Consumers Perspectives Towards Malaysia Traditional Food: Sambal Belacan (Chili Shrimp Paste)
Posted: 10 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 10, 2011
Sambal belacan or chili shrimp paste is a condiment that has been widely consumed by Malaysian. With the aim to gather information concerning the elaborated definition of the term ‘sambal belacan’, 4 focus group sessions were conducted. 3 key themes to convey the definition were presented from the analyses of the transcripts. These were (1) ingredients, (2) techniques and (3) sensory attributes of Malaysia’s sambal belacan. The results suggested that sambal belacan’s basic recipes are fresh chilies, belacan and salt. The mixture is pounded in a mortar with a pestle which produces desirable texture. There were 38 varieties of additional ingredients reported. Most participants stated that it enhance appetite for enjoying meals. The participants also stated unfavorable characteristics of sambal belacan. They were presence of chili seeds, watery texture and strong aroma of belacan. New product development idea of sambal belacan are recommended to be further research as it is crucial to explore consumers demands for new variants of sambal belacan and market it as one of Malaysia’s food identity.
Keywords: sambal belacan, consumer perspective, chili-shrimp paste, food definition, focus groups
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