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Gastronomic Travels Through the Archipelago: A Singapore Story

23 October 2022
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Frankfurt Studio

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Between the vast Indian and Pacific oceans lies a realm of extraordinary natural abundance: the Malay Archipelago, known widely as the Nusantara. These islands of Southeast Asia have nourished the lives of indigenous Malays throughout the centuries and nurtured the diverse peoples that have set foot on their shores. Today, the Malays make up less than a fifth of the population in Singapore, a city with ancient ties to the Malay world.

Join author Khir Johari as he explores the food of Singapore Malays, where food is not just as a means of sustenance but a cultural activity. Inheriting the Nusantara’s rich flavours, and sitting at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, Singapore Malays have a grand culinary heritage reflecting their worldviews, social values and historical interactions with other cultures. Through close examination of their daily objects, customs, art and literature, the author reveals how the food Malays enjoy is deeply embedded in different aspects of their identity.
Following the broad sweep of Malay cuisine’s evolution – from the 7th-century kingdom of Srivijaya to the 21st-century emporium of cosmopolitan Singapore – Khir's study of Malay food traces the continuity and dynamism of a shared cultural consciousness. Sumptuously served with stunning photographs, intresting discoveries and diligent research, this session is suitable for anyone – gourmets and amateurs alike – hungry for a deeper understanding of the relationship between people and their food.

For "The Food of Singapore Malays" is not a cookbook. It is the unwritten story of a people.