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Seeing the production process of smoked pangasius fish in Koto Masjid Village, Kampar Regency, Riau

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18 Jan 2024 4:00 PM
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Image Source : banglele.co.id

Kampar, Riau, boasts natural riches and cultural wisdom. One of the leading destinations in Kampar Regency that is worth visiting is Kampung Patin, a center for processing smoked pangasius fish. Located in Koto Masjid Village, District XIII Koto Kampar, Kampung Patin is easy to reach, only three kilometers from the Sumatra bridge that connects Riau and West Sumatra. The journey from Pekanbaru city to this village is also relatively short, taking around two and a half hours.

Koto Masjid Village has a very unique historical story. Initially, this village faced big challenges when it was submerged by water due to the construction of the Koto Panjang Hydroelectric Power Plant (PLTA) dam. However, through successful relocation, villagers can now enjoy higher ground and be safe from the risk of flooding. Koto Masjid Village has become famous as a tourist attraction in Kampung Patin, which not only offers natural charm but is also the largest pangasius fish processing center in Sumatra.

A tourist trip to Kampung Patin is an unforgettable experience with a combination of natural beauty, inspiring village travel stories, and the famous pangasius salai (smoke) production. Thus, this destination not only displays its natural riches, but also provides an in-depth look at how local communities are able to overcome challenges and adapt to change to achieve success.

Pangasius smoked fish production process

A trip to Kampung Patin, as reported by Kompas.com during its visit, provided an in-depth overview of the smoked pangasius fish production process. Before entering the intimate process, visitors are presented with the unique atmosphere of Koto Masjid Village. Surrounded by hills, the air around this village offers extraordinary freshness, giving visitors the opportunity to temporarily escape from busy daily activities.

As we walked towards the center for processing smoked pangasius fish, about 300 meters from the entrance gate, we began to smell the distinctive aroma of smoked fish. Dots of white smoke could be seen cutting through the air, an indication that the workers were actively smoking fresh pangasius fish. The view gives the impression of busyness, with workers seriously carrying out their respective tasks. Gender roles are also clearly visible, where women are responsible for separating and cleaning fish remains, while men take over the fish smoking process.

The process of smoking pangasius fish is not only a routine activity, but also part of the daily life of workers in Kampung Patin. Women are skilled at separating and cleaning, while men are responsible for ensuring that the fish undergoes a good smoking process. All this happens amidst the cool village atmosphere, where the fresh air and distinctive aroma of the smoking process create a unique experience for visitors who want to see firsthand the skill and dedication of the workers.

The production process of smoked pangasius fish

The process of smoking pangasius

Zaidi, a 46-year-old worker, was a direct witness to the busy activities at the smoked pangasius processing center. In his duties, he is handling the fish smoking process. In an interview with Kompas.com, Zaidi revealed that part of his job was sorting fish that had gone through the smoking process. "We sorted out the fish that had been smoked because some had not dried evenly. Some were still soft, so we would cook them again," said Zaidi enthusiastically.

Zaidi's workplace is equipped with four special stoves for smoking fish. In a team consisting of eight people, Zaidi and his children and siblings are responsible for supervising one of the stoves. These four concrete-walled stoves are the place where thousands of kilograms of pangasius fish undergo the smoking process every day.

The process of smoking pangasius, as explained by Zaidi, begins with the stage of separating and cleaning the fish. The smoked pangasius is sorted so that it can dry evenly. After that, the fish is arranged in a dish and placed on the stove. Fire control is crucial during the smoking process. According to Zaidi, the fire must always be controlled, neither too big nor too small, to ensure optimal results from each batch of fish processed.

With the skills and experience of Zaidi and his colleagues, every day thousands of kilograms of pangasius fish go through this process, giving a unique touch to the smoked products produced by Kampung Patin. Apart from being part of the village's economic ecosystem, the processing of smoked pangasius fish at this center also creates an atmosphere of togetherness and cohesiveness at every stage of production.