Dirt based “ampo” has been cleverly marketed that it’s a medicinal food with supernatural healing powers. Made out of dirt, the flavor is said to be cool and creamy. Each country has some foods which outsiders consider “unusual” and ‘ampo’ is one of those foods.
In communities which hold heavy superstitions and belief in supernatural fortunes and misfortunes, ampo now carries the (false) mantle of being an effective pain killer and a must-have for pregnant women to eat during their pregnancy, if they wish to have a baby with refined skin.
Please note: following the video are the English translation subtitles, for you to understand what is being said
English translation of the video’s spoken words:
Fifty-three-year-old Rasima collects dirt everyday from a paddy field in Indonesia’s east Java province, turning it into a snack made entirely from soil, called “ampo.”
She scoops handfuls of the dirt into her basket and then takes it back home for baking the traditional earthy snack.
Rasima, the lady making ampo: “Ampo making has become a family tradition in the village, and I do not know exactly when it started. All I know is that it was made by my great-grandmother and it was continued by my grandmother, then my mother and now I continue to make it.”
Rasima pounds the soil into a hard lump and scrapes off rolls of dirt, using a bamboo-shaped dagger.
The snacks are then baked in a large clay pot over an open fire for around half an hour, then taken to market, where consumers say they like the cool, creamy texture.
Siti Qomariah, a local resident: “I think the taste is nice and I usually eat this. It is nothing special; it feels cold in my stomach.”
Locals believe the soil snacks are an effective painkiller, while pregnant women dine on it, believing it refines the skin of their unborn baby (end of translation.)
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