The author of 'Jejak Rasa Nusantara: Sejarah Makanan Indonesia,' Fadly Rahman at his book launch in Kedai Tjikini, Central Jakarta, on Saturday (17/12). (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

Author Digs Deep Into Indonesian Culinary History


DECEMBER 19, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesian writer and historian Fadly Rahman tells the history of Indonesian cuisine in his new book "Jejak Rasa Nusantara: Sejarah Makanan Indonesia" (Traces of Spice: the Culinary History of Indonesia), which was launched at Kedai Tjikini in Central Jakarta on Saturday (17/12).

The book follows culinary history since ancient times to colonial times that has influenced the taste of Indonesian cuisine.

Fadly said he wrote the book to help people understand the historical elements that contribute to the development of Indonesian food.

"The history of Indonesian food, even with all the diverse and unique tastes, cannot be separated from global influences," he said.

Chinese, Indian, Arab and European flavors started to influence the evolution of food in Indonesia in the 18th century.

Fadly said these foreign influences have also changed the role of traditional food in society.

"Culinary tourism and the rise of the instant food industry in Indonesia have caused more people to move toward processed and packaged foods."

The food historian hopes the book can inspire people, especially the younger generations, to preserve traditional Indonesian food.

"Food occupies an important place in every country," he said. "It defines our identity."

Jejak Rasa Nusantara is Fadly’s second book after "Rijsttafel" (Rice Table), released in 2014.