Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mi Bakso - Pork balls in Indonesia

Mi Bakso stall spotted everywhere .. including this one at the Port of Bitung. I didn't dare savour this particular's vendor's pork balls though, that was left to be savoured at the airport before we left :-)

One of the foods with Chinese culinary overtones is bakso, which literally means pork ball in some Chinese dialects. Originating from northern China the pork meatball came rolling down into Southeast Asia and set foot in Indonesia some 20 years ago.

It was the younger set, like teenagers coming out of school and waiting for a bus who would stop at the mi bakso (noodles and bakso) vendor who would park his cart strategically near the school entrance. Being hungry they seldom ate only one bowl but a second bowl followed whilst chatting with their friends. And from that teenager habit came a new socially accepted term nge-bakso meaning chatting or dating whilst savoring bakso.

When bakso first appeared here, it was considered a food for those who could not afford to spend much money, but bakso slowly stepped up the culinary and social ladder because its aficionados were not only schoolchildren, but their parents too. Some of them even set up bakso factories and produce bakso in great quantities. And even on the wedding buffets of the upper social class in larger cities, bakso is a popular dish.

But the best propaganda for bakso was when during the election some years ago, the President served his guests mi bakso, saying that it is one of his favorite foods.


CUMI & CIKI said...

why u dare not eat..? eat la.. :P

Julian Si said...

The flies... the flies... Eeeep!

Didn't want cerit-berit in my Air Asia flight home :-)

bayu said...

isn't that becomes more vitamin, if the flies jumps into the kuah bakso..?