Indonesia, Culinary Heaven
Indonesia culinary is bestowed with a very unique profile and covers a wide spectrum. There is no other country in the world with such culinary resplendence. From Sabang to Merauke, from Talaud to Rote Island, Indonesian culinary is innumerable. Judging from its vast variety, it would be unfitting to claim any dish as purely Indonesian. True Indonesian culinary is marked by cuisines of Aceh, Melayu, Palembang, Java and dozens of other “originating cuisines”. Just as Indonesia recognizes a wide variey of local dialects, so too the originating cuisines lend a hand to its many derivatives. For instance, Pariaman cuisine is known to have different characters from Kotogadang cuisine, and nothing in commong with Kapau cuisine — even though they all belong to the genre of Minang cuisine.
The visionary Empu Tantular, a 14th century poet sage of Majapahit Empire, wrote the sacred phrase which then became Indonesian national motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. Unity in Diversity!
Whereas Bhinneka Tunggal Ika originated from the principle tenet of gotong royong (working together towards a common goal), Indonesian culinary stems from the traditional of communal eating. One dish for all. In the past, the Dutch discovered this principle and created the rijsttafel tradition. We now bring you closer to the onset of the tradition: Tumpeng Nusantara. With cone-shaped rice in the middle, Rendang Padang sits in state with Ayam Goreng Lengkuas from Bandung, Urap Sayuran from Yogyakarta and Sate Lilit from Bali. Tumpeng Nusantara is proof that elements Indonesian culinary can meet together beautifully in a state of harmony.
The 30 INDONESIAN TRADITIONAL CULINARY ICONS featured in this book is an important first step toward a thorough compilation of the richness and variety of Indonesian culinary. It is a duty we owe Motherland.
Bon appetit, my brothers and sisters! Enjoy the sumptuous taste of Indonesian culinary.