Tag Archives: Indonesia

Final: Hawaii vs. Indonesia

Hawaiian and Indonesian cuisines have made strong cases for themselves in The World Cup of Food, and either would make a worthy opponent for Spain in the round of thirty-two. Just like every week, though, we have to say “aloha” to one and “aloha” to the other, though with opposite meanings.
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Indonesian Cuisine — Nasi Goreng: Indonesian Fried Rice

Indonesia is the world’s largest island chain and is its fourth most populated nation.  As a result, a lot of people are clustered in a lot of far-flung places scattered across many vast islands.  The food and culture, therefore, have developed more regionally than nationally.  Throughout their history, Indonesians have traded with China, India, Malaysia, and the Middle East, and later with the Portuguese and Spanish.  The Dutch colonized Indonesia for two centuries and held major influence for even longer before that.  During World War II the archipelago was occupied by the Japanese, and shortly after the war ended the Indonesians finally regained their independence.   Each island has been influenced by these cultures to a different degree and is really its own cuisine; many popular dishes in one location are virtually unknown in another.

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Indonesian Cuisine — Sate Pusut: Ground Beef Satay Skewers

In our experience Westerners are most familiar with satay, small portions of grilled meat on a stick, of all the culinary treats Indonesia offers.  Sadly, for most the experience goes only as far as the bags of pre-marinated, frozen chicken and beef satays available in unholy quantities at their local warehouse retailer and they likely remain unaware of the food’s exotic origin.  Slathered with some kind of included plastic-pouch-bound, sweetened, runny peanut butter masquerading as “peanut sauce,” these satays fall woefully short of their potential.

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