Indonesia Gastrodiplomacy Series: Indonesian Cuisine Entices the Palates of Foreign Missions

By : M. Amru | Sunday, December 03 2023 - 20:15 IWST

Indonesia Gastrodiplomacy Series: Indonesian Cuisine Entices the Palates of Foreign Missions
Indonesia Gastrodiplomacy Series: Indonesian Cuisine Entices the Palates of Foreign Missions - Jakarta, Indonesia - The perfect combination of Javanese spices such as turmeric, lemongrass, ginger and bay leaves makes Garang Asem so special. Apart from the combination of Garang (spicy) and Asem (sour) flavors that hits the palate so well, the banana leaf used to wrap the chicken is also very unique, and was considered very authentic by participants in the Indonesian Gastrodiplomacy Series: Diplomatic Gathering and Cooking with Women Ambassadors and Heads of Mission, which was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday (2/12).

In addition to adding a fresh and savory taste, the banana leaf wrapping technique must be done correctly, so that the Garang Asem doesn't leak. The wrapping part apparently captivated the attention of the participants. This was directly expressed by H.E. Ms. Nikki Penelope Williams, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia. “This is very unique and interesting. "I am very happy to be able to learn and practice this method directly," said the Australian Ambassador who is often called Ambassador Penny Williams.

In the first Indonesian Gastrodiplomacy Series, Ambassadors and Heads of Foreign Missions were also taught how to make the herbal drink Turmeric Asem. Participants were also provided with a booklet regarding types and variations of herbs and spices from various regions in Indonesia such as turmeric, nutmeg, candlenut, lemongrass, starfruit, Javanese sugar, etc.

The Indonesia Gastrodiplomacy Series was held as part of the Indonesia Spice Up The World campaign, which is the Government's priority program to introduce Indonesian herbs and spices to the world.

Regarding this, the Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Siti Nugraha "Nining" Mauludiah, said that this program is not just about learning to cook but is an invitation to start a journey of culinary exploration. Through the culinary lens, this program is aimed at arousing the international community's curiosity about the origins of Indonesian spices and inspiring them to follow the "spice trail" to various corners of the archipelago.

By collaborating with Ramu Rasa Cooking Studio led by Mrs. Santhi Serad, a lover and expert of Indonesian cuisine, this program invites the enthusiasm of women Heads of Foreign Missions  in Jakarta.

At the end of the activity, guests were served a traditional Indonesian lunch. The typical East Javanese Soto Lamongan and Rawon served were favorites of the invited guests. Throughout the program, the participants appeared very enthusiastic because apart from gaining Indonesian culinary cooking skills, they also gained knowledge about the richness of Indonesian spices. Many of them expressed their appreciation for this gastrodiplomacy activity and hopes to be able to take part in the next series of programs.

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