We stumbled upon two traditional food factories around Yogyakarta.

Behind these marvelous pictures lie a thousand stories about the struggle of life and how their traditional production methods become the interesting, focal point of our Indonesian culture.

As a staple dish, no one would ever take tempe so lightly whenever it appears on a table. Despite the ironic fact that soybeans are mostly imported from the United States or Brazil, tempe, tahu, and kecap manis production in many places in Indonesia continue to supply millions of Indonesians with food and flavor.

In Yogyakarta, we came across the most famous tempe factory owned by Muchlar. He has been running a big business which can supply small entrepreneurs with his processed and fermented soybeans which are then later individually wrapped with leaves and sold to the public.

The soybeans that he imported from abroad are of the finest quality. Not only are the imports cheaper they also have bigger sizes. The factory has perfected the techniques and sells a well-known product which is non-acidic, with a delectable flavor.


  • nick
    2 years ago

    Aren’t American soybeans GMO?

    • Richmond Blando
      2 years ago

      Unfortunately, yes. About 70% of Indonesia’s soy beans are imported from the US…

  • KJ
    2 years ago

    Yes, I was just going to comment the same thing. I was in Indonesia last year and the Indonesian tempe sellers said that they are using soybeans from the US, as they are cheaper than those grown in Indonesia. Of course, the reason they are cheaper is that USDA subsidises the growers. And, yes the soybeans that go to Indonesia are GMO. Really sucks….

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