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CATCHING UP WITH PUTRI, TEMPEH MAKER IN GRENADA

Tempeh is more than just a food. It is our culture, our identity.

08.08.2021
BY STORTER BEL
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Tempeh is one of the famous foods in Indonesia. It's more than just food, it's our identity. But that’s not it, following fermentation, the soybeans are pressed into a compact cake that is commonly consumed as a vegetarian source of protein.

That's why you could spot tempeh at your favorite local vegetarian restaurant. Tempeh is also fast becoming a favorite food of the plant-based community, where it is added to salads, noodles, tacos, sandwiches, and stews or combined with spices and marinades to become tempeh bacon and tempeh burgers.

Tempeh itself is also good for your healthy diet, as Tempeh boasts an impressive nutrient profile. It is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals but low in sodium and carbs.

But as it gains more popularity outside Indonesia, there are more Indonesian out there who are currently creating tempeh to introduce the food and culture of Indonesia. This is why we are going to bring you Tempeh Grenada by Putri. On last 7 June 2021, Putri also joined World Tempeh Month that was held by Tempe Movement

 

Photo Courtesy of Putri

 

You should not underestimate the tempeh maker, as making tempeh needs some patience. The soybeans and starter are typically wrapped in banana leaves or plastic bags and then fermented for 24–48 hours. During fermentation, the beans bind together with mushroom mycelium that grows from the starter fungus, becoming a dense, smooth network of white fibers that transforms the tempeh into a firm and solid cake.

There is a special place for Putri and tempeh, for her, it's more than just a business but it's where she could keep connected with her home country, Indonesia. The best part of her tempeh is, she created tempeh outside the box with colorful beans that have various nutrients. 

 

Hi, could you please tell us a bit about yourself? And how did you fall in love with tempeh? Could you please tell us your favorite tempeh dish? 

Hi, call me Putri, living on a Caribbean Island with a family of 4. I’ve been abroad for almost 15 years.

I love tempeh with sambal. Tempeh has always been a staple in our house. While we’re kids, tofu has always been the winner, but once we grow older, we find that Tempe has a distinctive taste that is better than tofu, especially looking at the benefits, we love it even more. 

My favorite tempeh dish, to be honest, is the famous Indonesian tempe penyet. Simple and less prep, as long as you marinate your tempeh well and your sambal is great. I can have this all day long. 

 

Your tempeh is actually amazing and very colorful. It’s very unique in a way, I would love to ask, why did you choose to create tempeh with various beans instead of just using the normal soybean?

First of all, thank you. Living abroad has given us so many chances to learn about other people's favorite dishes. In this case, it is about beans or lentils or grains. 

Unfortunately, soybean has a very bad reputation due to their GMO production and people are hesitant to purchase unless it is certified organic, and for us, in a small island like Grenada, any organic products could cost us arm and leg, and we won’t make any profit to make a business. 

So I decided to go the local way, locally here people love eating beans and lentils due to their colonization with so many migrants from India and Africa. 

So this way is easy to introduce to the local people what tempeh is and how tempeh can adapt the ‘local palate’.

 

Photo Courtesy of Tempeh Grenada

 

Aside from the color, I feel like tempeh is part of your life, when did you start to create the colorful tempeh?

I’ve been making tempeh since 2018 and since then I love creating new tempeh that I called a

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tempeh Grenada (@tempehgrenada)

masterpiece, but to be specific, some of my colorful tempeh was born during this pandemic.

When you get so much time, you start wandering here and there and those tempeh arts were born. 

 

What does tempeh mean for you, as an Indonesian who currently lives abroad?

Tempeh is our identity! Tempeh is life, or I must say, tempeh is a way of living.

 

I heard you are going to create your own workshop, what’s your hope for your workshop and your tempeh?

My hope is that tempeh is more well known and helping other people to have easy access to real fresh-made tempeh. 

Not those bitter store-bought commercial tempeh that you find in the supermarket (I referred this to the outside of Indonesia). 

The more people making their own food and cooking their own food, the better and sustained it gets.

And good food always starts from scratch.

 

Where would you see tempeh in the next few years? Since it's getting more popular now?

Tempeh has become the leading good ingredient, the way of life, and the superfood of superfoods.

#tempeh #tempeh maker #colourful tempeh