Indonesian food is complex and dynamic: It can be spicy, sweet, sour and savory, sometimes all at once. These tantalizing flavors come from the different bumbu, or spice mixes, and other essential ingredients, like shrimp paste, that are used in preparation of many classic Indonesian dishes.
Indonesian cuisine can sometimes be difficult to define, however, because it consists of a mix of different regional culinary traditions. The country is made up of over 17,000 islands, so you can imagine just how much variety there is when it comes to recipes. Colonization and migration added Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch culinary influences to an already diverse and varied cuisine.