Why Sarawak is Your Next MUST VISIT Foodie Destination
It's probably not the most widely recognised food region internationally but we can guarantee that this is a foodie's must try destination - especially if you want to discover amazing authentic food from lesser known regions. It is a road less travelled from the mainstream but one you won't regret.
A MUST VISIT DESTINATION - ADD IT TO YOUR BUCKET LIST
Sarawak is a state on the island of Borneo in Malaysia with a population of about 2.6 million. It's where 27 different ethnic groups call this beautiful part of Malaysia home^. In fact, the Gunung Mulu National Park is a UNESCO world heritage listed area and exploring their gigantic caves is one of those things that should be on everyone's bucket list.
What's more, Sarawak is actually on Bindi Irwin's (from Australia Zoo) bucket list - remembering her dad's stories about his encounters with Borneo's wild orangutans has meant she keeps a keen interest in their conservation^.
SARAWAK'S SIGNATURE DISHES
If you love your laksa then Sarawak laksa is on a whole other level and has been dubbed, 'the king of all laksas'. Even Anthony Bourdain dubbed Sarawak Laksa as 'breakfast of the gods'. So what's so good about it? People say that it's the balance of ingredients that makes Sarawak laksa the best - not easily imitated and many have tried (and failed)! It could also be attributed to the ingredients grown in Sarawak that makes the taste so good and unrivalled by others (see below on 'terroir' to see what we mean).
Now for kolo mee - a dish you can easily find anywhere in Malaysia (especially in the hawker stalls) and eaten at any time of the day! This dry noodle dish (no soup) is made with egg noodle, is tossed in a dark sauce and topped with char siu (barbequed pork) and pork mince. This dish originated in Sarawak so naturally it's where you'd find some of the best kolo mee dishes Malaysia has to offer. Hint hint, it's the noodle you use that can make all the difference! As we discover below, Sarawak region is 'terroir' so the food's taste is best enhanced by other food/ingredients from the same region.
WHAT DOES SARAWAK PEPPER HAVE IN COMMON WITH WINE
In the culinary world, Sarawak pepper is often deemed the best in the world and more than 95% of Malaysian exported pepper is from Sarawak. It has a very distinct flavour and aroma which can be attributed to a potent combination of the region's hilly slopes, unique soil composition and Malaysia's tropical climate. Now what does this pepper have in common with wine? A common term in wine speak is 'terroir' - which 'refers to all of the natural conditions that make a specific place unique'. It's all these natural factors that work together to make something (wine, food) taste the way it does - it's how one wine's vintage can be better than another year's. In food, terroir, means you get the best enhancement of flavour out of a dish/ingredient by pairing it with other food/ingredients from the same region.
Malaysia is a country full of multi-culturalism. It has some of the most beautiful places in the world that boasts multiple 'must visit' food regions - Sarawak being one of them. It's no wonder that Sarawak food is one of Just Go Shop's most popular food ranges. It is certainly one of the places we plan on visiting when international travel is safe to do so. If you're wanting to discover a truly unforgettable destination that's off the beaten track then Sarawak is a must try - but do it before everyone else cottons on!
*This post is in no way sponsored - we're just spreading the word about Malaysian cuisine with a goal to putting it on the international culinary world map!
Below is just a snapshot of our Sarawak food range. You can browse our range here.