Although the Indonesians do not eat that many sweet desserts, there are a few sweet snacks and unusual treats which you can enjoy sampling while visiting Indonesia. These are some of our favourites...
Gorengan (Deep Fried Snacks)
Gorengan literally means “something fried” and refers to street food stalls that serve all kinds of deep fried snacks. This can either be sweet gorengan like pisang goreng (deep fried bananas) and sweet potato or salty gorengan like cassava, fried stuffed tofu, bakwan (veggie batter fritters), fried breadfruit, and many more. Our favourite is pisang goreng.
Martabak Manis (Sweet Pancakes)
These sweet waffle like pancakes are smothered in butter, sugar, peanuts, chocolate, or a variety of other fillings of choice. Simply delicious!
Durian (King of Fruits)
Considered the King of Fruits in Indonesia, you'll find an abundance of fresh durian as well as many different durian treats, like durian cake, durian ice cream, and durian flavoured shaved ice. Named after the Indonesian word for thorn, it resembles an armour-plated coconut the size of a human head, and it has a powerful odor often likened to rotting garbage. Inside is yellow creamy flesh, which has a unique sweet, custardy, avocado taste and texture. It's prohibited in most hotels and taxis.
Kue covers a vast array of traditional cakes and pastries, all colourful, sweet, and usually a little bland, with coconut, rice flour and sugar being the main ingredients. Es teler, ice mixed with fruits and topped with coconut cream or condensed milk, comes in infinite variations and is a popular choice on a hot day.
Although available throughout the year, although individual fruits do have seasons. Popular local fruit options include mango (mangga), papaya (papaya), banana (pisang), starfruit (belimbing) and guava (jambu).
A surprisingly tasty drink made from avocados, often with some chocolate syrup poured in!
Indonesians love drinking both coffee (kopi) and tea (teh), at least as long as it has vast quantities of sugar added in! An authentic cup of Java, known as kopi tubruk, is strong and sweet, and you should let the grounds settle to the bottom of the cup before you drink it.
Coffee made from beans which have been eaten, partially digested and excreted by the palm civet (luwak)! This is an exotic delicacy costing upwards of IDR 200,000 for a small pot of brew and to be honest, we think it is more of a gimmick than a truly special taste!
Bintang Beer (Bir)
Available more or less everywhere, you may notice that the locals like theirs lukewarm! Other popular beers include Bali Hai and Anker.