A Trace of Spices That Are Worth More Than Gold in Old Batavia

There are countless delicious Indonesian that you can find in Old Batavia, and the key ingredients are the spices. The strategic location of Indonesia and the great ability of Indonesian ancestor to navigate ships in the sea, makes it possible for Indonesian to trade and learn to grow spices from people at other countries and places.

The abundant amounts of spices in Indonesia attract foreigners from Europe and spurred their ambition to exploitation of economics, hence the colonialism started. The history of spices that is worth to know and spread can be found in Indonesian museum in the present day. One of them are in Museum Bank Indonesia, that is located inside the complex of Jakarta Old Town area.

Aside from Museum Bank Indonesia, the history of spices can also be found in Museum Bahari, that is mainly displaying a maritime history of Indonesia. It is not located inside the Jakarta Old Town area, but it is quite near and can be reached in walking distance. It is also near to the Sunda Kelapa Harbor where you can see big ships anchored to load and unload.

A variety of spices that are widely used in Indonesia until the present days includes clove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemongrass, aromatic ginger, turmeric, galangal, and many more. These spices are used not only for cooking ingredients, but also for traditional drinks and medicines. The use of spices provides a rich aroma and distinctive flavors.

Curious about the spices that become a treasure that is sought after? Come visit Jakarta, join our Jakarta Walking Tour, and follow the trace of spices in Old Batavia with us. You can learn the route of spices, see the shape and smell of the spices, and learn their history.

Aside from learning the history of spices, you can also try delicacies that include spices if you join our Jakarta Food Tour.  Prepare your comfortable shoes and clothes, and you will be ready to walk around with the Jakarta Walking Tour. See you around!

Another Way of Using Spices: Drink It!

jamu benefits

Indonesia has various types of spices or “rempah-rempah” which known worldwide since 16th century. Apart for cooking ingredients, spices that grow in Indonesia could also be used for different purposes, such as for the ingredients of herbal drinks or “jamu”.

Jamu is a kind of herbal drink and that people of Indonesia, mainly Javanese believed can cure some illnesses. Some of the most popular jamu are rice galanga drink or “beras kencur”, turmeric tamarind drink or “kunyit asam” and curcuma zanthorriza drink or “temulawak”.

Rice Galanga Drink
Beras kencur or rice galanga drink is a type of drink made with rice and galanga as the main ingredients. White or brown sugar is often used as the sweetener. It has a light brown color and had a sweet taste. Rice galanga drink is believed to be having some medicinal use, such as increasing appetite and vitality, and also reducing fatigue.

Turmeric Tamarind Drink
Kunyit asam or turmeric tamarind drink is a herbal drink made from turmeric, tamarind, brown sugar and water. It has an orange color and taste a bit sour. It is believed that drinking kunyit asam can aid digestion problem, maintaining body weight, and relieve menstrual cramp.

jamu benefits

Curcuma Zanthorriza Drink
Curcuma zanthorriza or temulawak is a kind of spices similar to ginger. The drink is made with mixing the curcuma zanthorriza extract with water. The medicinal use of the drink includes reducing cholesterol, preserve liver function, and prevent cancer.

Where is the place to drink jamu in Jakarta?

Jamu sellers. Image Source: Solo Pos

These jamu usually available in traditional markets and offered house to house by a peddler carrying bottles on their backs in residential complexes. Nowadays, some restaurants also provide them in their menu. There is also one restaurant in West Jakarta that only serve jamu in their menu. However beside curcuma, turmeric, tamarind, do you want to know more about other spices in Indonesia? Join the journey of Jakarta Walking Tour to discover more about it and “spice” up your life a little bit. 😉