Sambel? It’s An Excellent Idea

Sambel? It’s An Excellent Idea

Tak dapat disangkal bahwa makanan adalah salah satu gerbang pengantar menuju apresiasi  dan pendalaman budaya. Bahkan, kerapkali, makanan berperan sebagai salah satu alasan sekaligus daya tarik utama untuk menjelajahi sebuah tempat. 

Seperti penuturan Brevan Sweeney. Sering “melakukan persinggahan” ke Indonesia lewat beberapa hidangan Indonesia yang dicicipinya, ia menceritakan kesan mula-mulanya “berjumpa” dengan Rendang, serta opininya terhadap makanan terlezat di dunia versi CNN tahun 2011 itu. 

I remembered being surprised that Rendang was mostly a meat dish. I was expecting Rendang to be a plate full of various things, similar to how Tumpeng describes a dish of dishes. I liked that the meat was full of flavour and soft, and I thought it would go well with vegetables with a mild flavour”.

Sedari dulu, Brevan memang penikmat spicy food. Ia mengaku tak pernah merasa sakit perut akibat kegemarannya tersebut. Maka tentu mudah saja baginya menyukai Sambel, salah satu permata kuliner Nusantara, yang dinobatkan pula oleh CNN sebagai peringkat satu dalam jajaran 40 Indonesian Foods We Can’t Live Without di bulan Februari 2016

Sambel yang pertama kali dicobanya adalah Sambel Roa. Sambel khas Manado, Sulawesi Utara. Sesudahnya, ia sama sekali tak keberatan menjajal berbagai Sambel yang ditawarkan padanya. 

“I am a huge fan of exploring new ideas and cultures which is why I like the huge variety of sambel dishes from Sambel Terasi to Sambel Mangga”.

Tidak terganggu dengan aroma Sambel Terasi?

“I am very surprised that Sambel Terasi has a reputation of having a poor smell, but maybe there are smellier variations of the Terasi recipe that I have not tried yet. The Terasi prepared by a friend of mine smells similar to vegetables or salad, which is quite nice. Perhaps the poor reputation of Terasi was earned while someone was cooking it, because then the steam from cooking chillis could irritate a person’s eyes or nose”, jawabnya.

Jadi what was your first impression when you tried Sambel for the first time?

“I think the first Sambel I tried was Sambel Roa. The variety I tried had a smell that reminded me of smoked salmon. A small amount of the Sambel was surprisingly spicy with a strong and pleasant flavour, so I liked that I could improve a plainly prepared dish while not feeling like I wasting too much of a rare ingredient”

Are there any ingredients from your home country that you want to try in Sambel?   

“Given that shallots, garlic and chilli are usually the main ingredients in Sambel, I would expect the Canadian ingredient to be savory instead of sweet. I think smoked salmon would work well, but I don’t think that would taste very different. Dried and powdered beef might be a good ingredient. I do not know if Sambel with Maple Syrup is a good idea, but if it sounds like a good idea to someone who knows many Sambel recipes, then I would be willing to try it”.

Lebih jauh, ia pun berharap bahwa orang-orang Indonesia yang tinggal di Canada bisa memadupadankan bahan-bahan lokal yang tersedia sehingga memperkaya komposisi dasar Sambel.

“I think another idea worth considering would be for people of Indonesian heritage living in Canada to try to recreate Sambel recipes using local ingredients”.

Bagi Brevan, Sambel adalah sebuah ide cemerlang. Segala jenis santapan terasa jauh lebih menyenangkan dengan Sambel. Terlebih  bila berdampingan dengan western food, semacam Sandwich atau Pasta. Makanan yang biasa-biasa saja dapat seketika hidup kembali. 

“I have always enjoyed experiencing something new, but when I was young my surroundings were very consistent. For me, adding spice to food is a great way of enjoying something old as if it were new again. It’s an excellent idea!.

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