Anything you like to say, this local warm appetizer will give you sensation of ingredients especially th\ose who bring their heritage recipe.The origin of Soto (read: Indonesian soup) derived from a Chinese food called Caudo (Dennys Lombard wrote in Nusa Jawa: Silang Budaya). It was popular in Semarang, where Chinese population come, reside and develop their business in most coastal area in Java island.
Nia S. Amira
From Caudo to Coto, then Tauto and later called Soto.
All this name were at the first time popular in the coastal area where the merchants got together and exchanging their business more easier and food is the way where people can understand other culture.
At first the warm food was called Caudo, then became Coto, Tauto and Soto. The people in Makassar call it Coto, in Pekalongan is named Tauto, and most of Indonesian people call this warm appetizer as Soto which is normally composed of broth with slices of meat or chicken.
The food is typical from China brought by the Chinese traders to the archipelago has become part of the Indonesian culinary. With spices that have been adapted to the local tongue, various of Soto have appeared using area’s name such as Soto Semarang, Soto Kudus, Soto Madura, Soto Bangkong, Soto Betawi, Soto Bogor.
According to Dr. Lono Simatupang, an anthropologist from the University of Gadjah Mada, Soto is a mixture of various traditions. There are local influences and other culture. Noodles or vermicelli in Soto, for example, come from Chinese tradition. It was the Chinese who have the technology of making noodles and vermicelli. The influence of Indian culture may be found in this local soup when we see the spices the seller cooks the broth, such as turmeric and Indian galanga. Because it is a mixture of various traditions, the origin of the Soto becomes not easy to trace. Soto is like dangdut music which was influenced from various traditions.
How Soto can spread to various regions in Indonesia? Seeing from anthropology side, a food spreading along with the spread of humans. The spread of food was then acceptable in its new place. In addition, food has also spread because there is an industrial process. The spread of food was followed by efforts to localize. The process of localization may be the same as to localize the religions that have developed in Indonesia. The localization process gives the chance to the existence of various kinds of Soto in the country.
The unique flavor comes from the area where Soto has been flourishing, later on using the name of the area that eventually become a brand product of the area and bring people to go to a certain place in order to satisfy their desire to taste the soup typical of a particular area, such as Soto Bogor.
Despite Soto Bogor may be found in Jakarta, but the temptation of eating Soto Bogor in its original city gives you a different feeling because of the locality that has been built from the beginning, so that the people from Jakarta are still going to seek and enjoy Soto Bogor only to where the food came from.
Like its history in Central Java, Soto was initially sold to be hand carried, out of one village to another by the Chinese with tasseled hair like a Kung Fu Master. Soto is still the best local specialties until now. The filling in this local food identically with noodles or vermicelli, chicken or beef, using lime juice, fried shallots, Koya or shraded prawn crackers, and not to forget adding the to eat the soup.