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Is Rijstaffel Javanese ? Bali ?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 anil

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Posted 29 March 2003 - 08:49 PM

Never heard of rijstaffel in any of the major Indonesian Islands. However, in Netherlands rijstaffel is associated with Indonesian restaurants. It is not known in the pre-dominantly Hindu, Bali or in Java ? Even the Indonesian Consulate in NYC cannot say for sure.

If it was foo that Dutch colonists ate in these islands and took it with them to Netherlands, then is Dutch ? :cool:
anil

#2 Pan

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Posted 29 March 2003 - 10:36 PM

I'd make an analogy to things Anglo-Indian and call this Indo-Dutch or something. I didn't notice rijstaffel for sale in restaurants in any areas of Sumatra, Java, or Bali I visited in the 70s. I think you're correct: It's something Dutch colonists brought back from the East Indies. Or, to be more accurate, their cooks brought it back!

#3 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 09:37 AM

But isn't it just an Indonesian smorgasboard? The dishes aren't Dutch, it's the concept of serving them at the same time that is Dutch isn't it? Or is it typical for restaurants in Indonesia to serve a huge buffet of all of the dishes.

#4 Sandra Levine

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 09:45 AM

I remember reading that originally, each dish was carried out individually by a servant, providing a perfect opportunity to display one's wealth, derived from colonial ventures.

#5 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 10:01 AM

Now there's a plausible theory.

#6 rozrapp

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Posted 30 March 2003 - 02:17 PM

Here's some background info:

The Rise & Fall of Indonesia's Rice Table

#7 Pan

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Posted 31 March 2003 - 02:40 AM

Thanks for that interesting link.

One bit of evidence that the rice table is not really Indonesian is that I have never heard of any term for it other than the Dutch rijstaffel (and the English translation, but that's not common). Anyone ever heard of meja nasi? I didn't think so.

#8 tissue

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 09:11 AM

There was an article in Saveur months ago about the cuisine in Sumatra that risjtefl is based on.

#9 Pan

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Posted 03 April 2003 - 11:57 PM

Nasi Padang, in part? Just a wild guess. Nasi Padang comes from the Minangkabau country. Many Minangkabau left for what was then Malaya in the late 19th/early 20th centuries and they form a plurality of the population of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan. Nasi Padang was very popular in Malaysia in the 1970s, and I assume (unless someone tells me otherwise) that it still is.