Ramadan ended with the Idul Fitri holiday, which required me to accompany my host family to Jember and visit more than ten different houses of close family and friends. (Ten doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, it is.)
In each of these houses I met more than 25 people, sometimes we went to the houses next door to greet the neighbors, and I was forcefully persuaded to eat either full meals or copious amounts of kue, sweet and salty snacks. It is my Peace Corps duty to integrate with my community, so during this holiday it was literally my job to eat kue.
(I have never been happier for a holiday to be over. I am so ready for the teaching part of my job to begin and I never want to see kue again.)
Now that everyone can resume a normal eating schedule, my ibu is cooking more often and sadly for my diet, it’s usually awesome dessert food.
Recently, she made the best Indonesian dessert—in my opinion—es buah or, literally translated, ice fruit. This is a dessert that is easy to find all over Indonesia, usually from street vendors, and consists of coconut water, milk, young coconut shreddings, a variety of cubed fruit, sweet flavored syrups or condensed milk, and delicious firm jelly things (there’s no better way to describe these, but are comparable to firmer and fruitier tapioca bubbles). All es buah isn’t made in exactly the same way. Many vendors will let you choose what you want and may consist of more—or less—than what I listed.
I love this so much, I probably ate about half a liter of it yesterday. If I end up gaining weight in Indonesia, it will not be because of all of the rice or tempe, but because I can’t stop eating this maliciously delicious dessert. Even my ibu told me to stop, threatening I’d get sick, but indirectly she means fat.
I am currently attempting to practice more self-control; however, my ibu says she will teach me to make es buah later this week so…it doesn’t look good.