Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Culture | Salatiga | Indonesia

Warning: The photos you are about to see are of a very dark, grainy quality. 
But, in my defense, these events took place at two different warungs (street food stalls) which are dimly lit by a few simple fluorescent lights.

Many of the girls here have seen a lot of the world, like myself, and are also commonly asked the question, "What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?"

Since none of us had a very exciting response, we went in search of something worthy to be our answer. Our third try was a charm, as we stumbled upon a warung, situated across from a dump, with the dreaded RW sign. 

You might be asking yourself, what does RW mean?
Well, I actually have no idea what the literal R and W stand for but I do know that upon my arrival and orientation, I was told to avoid these places because an RW sign meant that they were

Yes, dog.

Since the vast majority of Indonesia is of the Muslim faith, which considers the mere touch of a dog to be unclean, warungs that serve this dish display RW sign so that no religious laws are unintentionally violated.

I have to say that the entire drive to this place, I was thinking of Clover and how sad I would be if someone stole her out of my yard (because that's what happens here) and ate her.
But despite the Golden Retriever pup that Kriston and I saw bounding down the road towards us on the way, we were determined to try one of the craziest things (in our opinion) that Indonesia could throw at us. So, we took our seats on the mat-covered ground and braced ourselves.

I tried to keep an open mind during this process but it was pretty hard as this is what we were served. 

See all the white-ish bits? That's a mixture of fat and bone. That dark part in the middle? You can use your imagination.

The only way that I can describe the taste of dog was summed up by my roomate Kriston, who subsequently gagged twice upon putting it in her mouth: canned Alpo. Eating dog literally tastes like the food that we serve to them. Not that I've eaten canned dog food but if I ever did, I imagine that this is what it would taste like and it without a doubt, smelled the same.

I tried really hard to get it down. I smiled. I pictured a juicy steak. I even picked a prime piece with a minimal ammount of fat and no bone. But I simply couldn't swallow. The meat was much more tender than beef or chicken and was without a doubt the most foul taste I have ever had in my mouth. They also make it pedas, which means hot and super spicy. 

Those of you that know me well, know that I have only thrown up twice since the age of two. This almost came in as the third. After about two minutes of contemplation, I had to step outside (so as not to offend the owner) and spit it out. I quickly washed it down with a cold and fizzy Coke Zero.

Despite the fact that I technically didn't "eat" dog since it didn't make it to my stomach, I shared the experience and can say that it stretched me to my culinary limits.

To celebrate our accomplishment, we drove to a nearby warung to sample a traditonal Indonesian drink, Ronde. Based upon a simple ginger broth, this drink also contains clear seaweed, jellies, floating peanuts and a rainbowed assortment of other goodies. 

After the dog experience, this was heaven. I was first introduced to ginger drinks after a massage in Bali. It is customary here to be served a drink and light refreshment after a massage. I love ginger.

The pink ball on the spoon was my favorite part. I have no idea what it is called, but it is made from sticky rice gluten and is incredibly chewy. In fact, it was so chewy that I couldn't help but giggle every time I bit into one. I have never had a food literally make me happy before but I just couldn't help but giggle :) All around, it was a great night filled with many new and unforgetable experiences. 

No comments:

Post a Comment