100 Best Street Food of Indonesia

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Author: Bondan Winarno
Publication date: 10/20/2014 12:00:00 AM
ISBN: 978-979-709-868-1
Edition: 1
As a foodie who’s tasted almost all of Indonesia’s traditional cuisines, I would attest that they belong in the category of dangerously delicious food. While we do have some extra spicy dishes that can cause upset stomachs, there’s just something extraordinary about them that can make us fall in love and, for a moment, forget any health consideration. Really, there is no such thing as Indonesian cuisine. Instead, what we have is a complex array of regional cuisines bound by the nation’s diversity. One nation, millions of flavors! Not only is our traditional culinary provincial, each one also displays a unique terroir (local character). Whoever said Minang food only comes in one genre? Rendang Payakumbuh has a different take from Rendang Kapau. Even Sate Padang comes in three versions: Padangpanjang, Pariaman and Danguang-danguang.

Toward the end of 2012, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu formally endowed Indonesian Traditional Culinary Icons, beginning with 30 dishes from all over the archipelago. The initiative aims to preserve the nation’s traditional culinary heritage as well as to raise awareness of our nation’s culinary culture. It also lays the ground for the promotion of Indonesian cuisine on the global stage.

Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). This old adage by the 14th century Majapahit Kingdom philosopher Mpu Tantular aptly describes Indonesia’s vast culinary diversity. This nation has been truly blessed with an enormous collection of traditional culinary dishes. Selecting only 100 was definitely no easy task. And so with teary eyes, I had to leave out many of my personal favorites from this catalog.

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