Philosophy of Indonesian Rendang Deconstructed at UN Tourism Forum


MAY 13, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesian rendang, beef simmered in coconut and spices, was the highlight of an international forum on gastronomic tourism in San Sebastian, Spain, earlier this week.

Culinary experts who took part in the UN World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, which commenced Monday (13/05), concluded with what they called the "Triangle Concept" of Indonesian gastronomy.

Vita Datau, chairman of the Indonesian Gastronomy Academy (AGI), said three elements underlined the concept: food, culture and history.

"Food and history are connected by spices. History and culture are connected by storytelling. Culture is connected to food by ritual or ceremony," Vita said.

Vita said rendang meets all the gastronomic elements of a great dish, from its cooking process, called marandang, to the philosophy behind each of its ingredient. Meat reflects prosperity, spices reflect enhancement, coconut milk functions as an integrator and red chili reflects good lessons.

Indonesia's Tourism Ministry has designated five regions in Indonesia as gastronomic tourism destinations: Bali, Bandung in West Java, Semarang and Solo in Central Java and Yogyakarta.