Indonesia is known as a country rich in spices. It was so abundant, during the colonial period, various countries in the world had ambitions and hunts to control spices in Indonesia.
This happened because at that time spices became one of the commodities that had high economic value. In fact, during the colonial period, typical Indonesian spices had a higher selling value than gold.
Until now, Indonesian spices are still popular and attract the attention of the world. It is evident from the many typical Indonesian spice products that are exported to various countries, such as pepper, cloves, nutmeg, to cinnamon.
According to data from Katadata, spice exports in Indonesia in January-April 2020 reached US$218.69 million, an increase of 19.28% compared to the same period in the previous year. It doesn’t stop there, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in 2016 Indonesia was ranked 4th as a spice-producing country in the world!
What are the most exported Indonesian spices? Here are some of them:
Spice plants that are widely spread in Bangka Belitung, Bengkulu, Lampung, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi, to South Sulawesi have become Indonesia’s main spice commodity.
According to data from the Ministry of Trade, in the first quarter of 2020 pepper controlled a total of 18.7% of Indonesia’s total spice exports. With an export value of 40.88 million US dollars.
Pepper is often used as a condiment in soups and stir-fries, which has a warming effect on the body.
Clove is a spice native to Maluku, which was targeted by many invaders. Because, during the colonial era, cloves became one of the most popular spices and had a high price.
Clove-producing areas in Indonesia include: East Java, Maluku, Sulawesi Island, East Kalimantan, to East Nusa Tenggara. According to data as of January-April 2020, cloves are among the most exported spices after pepper with a value of 37.26 million US dollars.
Rarely known, vanilla is also a typical Indonesian spice plant which is widely exported abroad. No kidding, even Indonesia is the best and largest exporter and producer of vanilla in the world, after Madagascar and France based on data in 2019.
Currently, there are many regions in Indonesia that cultivate vanilla, including: East Java, Central Java, Lampung, to East Nusa Tenggara.
No less interesting, this one-of-a-kind small round Indonesian spice is also exported abroad. Based on data from the Agricultural Quarantine Agency, in the first quarter of 2020, cardamom exports from North Sumatra increased by 54.2% compared to the previous year.
At least, until now there have been three main importing countries of cardamom from North Sumatra, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and China.
The next typical Indonesian spice that is exported abroad is andaliman. Andaliman is a spice that has a fairly spicy taste like pepper, has a citrus-like aroma but is softer, and is used as a mixture of typical Batak cuisine.
Although still a little foreign, butaliman prestige in the culinary world is increasing rapidly. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the spices typical of North Sumatra were successfully exported to Germany as much as 574 kg, with a value of 431 million Rupiah.
Another Indonesian spice that is widely exported abroad is nutmeg. According to data as of January-April 2020, the value of whole nutmeg reached 26.47 million US dollars, and nutmeg powder was 7.04 million US dollars.
Interestingly, apart from being spices, the typical plants of Banda and Maluku are also commodities that produce essential oils. Unmitigated, in 2016 nutmeg became the third largest Indonesian spice commodity.
(Source : https://kemenparekraf.go.id/)