The Journey of Macaroni Schotel in Indonesia
It is hard to argue with the opinion that the macaroni schotel that is popular in Indonesia initially originated from the Netherlands, because the word ‘schotel’ clearly belongs to the Dutch language. In Dutch, schotel means dish. From the name alone, one can conclude that macaroni schotel is a type of dish. It is not strange to use because we are accustomed to eating macaroni in the form of macaroni schotel.
Unlike Italy, Indonesia views macaroni as a type of pasta that serves as a source of carbohydrate, just like rice in Indonesia. But we also have fried rice as one of our staples, right? That is what macaroni schotel is like. Macaroni schotel is made of macaroni, smoked meat, corned beef or ground beef, cheddar cheese, fresh milk, onion, garlic, butter, eggs, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and sugar.
Different names for macaroni schotel in every country. Dishes similar to macaroni schotel are sometimes known as casserole, pudding, frittata, makaronilaatikko, imqarrun, and many other names. Although the names are different, the shape, ingredients, cooking steps and taste are similar to the macaroni schotel we know.
Other presumption about macaroni schotel is that the Dutch may wished to cook a dish that is simple but filled with the nutritions needed by the body. How can it not be nutritious? Macaroni schotel contains cheese, milk, meat, and other nutritious ingredients. This type of macaroni can also last longer compared to other pasta creations that are used as sources of carbohydrate.
Seeing that the Dutch generally came to Indonesia on duty, they obviously need food like macaroni schotel. Making macaroni schotel only takes a single process, by baking the macaroni together with other ingredients. At the time, Indonesian food may not suit the Dutch people’s palate immediately. Therefore, macaroni schotel was a simple dish that warmed their tummies. The ingredients to make macaroni schotel could also be easily found in Indonesia, although macaroni had not reached the peak of popularity at the time.
Other Asian countries also learned about macaroni from the western countries. In large Chinese societies who are open to the western culture, such as Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore, macaroni is generally used in local cuisines. Macaroni is generally used as an ingredient for soup, which may be found unusual by the western society.
It is possible that the Indonesian’s custom to use macaroni as an ingredient for soup may not be introduced by the Dutch, but by the Chinese people who were influenced by western society. Today, anyone can easily use macaroni for various dishes. With the development of the cyber (internet) culture, Indonesian people use macaroni for many dishes other than macaroni schotel. We can now easily trace the history of macaroni recipe to its origin. We can also easily use macaroni into various dishes.
Also read: Mozzarella in Baked Macaroni