Rich and famous in Spices such as nutmeg, cloves and galangal, Indonesia is a hub of diverse cultures, each of which have brought in different flavours to create a distinct, most vibrant and colourful cuisines.
A world where the wealth of flavour, aroma, colour and experience is central, Indonesia’s cuisines are rich with combination of herbs, spices and fresh ingredients. Indonesian Cuisine is a reflection of natural wealth and traditions from archipelago comprising some 6000 populated islands out of around more than 16,000, with over 300 ethnic groups calling Indonesia their home.
Indonesian cuisine is different from the rest of the world not only in taste but in line with indigenous traditions, also in cooking techniques and ingredients. It reflects a perfect blend of various cultures and ages.
It has also been influenced by various civilizations, which have contributed their share in its overall development and the present form.
Indonesia has around 5,350 traditional recipes, with 30 of them considered to be the Icons of Indonesian Culinary, chosen from 34 provinces.
Some of these popular dishes that originated in Indonesia, are now common to neighbouring countries, such as Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Especially dishes such as Rendang, Sate, Tempe and Sambal (chilli sauce) are favoured in Malaysia and Singapore. Tempe is regarded as a Javanese invention, a local adaptation of soy-based food fermentation and production.
In 2011, Indonesian Cuisine gained worldwide recognition, with three of its popular dishes make it to the list of “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods”, a worldwide online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN International. Rendang top the list as the number one, followed closely by Nasi Goreng in number two, and Sate in number fourteen.
Harrods Restaurants and Food hall have approved and served twenty one Indonesian dishes during the promotion of the ‘Taste of Indonesia’ in Harrods London in 2010. Some of the favourites are Nasi Goreng, Sate Ayam Madura, Rendang, varieties of Tempe dishes, grilled large black tiger prawn (still available today at Bentley’s Sea Grill in Harrods).
Among the numerous luxuries of the table … coffee may be considered as one of the most valuable. It excites cheerfulness without intoxication; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it occasions…is never followed by sadness, languor or debility. – Benjamin Franklin –
Coffee has become one of the five highest traded commodities in the world. Currently Indonesia is the third largest producer of coffee in the world according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO). Indonesia’s 3,200-mile archipelago with over 16,000 islands, 120 active volcanoes, ample rainfall, fertile soil and ideal temperatures have led to the existence of a variety of coffees.
Specialty Arabica coffee is Indonesia’s most popularly exported product and has gained worldwide acknowledgment. This has positioned Indonesia as the second largest specialty Arabica exporter in the world, with 150,000 tons of export per year.
Indonesia is also one of the largest producers of Spices in the world and one of the incredibly successful spice traders. Known throughout the world as the “Spice Islands”, the Indonesian islands of Maluku contributed to the introduction of its native spices such as nutmeg/mace, cloves, pandan leaves, kluwek (pangium edule), galangal (laos) to name the few. Varieties of these spices, ingredients as well as seasoning can be found in some of these grocers/supermarkets in UK. (antob)