Unsure what to bring home for your loved ones from your Jakarta trip? Let us give you some suggestions on unique mementos from the Big Durian.
What’s more Indonesian than batik? One of Indonesia’s most famed exports, traditional batik is made through a unique process of dyeing by first applying hot wax on fabrics in patterns before applying dyes. The end result is a mesmerising and artistic product that is truly Indonesian. Each region of Indonesia produces its own signature styles of batik, with quality Javanese batik one of the most sought after. A good quality batik shirt is a worthy investment indeed.
If you are a coffee lover, it would be something of a cardinal sin should you not decide to sample a cup of Indonesian coffee during your visit. The main growing regions of coffee in Indonesia are Jawa, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali, each producing distinctive types of coffee. The most famous of Indonesian coffee are Bali’s Kintamani coffee (bright and citrusy), Sulawesi’s Toraja coffee (full-bodied, fruity) and Sumatra’s Mandheling coffee (low acidity, chocolate notes). Do yourself a favour and grab a sackful on your way home.
Inspired by European cakes, lapis legit was invented in the Dutch colonial era and gained widespread popularity in Indonesia. Made of egg yolks, flour, sugar and butter, the key ingredient of lapis legit is the Spekoek, a spice mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. The end product is a luscious, heady, delicious layered cake that will have your family hounding you for more. Drop by any well-named bakery to pick one up.
Perhaps you are acquainted with pineapple-based pastries. After all, they are found everywhere in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. Like many of Indonesian’s pastries, nastar has its origins in the Dutch colonial era, apparent from its name which is an abbrieved form of ananas taart, roughly translated as pineapple tart. Be sure to bring home individual boxes for your loved ones, they are apparently too good to share!
Used in almost every single dish in Indonesia, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) is the magic ingredient of Indonesian cuisine. From nasi goreng (fried rice), sate, ayam bakar (grilled chicken) to gado gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce), you would be hard-pressed to find an Indonesian dish which does not go well with kecap manis. Bring home a bottle (or an economical pouch) and try your hand at some Indonesian recipes. Bonus recipe: fluffy white rice, eggs sunny side up and a generous drizzle of kecap manis = heaven.