Indonesia’s Living Legacy
March 23, 2013
at Sari Organik, Ubud
The white rice sold in most of our markets in Bali is a recent hybrid variety, but a wide variety of rice has been grown around the Indonesian archipelago for thousands of years.
Slow Food Bali was honored that Helia Hilman, founder of Javara (javara.co.id), was the main presenter at this event, and told us the tale of Indonesia’s many original rice varieties, now rare, and her work in helping to preserve them. This was a special opportunity to learn about the world’s most important staple, its rich history and the struggle to prevent the extinction of many unique varieties.
Heli led us in a tasting of various rice varieties, and we learned to discern differences in flavour, texture, and aroma of heritage rices from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bali and Papua. We talked about how different cooking techniques influence flavor.
A wonderful write-up of the day can be found on Ubud Now and Then. An excerpt:
“ Slow Food Bali hosted a heritage rice-tasting event at Sari Organik to showcase the widely diverse variety of Indonesian rices, most of which are completely unknown to the average consumer. Ten rare rice varieties were laid out in small numbered heaps on banana leaf-lined plates: browns, reds, purples and blacks, with a notable absence of white. Some were grown only a matter of metros away; others were from Papua, Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.”
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