November 4th, 2011 by CrispRoot
Hey, all you CrispRooters out there… it’s time for another trek into the culture behind the CrispRoot story! The nice thing is, no passport is required for you journey, there are no TSA security checks, and you don’t even have to return your seats and tray tables to their original upright position… just sit back, read on, and enjoy.
Being as we’re a foodmaker – yes, Virginia, snacks are a food – it shouldn’t surprise you that this time around, we’re going to take a peek into Indonesian celebrations that heavily involve… food. Think of it as a cultural version of Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives – just without the diners, drive ins, or dives.
Engagements can last a looong time in Indonesia; in fact, several years is not uncommon. (hmmm… maybe Hollywood celebrities should pay attention to this?) So, once the wedding rolls around, it’s a BIG deal. You think guest lists are a hassle here? Try inviting anyone and everyone the bride and groom is even slightly acquainted with… it can number in the thousands. No, they don’t all go to the wedding itself – but to not go to the reception is considered rude. You have to wonder how the wedding planners keep the “you can’t seat them at the same table as THEM” issues straight.
Often times there can be an elaborate processional leading to the reception, consisting of a long chain of flowers, and a troupe of professional dancers performing traditional Indonesian dances. Once the newlywed couple arrives, speeches are made by representatives of each family – welcoming you, thanking you for your attendance, and apologizing in advance for anything that may not live up to your expectations. A reception line then forms, through which the newlyweds are expected to greet each guest – no matter how many – before the festivities truly begin. (and btw… dancing and drinking at an Indonesian wedding reception ? Not so much!)
As for food – well, it can be all over the map. Along with various rice dishes, you might see traditional items such as sate - small pieces of meat roasted on a skewer, semur – beef in a sweet soy sauce, or krupuk – a rather interesting kind of chip (ah, a chip maker finally gets to chips!). Krupuk are made from things like shrimp, various fish, or squid. The selected seafood is then mixed with a starch such as potato or cassava root, and then made into a chip.
A quick side note: while our CrispRoot chips have cassava root in common with krupuk, we’re not sure the American market it ready for fish-flavored chips just yet – so we’ll stick to Original, BBQ Bliss, Spicy Thai Ginger, and Sea Salt. (you’re welcome).
What else might you see? Believe it or not, fried chicken – which only goes to prove, there are few places in the world where you can escape seeing some form of chicken at a wedding reception.
Dessert, anyone? Well, for some odd reason, wedding cake seems popular at Indonesian weddings (go figure!)… though the bride and groom might want to be careful when trying to cut it. It seems that it is not uncommon for the wedding cake to consist of many small cakes which are made and plated behind the scenes. That big, fancy monster sitting out there attracting all that attention? Many times it’s a prop, with icing and decorations put over a cardboard base. (mmm… fiber!)
So there you have it, a semi-inclusive Cliff’s Notes version of one of the many different traditional Indonesian celebrations. Have you ever seen one in person? If so, please… feel free to share any stories or photos you have with your fellow CrispRooters!