Indonesia is not only famous for its breathtaking tourist places, but also for its tasty cuisines. With more than 17,000 islands and about 300 ethnic groups, Indonesian cuisine becomes one of the world’s most diverse and colorful cuisines. Each region has its own distinct food culture which consists of different local ingredients, therefore creating various tastes that will definitely give your taste buds a kick. If you are a foodie or simply craving to taste the delicacy of Indonesian foods, you should definitely try them! You can experience an Indonesian culinary adventure by going to various culinary events which showcase Indonesian traditional foods from many different regions in Indonesia.

Here are two culinary events in Indonesia which showcase traditional Indonesian foods:

1. Solo Indonesia Culinary Festival

Solo is located in Central Java and is widely known as City of Batik. This city is also known for its commitment to preserve Javanese culture. Solo Indonesia Culinary Festival (SICF) is a culinary event held annually by the city government of Solo which has been held three times since 2014. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness in preserving Indonesian cuisine, particularly from Solo and Central Java. It also provides opportunity for small culinary businesses to develop and promote their creations. In addition, by participating in this event, people will get to experience, understand, and appreciate their local food culture.

This year, the Solo Indonesia Culinary Festival was held for four days, from April 7th to April 10th 2016. Similar with the previous years, it took place in Fort Vastenburg, an 18th-century Dutch fort located in Gladak, Solo. There were many exciting activities that would keep you entertained, informed and also kept your stomach full. These activities include Festival Tengkleng, Food Bazaar, Culinary Demo, Indonesia Chef Competition Competition, Culinary Talkshow which include participants from all over Indonesia, Cooking class, and music performance. It opened 110 booths in which 40 percent were from small businesses, and 60 percent were from hotel, restaurant, and catering companies.

The foods that were served include Tengkleng, a traditional soup or curry from Solo which is made of lamb’s meat or beef and is cooked with spices; Nasi liwet or also known as Sego Liwet which is rice cooked in coconut milk with spices, Salam leaves, and lemongrass. Nasi Liwet is served with various side dishes such as boiled eggs (telur pindang), sliced omelet, shredded chicken, sliced tempeh, and vegetables; Sate Kere, in Indonesian “kere” means poor. Sate Kere was made for people who could not afford to buy Satay daging (Indonesian meat skewers) because the price of meat was expensive. Therefore they substituted the meat with tempeh which has been marinated with sugar. After that, they grilled the tempeh just like how they grilled the meat for satay. Sate kere is served with lontong, Indonesian compressed rice along with peanut sauce and chili. What’s even cooler is that the foods sold in this event were super affordable! So next year if you plan to visit Solo, don’t forget to come!

2. Festival Pesona Kuliner Nusantara/ the Archipelago Culinary Festival 2016

The Festival Pesona Kuliner Nusantara was held from April 14th to April 16th 2016 at the Mall Artha Gading, Jakarta. The theme of this festival was “The Archipelago’s Culinary Attractions as part of the Country’s Cultural Richness”. This festival showcased a wide variety of Indonesian foods from all across the archipelago. At least 65 booths which represented food culture from 24 provinces, 12 cities and regencies were present. Participants of this event are also quite diverse which include culinary communities, culinary associations, culinary schools, culinary industries and businesses. The aim of this event is not only to present the diverse and unique characteristics of Indonesian culinary, but also to preserve traditional Indonesian culinary in the midst of modern foods.

This festival is a heaven for Indonesian cuisine lovers. As much as 49 types of food from various regions in Indonesia were presented. They all had their unique and distinct characteristics that could increase your appetite. The delicious foods that were served include: Kerak Telor, Jakarta’s traditional dish which is made of rice cooked with egg and served with various toppings such as dried shrimp and fried shallots; Gudeg, Yogyakarta’s traditional dish which is made of young jackfruit stew. It is originally cooked in a clay pot for several hours. Its color is brown and it tastes sweet; Rendang, popular dish from West Sumatera, it is made of beef and slow cooked with coconut oil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and other spices. It is very rich in flavor as the ingredients really get absorbed into the meat. They also served traditional beverages such as Bir Pletok (Traditional beverage from Jakarta) and Bir Jawa (Traditional beverage from Java), although bir means beer, they are not alcoholic beverages, in fact they are homemade herbal drink. This festival is a great opportunity for people who Indonesian foods. In one place, you can get various Indonesian foods from all over archipelago. How great!



By Nishrin Azzely QOWAMUNA, ASEAN Correspondent from Indonesia