Rice is a staple for all classes in contemporary Indonesia, and it holds a central part in Indonesian culture: it shapes the landscape; is sold at markets; and is served in most meals as a savoury and sweet food. Rice is most often eaten as plain rice (nasi putih) with just a few protein and vegetable dishes as side dishes. It is also served, however, as ketupat (rice steamed in woven packets of coconut fronds), lontong (rice steamed in banana leaves), intipbrem (rice wine), and nasi goreng (fried rice). (rice crackers), desserts, noodles,
It was only incorporated, however, into diets as either the technology to grow it or the ability to buy it from elsewhere was gained. Evidence of wild rice on the island of SulawesiJava, which show kings levied taxes in rice. Divisions of labour between men, women, and animals that are still in place in Indonesian rice cultivation, can be seen carved into the ninth-century Prambanan temples in Central Java: a buffalo attached to a plough; women planting seedlings and pounding grain; and a man carries sheaves of rice on each end of a pole across his shoulders. In the sixteenth century, Europeans visiting the Indonesian islands saw rice as a new prestige food served to the aristocracy during ceremonies and feasts. dates from 3000 BCE. Evidence for the earliest cultivation, however, comes from eighth century stone inscriptions from the central island of
Rice production requires exposure to the sun. Rice production in Indonesian history is linked to the development of iron tools and the domestication of water buffalo for cultivation of fields and manure for fertilizer. Once covered in dense forest, much of the Indonesian landscape has been gradually cleared for permanent fields and settlements as rice cultivation developed over the last fifteen hundred years.