Spicy and sweet are the favorite flavors of the Indonesians. If you don't ask for “no sugar” in your coffee or tea it will be dripping with sweetness. Spicy chili sauce accompanies most savory dishes.
Nasi, or rice, is the staple of most Indonesian cuisine. Nasi campur is a delightful street food. Street vendors, usually older Indonesian ladies, cook up home made individual dishes of fried tofu, vegetables (cucumber, green beans, spinach like greens), chicken and beef and you choose which items you want over steamed rice. It's wrapped in a brown paper, tied with a rubber band and eaten with the right hand (left is used for bathroom business). Nasi goreng is a fried rice dish with chopped carrots and cabbage and topped with a fried egg and shrimp crackers. Indonesians tend to eat when they are hungry so they often eat alone, unlike Westerners who enjoy eating together as a means to bring people together socially. Warungs (Indonesian restaurants) now dot the cities for tourists more than the locals and in many places serve Brazilian, Chinese and Aussie food as well.
A giant banana pancake is a breakfast favorite and served with fresh fruit such as pineapple and papaya. Super sour yogurt chock full of acidophilus is a treat to have on top of fruit drizzled with a bit of honey. Jaffels are another breakfast and lunch item which is 2 pieces of sweet white bread put in a sandwich press like a panini and filled with savory items like cheese, tomato and avocado or sweet such as bananas and honey. The bread
is smothered in butter so it gets crispy and delicious like toast.
Bintang is the beer of choice! A pilsner, it comes in a 22 oz. bottle. Since it is so warm outside, you have to drink it fast. Arak is the local spirit derived from palm trees and usually mixed with fruit juices. All fruit juice is the fruit thrown into the blender, nothing packaged. Lassi is another popular drink that is fruit and yogurt blended together.
Fresh and delicious is Indonesian food.
By Stacy Bergdahl
Stacy has been traveling all over the globe with her husband Andrew since February 2008. You can visit their blog at http://berglon.blogspot.com
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