Indonesia is a vast and diverse tropical country located on the equator. This country has thousands of islands that make it the largest archipelago in the world. Each island, especially the big ones, has its own unique soil. That makes Indonesia’s soil can be used to grow many varieties of plants, including Indonesia’s spices.
Indonesia has been known as a country that has an enormous amount of spices since the colonial era. Back then, a lot of countries were fighting each other to take control of Indonesia’s spices as they were more valuable than gold.
Nowadays, herbs and spices used in Indonesia are still among the world’s favorite spices. According to some data, the number of spices exports reached $218.69 million in early 2020, which was a 19.28% increase compared to the number in the previous year during the same time span.
Not only that, Indonesia was even ranked fourth among the world’s spices producer countries in 2016, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Pepper is the primary commodity among other Indonesia’s spices. Pepper plantations can be found in seven provinces on three big islands in Indonesia. On Sumatra island, they are spread in Lampung, Bengkulu, and also Bangka Belitung islands near the big island. Furthermore, other pepper plantations are found in East and West Kalimantan, or South East and South Sulawesi.
Pepper can give a warm sensation to the human body when it is consumed. In Indonesia, this spice is often used as a seasoning for Indonesian-styled soups, stir-fries, and other local cuisines.
According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade, the total export value of pepper was a whopping $40,88 million in the first quarter of 2020. That was 18.7% of the whole export value of all Indonesia’s spices.
During the colonial era, many colonizers came to the Indonesian region of Maluku because of the native clove there. At that time, clove had a very high value and was among the most favorite spices.
Clove is produced in several provinces in Indonesia, including Maluku, East Kalimantan, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, and the entire island of Sulawesi. With a total export value of $37,26 million, clove is ranked second among the most exported Indonesia’s spices after pepper.
Cinnamon is a spice that has a unique aroma and is often used as an additional ingredient to make bread. In Indonesia, this spice can only be found in the Jambi province. To be more specific, cinnamon plantations are in Jambi’s districts of Kerinci and Merangin.
Even though it is only produced in Jambi, this cinnamon can cover up to 45% of the world’s demand for cinnamon. That is why Jambi’s cinnamon is among the most exported Indonesia’s spices. Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States are some export target countries for the high-demand spice.
Indonesia is not famously known as the world’s producer of vanilla. However, according to 2019 data, Indonesia was in fact, the third-best and biggest vanilla producer in the world after Madagascar and France.
There are plenty of vanilla plantations right now in Indonesia. The plantations of this kind of spices from Indonesia are spread in four provinces: Lampung in Sumatra, East Java and Central Java in Java, and East Nusa Tenggara.
This small ball-shaped spice is also among the most exported Indonesia’s spices. The Indonesian native cardamom is grown in the province of North Sumatra, and it is one of the world’s favorite cardamom.
At least three countries have the role as the leading importers of North Sumatra’s cardamom. All those countries are in Asia and located not too far from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
Andaliman is another spice from North Sumatra. This particular spice is often used as additional ingredients in Batak’s special dishes. This spice tastes like pepper with its hotness but has a citrus-like aroma.
Andaliman is not very popular compared to the other Indonesia’s spices in this article. Some Indonesians have never heard of the spice before, let alone people from other countries. However, Germany has imported this North Sumatra spice to the country.
Based on the data from Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture, more than half a ton of Andaliman has been exported to Germany. That resulted in almost half a billion rupiah profit, which is more than $25 thousand.
To conclude the list of Indonesia’s spices, there is the world’s favorite Indonesia’s native nutmeg. This spice was exported with a total of up to $26.47 for whole nutmeg, and $7.04 for ground nutmeg according to the data for the first quarter of 2020.
Nutmeg is commonly grown in Indonesia’s regions of Banda and Maluku. Moreover, the nutmeg plant can also be used to produce essential oil. Not only that, but this spice was also the third biggest spice commodity in Indonesia in 2016.
This spice that gives a warm feeling is also produced in Indonesia. Indonesians often consume food and beverages containing ginger on cold days. This spice can even help to cure illnesses like colds and stomachaches.
Indonesia has three kinds of ginger grown in its soil. White ginger, yellow ginger, and red ginger have different functions. The white and yellow gingers are great for dishes and herbal beverages, while red ginger is more suitable to be made into ginger oil or medicines.
The last spice on this list is lemongrass. This green or yellow grass can be used for many things. It is excellent for mosquito repellent, and when it is consumed, it can result in a healthier digestion system. It can even be used as a skin moisturizer with a unique smell. Last but not least, Indonesia has many kinds of Indonesia’s spices, and there are also many spices companies in Indonesia to provide those spices. However, before you waste your time finding a perfect company, it is better first to check Spice and Co. for your needs.