Enak: Quiet and Full Attention

“Introduction: the islands, the spirit, the flavours”

Quietness when eating is something I’ve noticed across Indonesia. Even when eating together, conversation often pauses so you can focus on the food. On days without ceremony, members of a family will help themselves at a point they feel hungary rather than at set mealtimes. Food is cooked freshly each morning and left out at room temperature, under woven baskets. It is quite usual for people to eat alone sitting in a quiet corner, so they can appreciate every mouthful without the distraction of conversation.

Enak is the word for delicious in Bahasa Indonesia. It goes beyond simply taste to the pleasure felt by all the senses. The scent of lime blossom can be enak, or the firm stroke of a massage, or the ripple of gamelan music. Food is enak for its aroma, colours, texture and flavour and each of these is given full attention both in cooking and in eating.

Eleanor Ford. Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

I like how these two paragraphs both stand alone and yet complement each other. Like the pauses in conversation. And the breath taken between mouthfuls.

And so for day 2839
20.09.2014

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