prone Malaysia, it may be the right direction for us to be headed in.


Lepat said...

Terengganu's Keropok lekor tastes like it tastes 30 years ago. No Change. The people's taste have change a lot. They are now prefer a more soft keropok lekor, like the one sold in KL (Renamed Losong) The Terengganu people must sell what the consumers want, not to sell what they believe is good for the customers... that is business all about!

warrior2 said...

sebahagian dari kita tidak ada kerja yang lebeh baik dari membuang masa untuk menghantar resahan (original writer)dan komen-komen tentang kropok lekor as if trengganu`s kropok semuanya sedap. sama juga dengan perkara lain, bukan semua nya mesti perfect (dalam kes ini sedap). mungkin memang dari trengganu!

Azman said...

My father is a true anak Terengganu (his on-going boycott on Petronas proves so). Whenever I buy KL-made keropok lekor for tea, he would sigh and say "people don't know enough about Terengganu".

He refuses to use the term keropok lekor for the KL-made ones and calls them keropok kanji instead. True enough, the pale keropok sold in KL are made from starch mixed with fish flavour and maybe a bit of real fish.

The original keropok lekor Terengganu itself varies in quality, depending on the season. During monsoon season when there are less fishing boat in the sea, the quality dips as they use lesser amount of fish to make the same amount of keropok. Even so, Terengganu keropok lekor can beat KL-made keropok on any day.

To commenter me: I agree, we should have some kind of law to protect regional trademarks. Australians are proud with their meat pie. They have law stating that meat pie must contain at least 25% meat. They conduct constant survey, and pie manufacturers who do not meet the requirement are named and shamed. Maybe we should have something similar with keropok lekor, otak-otak ondeh-ondeh and other state trademarks.

Fariz said...

Yes, I do agree with all of you, but did you ever noticed that Keropok Lekor itself comes in 2 varieties, which one is soft at inside but crunchier at outside, and another one is totally solid. I prefer the latter as it seems to being used more fish contents instead of just a flour. I've tried both bought at KL which is claimed to be sent from Terengganu, but the taste is still vary from one stall to another. Hope to tried to obtained from the state of origin soon!