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.