JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) — There are many ways of celebrating the Independence Day. For some Jakartans, tasting traditional food is an option.
Two malls in Jakarta are celebrating the upcoming 74th anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day, which falls on Aug. 17, by hosting traditional culinary festivals aimed at introducing legendary local foods to millennials.
First, there is the Pesta Kuliner Jogja, Solo dan Semarang (Joglosemar Culinary Party) at the Pondok Indah Mall in South Jakarta from Aug. 7 to 18. This festival features 40 food stands serving different traditional cuisines from the cities of Yogyakarta, Semarang and Surakarta, also known as Solo.
The Joglosemar food stands are available throughout Pondok Indah Mall’s North Skywalk, located on the second floor. The stands exude tantalizing and flavorsome aromas inside the skywalk to attract hungry customers, who can freely choose the cuisines they want to savor along the way.
One of the legendary cuisines available in the Skywalk is the gudeg — a traditional staple food from Yogyakarta consisting of unripe jackfruit, usually served with beef skin, hard-boiled egg, tofu, tempeh, chicken, and areh (coconut milk) — from a legendary vendor known as Gudeg Bu Djuminten.
Operating since 1927, Gudeg Bu Djuminten is one of the most popular gudeg vendors in Yogyakarta aside from Gudeg Yu Djum. The difference between these two vendors is the type of gudeg they serve.
“There are two types of gudeg — the dry one and the wet one. Gudeg Yu Djum serves the dry one, which is cooked using the remaining pulp of the coconut but without the areh. We serve wet gudeg that uses the areh,” explains Herdinda Arum, who happens to be Bu Djuminten’s great-granddaughter and is continuing the family’s culinary business.
Herdinda said that members of the younger generations should also participate in conserving Indonesian cuisines and hoped they would come to the festival.
“For me, it [the festival] is a positive event to introduce people to our cuisine and I hope that everyone can participate as well. Not just us, but also others of the young generations.”
Similar to Herdinda, Ningsih from Yogyakarta is also continuing his grandmother’s culinary business.
Ningsih’s culinary staple is known as jenang gempol (porridge) and her family has been selling it at the Lempuyangan market in Yogyakarta since the 1940s.
“The jenang gempol can be made from ketan [sticky rice] and rice flour, with melted brown sugar and coconut milk as the condiment,” Ninggsih explained about her food.
Ningsih sees the festival as a chance for her to introduce jenang gempol to people from outside of Yogyakarta because as far as she knows, the traditional porridge is only available at her local market.
By Audrie Safira Maulana