Eating like an Indonesian 2: some annoying foreigners

Two, to be exact. Foreigner A, a person of Indonesian descent, and foreigner B, an expat. As usual with morons, I encountered them online.

Foreigner A said the taste of Indonesian foods was not balanced.

It is vague criticism. What does ‘balanced’ taste mean? I asked her and none of her words made any sense.

Instead of giving me detailed explanations, she preferred to mention her favourite cuisines: Italian and Thai. She also said the only Indonesian dishes she could enjoy were the Acehnese and Chinese-Indonesian (non-Peranakan) ones. Why? Because they reminded her of Indian and Southern Chinese foods, respectively… even though the former may be described as ‘imbalanced’ by people who cannot stand spices.

Well, she said she could enjoy any Indonesian dishes… as long as they were made in New York. Why? She simply said they were more ‘balanced’. That B word again.

Eventually, she admitted the foods we love are the ones we grew up with.

For fucking fuck’s sake!

She could have said that from the very beginning. But, no! She had to regurgitate vague words in order to sound fucking intelligent! It is even more infuriating that she tried using her Indonesian ancestry to justify her pseudo-intellectualism, even though it was obvious she had no emotional attachments to it!

I admit that I can be guilty of pseudo-intellectualism. But, my God, when talking about foods, I never try to sound more intelligent than I really am.

Foreigner B criticised Indonesian foods for their poor nutritional values.

So far, that’s a valid criticism. We are indeed too dependent on palm oil and refined carbs. We don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables.

Then, everything quickly went downhill.

Without any sense of irony, he actually credited western cuisines for improving the diet of my people. How? By introducing us to salads!

There are layers to unpack here… and every single one reeks of ungodly stupidity.

For one, the high fat and meat content is the reason why western diet is so popular globally. If salads are the main fixture of western diet, nobody would give a fuck about it.. and nobody would blame it for causing global obesity pandemic!

Even the salads are not entirely healthy. Yes, vinaigrette is relatively healthy dressing. But, NOT all salad dressing is vinaigrette. You cannot expect me to believe that dairy and mayo-based dressing is also healthy.

But, if we are going to delusionally pretend all salads are healthy (they are not), then we should also consider Indonesian cuisines as healthy. Why? Because Indonesians also have our own salads.

If we define salads as dishes consisting of vegetable and dressings, then gado-gado, ketoprak, pecel and karedok certainly count as ones. If we tweak the definition a bit, we certainly can include urap, lawar, kuluban, plecing kangkung and lalap as well.

If anything, it is relatively easy to turn our cuisines to become healthier. We use lots of spices and fermented soy products. Therefore, we can enhance flavours without the help of meat and oil and we certainly can hide the unpleasant taste of whole-grain rice.

Compare that to the more spice-deprived western cuisines. They are very dependent on grease, meat and processed dairy products to enhance the flavours. It is a lot harder to make the dishes healthier.

For someone who claimed to have spent time living here, Foreigner B did not seem to know much about our cuisines.

Or maybe he did. But, his lens was still clouded with western-centrism. He left his bubble NOT because he wanted to burst it, but because he wanted to affirm its superiority.

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Author: The Stammering Dunce

I write blogs. I love to act smarter than I really am and I pretend that my opinions are of any significance. Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=9674796

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