For the first six months of 2012, my wanderlust has brought me to six countries as well as some destinations in Indonesia. New interesting stories, unforgettable experiences, memorable photographs, new friends, funny-tasting local delicacies and beautiful memories have enriched me in a way only traveling can do. But there are times when going home is anything but less interesting. To me that happened last month when I went back to Semarang in Central Java, the city where I was born.
More than one year ago, I wrote a brief history of Semarang and some of its unique places in this blog. However, last month I decided to plunge myself into the city’s rich culinary heritage more scrupulously than ever, trying to identify the familiar yet exotic spices in every dish. The results? Five days of bloated stomach but satisfied taste buds.
Semarang’s culinary is noted for its diffusion of Javanese and Chinese cuisines. Dishes like lumpia (spring rolls stuffed with bamboo shoots and eggs), soto semarang (soup with rich concoction of various tropical spices which comes with skewered quail eggs and clams), tahu petis (fried tofu stuffed with sweet shrimp paste) and tahu pong (fried tofu and egg served with shrimp gravy, chopped green chili and turnip) are some of Semarang’s most famous delicacies which make enough reason for some people to pack their bags and go all the way to this hot and humid city.
The following are only a few of wide selections of local dishes, with the exception of the smoked ray served with burning red chili on a mortar and kolak stup (a stew of banana with a hint of cinnamon) which were made by my mother. Enjoy (the pictures)!