Sunday, April 18, 2021

Indonesian food: a diverse food culture with herbs and spices

Indonesian food: a diverse food culture with herbs and spices

Indonesia is the second-largest country in the world in terms of biodiversity. It has some large islands and hundreds of smaller islands. Due to the soil and climate of the country, along with the diversity brought in the production of agricultural crops and livestock, the food culture here also has its own variety. There are 931 indigenous groups in Indonesia and more than 900 basic food items. Due to the geographical and cultural diversity of Indonesia, some unique dishes are also made that are completely different from other places.

According to a 2012 report by Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, there are 30 different types of traditional food in Indonesia. Yogyakarta is a center of well-known Indonesian culinary culture. In this study, qualifiers have been shown to play a role as a representative of traditional Japanese food and culture. Yogyakarta is a city on the Indonesian island of Java. The city is famous for its education, traditional Javanese fine arts, and cultural traditions such as ballet, ballet, drama, music, literature, and puppet show.

In terms of regionalism, Indonesian food is defined as the food found in the western part of Indonesia, the food culture in the central part of Indonesia, and the food culture in eastern Indonesia.

In areas such as Sumatra and Java in western Indonesia, dishes made from volcanoes, beef, poultry, and other meats are more popular, while rice and fish dishes are more popular in the center, while corn and cassava are considered staples in the east.

Traditional Japanese foods are made from local ingredients that are low in fat, high in fiber, and contain moderate amounts of vegetable protein and carbohydrates. These diets are nutritious. Most of the local people regularly drink jamu, herbal drinks which have become a part of their healthy habits. Many government policies have encouraged traditional and local use and promoted food diversification in the region.

Culinary Development in Indonesia

Indonesia's food culture is believed to have developed along with the country's long history. In this regard, culinary development in Indonesia is generally classified into three stages.

(1) The basic stage

(2) Multicultural phase

(3) Contemporary phase

A variety of foods were developed at each stage. Not all of them have got continuity till now. Some are still persistent. Such food cultures have been passed down from one generation to the next. Foods have been refined and adapted as they are passed down from one generation to the next.

Indonesian food is rich in variety and flavor. For example, using fresh herbs and spices can make every Indonesian food taste and taste different. Such foods are spicy, hot, nutritious, sweet, sour, and also a mixture of these flavors. In general, Indonesian food can be divided into six major islands across the country. All these foods have gained originality based on the natural conditions, history, and culture of the area concerned.

For example, the food found on the island of Sumatra is heavily influenced by Indian and Chinese culture. Due to the spice trade era and strategic location on the Indo-Chinese trade routes, most of the cities in North Sumatra can be seen embracing the lifestyle of Chinese and Indian immigrants. Sumatra was the first port for Indian and Arab traders.

The most popular food on the island is Padang (West Sumatra). Which belongs to the Redyang food group. Redang is a popular dish made from beef in Indonesia. However, the Hindus there do not eat this dish.

Redyang was included in CNN's list of popular food items in 2011. Besides, Padang food can be found in Indonesia and neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. This is why Padang is also known as the regional food of Indonesia, popular among international travelers.

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