Food and Prejudice

February 10, 2009 at 9:07 am | Posted in iseng, kebudayaan | 26 Comments
Tags: , , ,

I am never an adventurous person – I am actually a no-man to the bone [don’t ask me to go to clubs or discotheques!]. Though I support progressive ideas to make our social, political and cultural spheres more spacious and comfortable to live in, I am very much conservative when it comes to food. I believe, with all my heart, that a good food is: One, anything my mother has been giving me since I was days old, and two, some dishes I usually have in Indonesian provinces [excluding East Java and Bali]. And I want them to stay as they are. Innovation is a great sin. No heretic noodle! Nationalism is perhaps obsolete and the world is, so they say, flat; but to me, Indonesian food is the most, if not the only, civilized food in the world [or at least Asia for I haven’t traveled around the world] which doesn’t do your tongue harm and everything is just perfect; not too sweet, not too salty, not too…errr…[pardon my limited English vocabulary on this issue, I am better at theology than culinary thing 😀 ]. Chinese and Indian cuisines? NO, thanks. I’d rather eat junk food. Long live Capitalism Burger King!

800px-song_dynasty_elegant_party

eating culture

THIS…is so wrong. This attitude is in some ways downright chauvinistic, xenophobic, exclusive and even backward! This is also perhaps a little bit racist as I like the white people’s dishes like Pizza Hut or Burger King better than other Asian food. But really, I just can’t help it. I always have this prejudice against any Asian food other than Indonesian, especially Chinese and Indian; that they taste really awful. Well, even the Malaysian food does not suit my taste! Oh, dear. Maybe they are “ in themselves” fairly delicious and, who knows, my mind has been deceiving me all this time, but still the aftertaste of Chinese/Indian food makes me nauseated. Is it the prejudice, or is it the food? But, as one commercial says, taste never lies! Being raised as a Muslim is perhaps one of the reasons why I hate Chinese food. My girlfriend never forgets to remind me: they cook the pork and all the food in the same wok! Oh, God, I can’t stand the smell of what I always presume to be pork in Chinese food stalls! As for Indian food? I don’t know if it is the way it is served or what, I came to an Indian food stall the other day and left the place after tasting what I ordered [it’s only a noodle; but it looked and tasted really repulsive!].

Is it really in your mind? If somebody served you dog shit and you were convinced it was chocolate, would it taste like chocolate? It wouldn’t! Of course, all food are equal. 😀 No food made by civilized people deserves to be called “dog shit”. It’s just that sometimes you have to say things as they are to you. I think we are all created equal. I have Chinese friends, Indian friends, Filipino friends, Australian friends, and even a Jewish friend. They are all nice people. I don’t have a single prejudice against them. I just feel bad for keeping saying to my Asian friends that I don’t like their food, and showing a little bid of disgust after trying their recommended menus. 😦

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  1. hmm..then u probably would never be hired for tv shows such as “maknyus” or etc (esp when you hv to travel around the world and try various foods and have to pretend they are all good..:P)
    anyway, I personally felt the same way, never find food that suit my tastes other than indonesian food, even malay one.
    But I much more opened to thai food, and chinese (of course halal one)
    Well, thai food IMO tastes more less the same as indonesian food, at least for me 😛
    But, when it comes to the instant noodle, nothing better than Indomie, or even mie sedap! XD

  2. Welcome to the club! Yes, I too find Malaysian and Indian food awful (this is of course subjective opinion). They don’t compare to Indonesian food, nasi Padang in particular. Light years away.
    .
    Malay food are odd for Indonesians; they’re kind of alike with ours, but with different twists and slightly alien flavourings. Not our cups of tea I suppose. It reminds you of badly cooked Indonesian recipes (it could be that Malaysians think of ours as badly cooked Malay cuisine, but the argument stands).
    .
    Indian cuisine is far worse. Don’t get me wrong, I spent my childhood eating curry porottas—but made by Indonesians. Everything is curry. Everything. Breads are served with curry. Rice, curried. Burgers, curry-esque. Once I stake everything on ordering french fries, and was at loss for words as they scatter curry powders on them. All curries. 😦 My last stand, Indomie (yes this is THE Indomie), was at last fallen to the enemies a couple of months ago as they added curry flavourings to them. Maybe to suit the taste of Indian delicacies connoisseurs better.
    .
    Of all these disasters, some things worth mentioning would be perhaps chicken rice and curry puffs. They’re bearable.
    .
    As for western junk foods, well, taste is not so much about heritage as it is about getting used to something, I suppose. And western food has been forced down our throats since childhood. So yeah.
    .
    Katartikmaap™, just thought I’d get off my chest. 😛

  3. *setel channel AFC*

  4. Rasa makanan di Singapura emang aneh, mau Indian kek, mau Chinese kek, mau Indonesia kek, mau Korea kek, apalagi modal makannya cuma murah meriah di foodcourt, kadal banget. Mending rebus mie instan di rumah aja.

  5. @geddoe :

    Breads are served with curry. Rice, curried. Burgers, curry-esque.

    What kind of burger that serves with curry? Sounds awful to me 😕
    Anw, I once had roommates both from india and yaman. And I never understand their daily meal, they have to eat curry every single day. They couldnt stand eating without curry,even though if that means they have to cook (cooking is ilegal in my dorm), and I have to say, the worst thing about curry is its smell when it is being cooked. I wonder if my roommates are actually trying to poisoning me. Anyway, It makes me sick of curry and i never touch it ever since, even just for canai.
    Btw, try to find indomie in chow kit, they have the real indomie, though I feel the taste is kinda different, but not too much compare to malaysian-production one. 😀

  6. @grace

    hmm..then u probably would never be hired for tv shows such as “maknyus” or etc (esp when you hv to travel around the world and try various foods and have to pretend they are all good.. 😛 )

    I don’t mind, really. 😀

    Well, thai food IMO tastes more less the same as indonesian food, at least for me

    Really? I was in Bangkok two years ago and I didn’t find “decent” food. I encountered street vendors selling meat which I could not help guessing it was not beef or lamb or chicken. It’s something else, which at the time I didn’t want to know. But there’s a Thai restaurant next to my apartment, I think I should try it. Or I shouldn’t? 😕 *ICan’tSpendMyStipendToPayForMealsIDon’tEat*
    .
    @geddoe

    Yes, I too find Malaysian and Indian food awful (this is of course subjective opinion).

    Oh, this is not unique then. Thx God. I thought I was being…you know.

    they’re kind of alike with ours, but with different twists and slightly alien flavourings.

    How do you describe those alien flavorings? It’s hard for me to describe it to people who want to know why I don’t like it. Btw, you’ve been living quite long in Malaysia. Do you cook for yourself? I’m going to KL this weekend and I’m not going to try the food.
    .
    @frozen
    .
    AFC? Arsenal Football Club?
    .
    @illuminationis
    .

    Mending rebus mie instan di rumah aja.

    .
    I just did! Baru aja. Tadi di Chinatown saya beli nasi kari ayam dan orange jus. Nggak saya makan. Cuma saya cobain aja. It’s too repulsive. I wanted to throw up!

  7. @ gentole

    How do you describe those alien flavorings?

    It’s hard for casual food-swallowers, isn’t it. It’s just that, how to say it, they always look vaguely similar to some Indonesian cuisine, but taste different enough to make you feel something’s wrong. Maybe that. There’s this semur-like thing and of course you instinctively expect semur, but then you go; “kok tawar bener, pedesnya aneh lagi 😐 ”

    Do you cook for yourself?

    I don’t. Luckily there’s always an Indonesian food joint nearby me. Been living in like four different apartments and there’s always one. When it’s closed, well, bad food day.

    AFC?

    That I believe is the famed Asian Food Channel.

  8. nasi kari ayam

    Bad, bad decision.

  9. Dan BTW, bukannya mi instan di negeri jiran juga sama-sama ga pas di lidah orang Indo?

  10. @geddoe
    .
    Ada, Indofood namanya. Gak jauh2 amat ama indomie yang sangat Indonesia itu. Standarlah; ada bumbu, minyak, kecap, saus. Lumayanah. Tapi makanan begini enggak sehat.

  11. I was in Bangkok two years ago and I didn’t find “decent” food. I encountered street vendors selling meat which I could not help guessing it was not beef or lamb or chicken

    Ah, my bad.. waktu saya nyebut thai foods, saya refer nya ke thai-halal-food..biasanya adanya di daerah pattani, atau daerah2 thai dimana muslim bukan minoritas..gatau juga sih itu termasuk makanan thailand atau bukan, tapi biasanya nemunya di restoran thai sih 😛
    saya rekomendasikan tomyam, nasi goreng pattaya, kwetiaow kungfu atau kwetiaow ladna 😀

    I’m going to KL this weekend and I’m not going to try the food.

    Makan nasi padang aja kalu begitu.. It’s relatively easy to find them here anyway 🙂
    Ato kalo segitu desperatenya ga bisa makan apa2, tanya mahasiswa2 indonesia disini, boong banget kalo sampai mereka ga tau restoran indonesia favorit mereka dimana..
    Even I myself have my own favourite “warung” 😛

    @geddoe :
    Lha iya, tapi yang di jual di chow kit itu mendingan rasanya, ga separah yang produksi malaysia punya. Meskipun gatau juga sih itu beneran Indomie dari indo atau mereka bikin sendiri,. you know chow kit.. 🙄

  12. ^
    ah maap, itu komennya geddoe soal mie instan buat mas gentole ya?:oops:
    Maap salah kira… m(_ _)m

  13. @grace

    saya rekomendasikan tomyam, nasi goreng pattaya, kwetiaow kungfu atau kwetiaow ladna

    Ah, mari kita lihat nanti ada gak di menunya. Kalo enak mungkin bisa sepekan sekali saya makan makanan Thailand. 😀

  14. *too lazy to get login*
    Chinese food is fine, I like Peking Duck. While for Japanese food, well, I only able to eat sushi and yakiniku. I dislike those soba thing. Korean? Well, actually I love sour but I can’t stand for kimchi, sorry.

    I dislike Indian food (never tried Malay) since it has too much spices. I prefer food that has spice but never too much like Italian. I heard English food is so plain, too bad since I planned to study there.

  15. *turun gunung*
    .
    I beg to differ, Mam and Sir. I admit that Indonesian foods are no 1 on Earth, but Malay and Indian dishes are also delicious and lovely. I can go to many different food stalls and enjoy them. As for Chinese food, few of them are tasty, some of them are OK, and the rest is…well…I don’t want to eat pig organs, too gruesome :mrgreen:
    .
    The instant noodles, however, don’t subjectively taste well, even the Indomie Goreng. I only find 1 flavour under 1 brand other than Indomie that tastes well. That’s why I asked my friend to bring me authentic Indomie Rebus when he came back to Indonesia. I don’t know where I can find it in my neighbourhood.
    .
    To conclude:
    1) Indonesian dishes are unmatched.
    2) I am a quite easy person when it comes to ingestion. *diguyur kare*
    .
    I love curry! I almost always ask for curry if available.
    .
    *naik gunung lagi, masih bau kare*

  16. @nenda
    .
    You eat sushi? I don’t consider it as food. 😀 Speaking of foreign cuisines we find in Indonesia, are their tastes authentic? I mean, nasi padang, for instance, I love Jakarta’s nasi padang more than Padang’s nasi padang. This is the irony. Indonesian cuisine is not fully Indonesian. Like its religions, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism etc, we imported those food (most likely from China and India!) and made some changes here and there.
    .
    @lambrtz
    .
    No, no curry!
    .
    Btw, Indonesian Panggang is not bad.
    .
    *kantinnyabagusandisitu*

  17. So, do you consider sushi as what? Snack? Well, I can eat like 18 pieces (3 set) Sushi to make my stomach full and satisfied. I don’t eat often, though. The price is just too heavy for my pocket and those mercury thing issue.

    Talking about nasi padang, well better ask Difo. He is an expert in original Padang cuisine. I don’t think those Padang food that I’ve bought nearby is the original one. Forget about Natrabu/Sederhana/or Sari Ratu. Their prices is just too much.

    I grew up by eating Sundanese food but I dislike freshwater fish like Ikan mas. I hate it until I beg my Mom to not eat it when she cook it.

    Indonesia is a good food and culture imitator. Except those shitnetron thing, though.

  18. @nenda

    So, do you consider sushi as what? Snack?

    Anything, but food. 😀 Joking. I just don’t like sushi. I never bought sushi. As a journalist, I just had a few chances to taste sushi for free. 😀 Sundanese cuisine is superb!

  19. Sudah pernah nyobain masakan Banjar Om?

  20. kalo di Thailand, yang aman makan somtam (papaya salad), rasa pepayanya beda sama versi Indo. Kalo yg bikin top rasanya sedappp! Pedesnya duile lebih sadis dari makanan Indo. Sampe diare pun saya ga kapok buat cari lagi. Ada varian dimakan pake yuyu, digigit-gigit terus dilepeh (bukan tempat makan ideal buat yg sedang pdkt hahaha). Bikin kangen!
    .
    Di sini ada tempat makan India enak, yg masak orang Bangladesh, tapi ga bisa makan tiap hari, bumbunya di perut bikin panas :mrgreen:

  21. Omong-omong soal masakan India, jadi ingat cerita dosen saya dulu, tapi ah, baiknya jadi postingan sendiri aja ah… 😈

  22. @amed
    .
    Belum, sayangnya. 😦 Saya belum pernah ke pulau yang bentuknya kayak ayam itu! Sedihnya. Well, kalo ada kesempatan saya harap masakan Banjar tidak mengecewakan.
    .
    @illuminationis
    .
    Makanannya kayak ekstrim gitu. 😕
    .
    @amed lagi
    .
    Ah silahkan. Mohon trackbacknya. 😀

  23. @gentole
    Ada orang yang mengalami blok ketika ketemu orang baru dikenal. Ada yang ketika memulai tulisan baru. Ada yang ketika masuk ke tempat asing.
    Selama belum gabung ke tabloid wisatakuliner, ga papa punya lidah kuper. 😛

    *Beruntunglah yang kalo punya ibu galak: “Tinggal makan aja apa susahnya!” Lalu makanlah si anak. Pura-pura doyan. Lama-lama apapun doyan beneran :mrgreen:*

  24. […] for instance, I love Jakarta’s nasi padang more than Padang’s nasi padang.

    Sejauh itu jaraknya? Ada hampir dua lusin rumah makan Padang di kota saya dan rasanya beda semua. Cuma tiga tempat yang rasanya pas dengan lidah saya. 😛

  25. […] Februari, 2009 Ahaha, gara-gara Mas Gentole menyinggung soal masakan India di postingannya, saya jadi teringat kembali sebuah cerita lama kala saya kuliah di sebuah kampus yang katanya butut […]

  26. kalo lagi bingung dan duit mepet mending cari rumah makan padang sederhana aja 😛


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