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Food is an essential part of human’s lives because food supply the stamina and
nutrients to grow actively and do activities such as move, work, think, and learn. The best
way to win people heart and mind is through stomach. When the stomach is filled, the
mood will become more cheerful and the mind will be fresher because food stimulates
and controls emotional reactions. The taste of national food will deliver its consumers to
the exploration of unique secret recipes behind every bite and chew. Every secret recipe
in crumb, texture, colour, and even smell that is presented delineate the history and culture
of the country itself. When the impression of culture created through food can be seen
and felt by others, a country succeeds in introducing a distinctive image of its country
which is then attached to people's perceptions. Just as we analogize when we visit
someone's home, we will get an overview of the host's assessment through the dish they

Sushi, sashimi, donburi, etc. already in the restaurant nearest to you or even in
plain sight, all Japanese culinary dishes are worldwide. Indirectly, food connoisseurs are
exploring Japan by tasting the culture presented on the plate. Traditional Japanese food
(Washoku) comprise not only its ingredients and cooking techniques but also its
tableware, its design, and aesthetic sense exemplify by the art of flower arrangement and
the tea ceremony. This practice of sharing culture through cuisine portray the meaning of
gastrodiplomacy. Japan started this unique diplomacy strategy in 2005 by establishing
“Shoku-bunka kenkyū suishin kondankai”, as a form of public diplomacy that combines
culinary history and Japan's strategy in promoting Japanese food. Gastrodiplomacy try to
improve national image by using a national food to change public perceptions and
promote to the international world. While there are many ways for a country to indicate
and visualize their identity, food is a particularly tangible, unique, and easy one to
develop. Same as the intention of tourism, “country will often create and construct a
national brand that makes use of its natural charm and catchy geographic features", the
country now also uses food as a wider strategy of cultural
diplomacy. This practice of diplomacy attempts
to exhibit a cultural artefact to the broader
international community in different forms
presented through national dishes.
Simultaneously, gastrodiplomacy programs
are actually the effective way for country to
utilize an intrinsic part of their cultural national heritage.

Japan has its own strategy in gastrodiplomacy which makes it added to the list of
UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list and Michelin Guide. Japan does a good
publication to introduce and embed Washoku through Japanese cooking magazines and
schools. Besides that, Japan also does good partners with companies they plant overseas,
they conduct research and management of overseas needs related to Japanese food,
whether it is about ingredients, costs, quarantine problems, or human resources - sending
instructors to conduct workshop. Japanese success should be a wakeup call for the
Indonesian government to optimize gastrodiplomacy. Mirroring and learning from Japan,
Indonesia can imitate the strategy so that Indonesian cuisine is internationally known.
Indonesia has natural wealth in the form of spices, which even in the past invited the
arrival of European invaders to the archipelago, there are more than 5300 typical foods in
Indonesia. The popularity of Indonesian food has been recognized by CNN when they
released a list of the 50 World's Best Foods, which included rendang as one of the world's
best foods in 2017. Not forgetting, Luwak Coffee is the most expensive coffee in the
world at a price of 150 US $ per 500 grams. Nevertheless, Indonesia is
still unable to compete because the number of Indonesian cuisine
restaurants abroad is still small and not much compared to
other countries. Gastrodiplomacy is still not considered an
important issue even though culinary utilization is a creative and
innovative step to attract the international community in this competitive
economic world. Indonesian foreign ministry must improve the application of culinary
diplomacy policies and reach out to several problems in the field, such as related to capital
to open a restaurant business abroad or ingredient issues to maintain the authenticity of
Indonesian cuisine. Imitating and following Jokowi in accepting the head of state or
government, Indonesian people should always serve traditional Indonesian food or coffee
to welcome foreign guests. Other than that, the government must optimize opportunities
in the tourism sector by offering gastronomic-based tourism packages. All parties must
contribute- the government, the community, and the private sector- to strengthen the
strategy of developing gastrodiplomacy and its application to the international world
because it is useless if “rendang” is the most delicious food in the world, but the world
community does not know which country creates a spectacular taste of rendang. Indonesia
must succeed in bringing a foreign community not only to dissolve in the love of rendang,
but also further in its culture and charm.


Young jackfruit? chocolate? sweet? coconut milk? krecek? This blend of

traditional ingredients is heaven for the tongue. The sweet black keeps the history behind
it which certainly makes the taster curious to know more about the origin of this delicious
taste. Interestingly, this food is created from accident during the construction of the
Mataram kingdom on the base of Mentaok, many trees were cut down - there were
jackfruit trees, melinjo and coconuts - which were found by Emperial soldier and he
processed it as a popular dish called “gudeg” (Murdijati 2007). The name "gudeg" does
not come from any greeting to dub this sweet black but comes from the Javanese language
"Hangudek" which means it is stirred continuously - according to the way it is made. The
popularity of the developing gudeg has evolved over time, initially only being a cuisine
for royal guests, the provision of war, gratitude food, has now become a daily food for
the people. Through its development, gudeg is available in various variants such as wet
and dry, or playing the taste through side dishes and complementary ingredients.

Gudeg taste is not only loved by local people outside of Yogyakarta, but also to
foreign countries. But it seems that gudeg is not too popular to the end of the world, except
foreign tourists who come and stop in Yogyakarta so that they could taste this delicious
special cuisine. Even though it's already often praised by foreign connoisseurs until there
are those who assume that the gudeg is one of the most flavorful foods in the world,
melding everything from taste to textures. This compliment should be an alarm for the
government to immediately let the gudeg explore the tongue world. Not only become an
icon of Yogyakarta, it should be able to become an Indonesian icon -same as rendang or
fried rice that has been overtaken. In fact, the government has started the right step with
canning the gudeg to make it easier to deliver it while at the same time increasing its
attractiveness through its packaging. This step of innovation combines traditional food
culture with modernization. But there are still several things that still need to be improved,
such as quality which through this modernization of traditional purity must not fade.

Indonesian culture and food is abundant, but the fear of competing in the
international arena is still overwhelming.
Indonesia should have a strong and
superior gastrodiplomacy because with
thousands of traditional cuisines that
Indonesia has, it should have been able to
master and capture the tastes of the
! world. The Indonesian government
especially the tourism ministry and
gudeg sellers must work together to introduce gudeg to the international world. Gudeg
has characteristics and stories that are thickly attached to Indonesia. Gudeg must be
included in Indonesian food festivals around the world. Imagine when you are on vacation
in several countries in the world and find gudeg on the menu list of local restaurants, like
spaghetti, pizza or sushi. Imagine further, when general tasters asking where GUDEG
come from and then interested to find out more even exploring and visiting indonesia!