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When our colleague Iñigo Béjar travels around the world – and often does – work does not prevent him from enjoying the local gastronomy. His gaze is on the open person to know more about the diversity of other people, countries and cultures. As a good Basque, gastronomy always draws it attention and desires of exploration. And the food reveals many clues of its people: from the climate, the geostrategic situation, the traditions and the priorities or available resources.
In one of his recent trips to Indonesia Iñigo was able to enjoy the local gastronomy. As diverse as each of the 6,000 inhabited islands that make up the country.
Gastronomy of Indonesia: a great variety
From street food stalls to warung or quiet restaurants, tempting places with food offerings happen at any hour in Indonesia. You can taste appetizers like Emping, Lemper, Otak-otak to the most elaborate Nasi Campur (rice combined with chicken, vegetable tempe and tortilla); Celebration Nasi Kuning (basmati rice stained with turmeric), which represents wealth and dignity; the Lumpia (a kind of spring roll with stuffing of meat, vegetables and soy noodles), Kari Ayan (chicken stew, with vegetables, curry sauce and coconut milk with white rice or Bakmi Goreng (fried chicken with vegetables, omelet and prawns).
In addition, tropical fruits such as rambutan or mangosteen are abundant in their markets, not to mention bananas or coconuts.
Indeed, Indonesian cuisine reflects the wide variety of its people and the culinary influences of many sources, due to the location of the country in a nucleus of commercial network for many centuries, propitiated by both location and natural resources. Experts detect influences from the cuisine of India, the Middle East and China, but also from Europe. It is also said that the ancient Spanish and Portuguese merchants visited these islands in search of the precious spices.
With its almost 20 restaurants with Michelin stars, the Basque Country is also one of the best destinations in the world to eat well. Guide of Basque Michelin stars restaurants. Perhaps that’s why local people presume that “the innovation and excellence of their companies go to high cuisine.”
The passion for fine dining in Bilbao – more known so far by the Guggenheim Museum – surely something will have had something to do with being chosen as host in 2018 of the event The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, so it will host the next Year award ceremony for the 50 best restaurants in the world. But Basque gastronomy also has room for another type of cuisine simpler and yet tasty. Bilbao and San Sebastián are famous for the high concentration of excellent restaurants and for the good pintxos bars (small snacks that are eaten standing and informally).