As they say, “chart the country’s cuisine and one can chart its history”, this is very true for Indonesia being the world’s fifth biggest country inhabited by two-hundred-fifty ethnic groups; the marvelous ethnic diversity paired with its “wave upon wave” cultural influence, has made the world of Indonesia food a pleasurable arena for culinary adventurers.
The native techniques of Indonesia food cooking and ingredients merged with influences of China, India, the Middle East, and Europe, as well as the products of the New World brought by the Portuguese and Spaniards even before the island was colonized by the Dutch, has transformed its cuisines into a haven for the palate.
The central and western Indonesia food, particularly their main meal, is normally cooked late during the morning, and eaten around midday; unlike the usual meal time hours, a lot of Indonesian families don’t have a set meal time in which every family member are expected to be present, and so the majority of their dishes are cooked in such a way that it can last and still be suitable for eating even if left for hours at room temperature. These same foods are then re-heated for their final evening meal.
The staple diet of Indonesia food is nasi or rice, which is substituted with corn, cassava, sweet potato, and sago in some parts of the island. The spices of Indonesia food make its native cuisine exceptional; although almost all types of international cooking can also be found in Jakarta, the most famous being French, Korean, Japanese, and Italian.
Visitors should always keep in mind that Indonesia food is always highly spiced fitted to the taste of Indonesians. So look out for small, fiery hot green and red peppers on your food, including vegetable and salad dishes. One of the most excellent Indonesia foods is that of seafood which are highly featured on menus, including lobsters, prawns, oysters, squid, shrimps, crabs, salt and freshwater fish, and shark.
Coconut is a favorite ingredient for cooking; vegetables and fresh fruits like papaya, bananas, oranges and pineapple which are obtainable all through the year are also Indonesian favorites. Tourists who are visiting Indonesia for the first time should try out their national specialties such as Nasi uduk, rasirames, campur (rice dishes), Rijstafel (Dutch mixture of various fish, meats, curries, and vegetables), and Soto (soup dish with chicken, vegetables, and dumpling), to truly savor the real Indonesia food cooking.
Visitors “eating” their way through Indonesia have found it to be an enjoyable way to really appreciate the countries cultural crossroads, not to mention making them ache for one more “bite”.
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