Indonesian cuisine is diverse, in part because Indonesia is composed of approximately 6,000 populated islands of the total 18,000 in the world's largest archipelago. Many regional cuisines exist, often based upon cultural and foreign influences. Indonesian cuisine varies greatly by region and has many different influences.
Throughout its history, Indonesia has been involved in trade due to its location and natural resources. Additionally, Indonesia’s indigenous techniques and ingredients were influenced by India, the Middle East, China, and finally Europe. Spanish and Portuguese traders brought New World produce even before the Dutch came to colonize most of the archipelago. The Indonesian islands Maluku, which are famed as the Spice Islands, also contributed to the introduction of native spices, such as cloves and nutmeg.