Rendang: the World's Delicious Food


Rendang, West Sumatra, Indonesia


Have you heard of Rendang? A delicious meat cooked in caramelized coconut milk for hours (sometimes days) with numerous aromatic spices that well blend together creating this gastronomical perfection that is so rich and unique.


Are you hungry yet?


You are in luck. You can enjoy this delicious dish while visiting Mitra Ayu Factory and Plantation in Padang. Also, as a bonus, after the visit you can hop on a boat to Mentawai Island and surf at one of the Best Surf Spots in the World.


Now back to Rendang. The popularity of Rendang sharply increased globally after CNN Go released a poll titled "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods" in 2011 and crowned Rendang as the Best Food in the World. This dark colored meat stole the world's attention again in 2017. Based on more than 35,000 votes on social media, out of 50 delicious foods in the world, Rendang won the first place again as the World's Most Delicious Food [1], [2].


Nowadays, there are many new food inspired from the Rendang dish and many popular fast-food restaurants adapting Rendang in their menu [3][4][5][6]. The luscious flavor taste is associated by the raw ingredients and seasonings of Rendang such as beef, coconut milk, chili, kaffir lime, and garlic [7]. Other ingredients increasing wonderful and comforting flavors are nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove [8].


History of Rendang is influenced by geographical, social, and cultural factors. The geographical setting in Malacca strait strategically bringing many social influences. The social assimilations from India and Islamic beliefs gives huge impact into the raw material and spices. Preservation technique acculturated from Portuguese culture (Bafado, known as Balado in Indonesia) blend harmoniously with the personality of Minangkabau people who like to travel and bring their food along with them [9][10].


Culturally, Rendang cooking is the highest hierarchy preserved only for special events, such as wedding and other important traditional events. Cooking Rendang requires a long period of time which represents the importance of patience, wisdom, and persistence [10]. According to Tanjung, Manugeren, Purwarno [11], there are four meanings from the ingredients used in cooking Rendang:

1. Meat: it symbolizes maternal uncle (Niniak Mamak) and biological mother (Bundo Kanduang) who provide prosperity and lead the the tribe.

2. Coconut Milk: it symbolizes the intellectual group (Cadiak Pandai).

3. Chilli: according to Islamic beliefs, it symbolizes Ulama that gives Sharia (hotness from chilli).

4. Spice Mixture: the many spices used in the dish symbolizes that each individual plays a unique and important role in the society.


Now, what are you waiting for? It is time to book your ticket and try the World's Delicious Food: Rendang.


[1] https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/world-best-foods-readers-choice/index.html

[2] https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/world-best-food-dishes/index.html

[3] https://mcdonalds.co.id/promo/ini-rasa-kita-2

[4] https://www.burgerking.com.sg/Menu/Item/%2076

[5] https://www.malaysianfoodie.com/2014/06/new-rendang-deluxe-wendys.html#.YkV-kVVBzcs

[6] https://www.dominos.co.id/online-order/pizza/speciality/beef-rendang-pizza

[7] factsofindonesia.com/history-of-indonesian-rendang

[8] flavorandfriends.com/recipe/beef-rendang/

[9] https://journalofethnicfoods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42779-020-00065-1

[10] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352618117301270

[11] https://aicll.sastra.uisu.ac.id/index.php/aicll/article/view/81

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