A short history of food in Malaysia

Ever wondered why Malaysian food is so delicious and so special? Well keep reading for a VERY brief history about some of the influences..⁠

⁠⁠

🌐 GEOGRAPHY⁠

Accessible by sea and land and a source of food and fresh water, Malaysia was an important stop along trade routes and the ancient Spice Routes which encouraged tradesmen from India, Arabia and Europe to settle there⁠

🏳️‍🌈 EXPLORERS & COLONISERS⁠

This favourable location also attracted invading countries who saw it as a tactical base - the port of Melaka was under Portuguese rule for 130 years and Dutch rule for 183 years. States in Malaysia were also part of the British colony from 1867-1957⁠

🌴 NATURAL RESOURCES⁠

Since the 1800s tin mining and commercial rubber production were 2 of the main trades that attracted Chinese businesses to the country⁠

In conclusion, Malaysian food has Chinese, Indian, Tamil, Portuguese, Dutch, Arab and Javanese influences to name a few! And these communities generally began their migration to Malaysia for it’s geographical benefits and economic opportunities. With the introduction of new communities came new ingredients such as cardamon and peanuts which were then combined with local Malaysian grown produce to create the amazing flavours we have today :)

We guess this makes Malaysian cuisine the ultimate fusion food? 😋⁠

The most popular (but not all) categories of food in Malaysia are:⁠

MALAY : Native dishes e.g. Nasi Lemak & Nasi Kerabu⁠

MAMAK : Indian-Malay e.g. Roti Canai &Mee Goreng Mamak⁠

NONYA / PERANAKAN : Chinese-Malay e.g. Asam Laksa & Otak-Otak⁠

Basically Malaysian food is a giant mash up of different cuisines and flavours and that's why WE LOVE IT! ❤️💙💚⁠


We are always up for learning more about Malaysian history and culture, there is so much to know! If you have more information that you would like to share with us then please get in touch via comments below or drop us an email at hello@makanmalaysia.co.uk !



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