The Misadventure of Schoolyard Meal

Postingan ini memang postingan ulang (yang asli bisa dilihat Foodid). Saya posting ulang karena mungkin ada yang ingin bernostalgia dengan jajanan jaman SD (sekolah dasar) :mrgreen:

Enjoy and happy hunting ..

The Misadventure of Schoolyard Meal

I was at my wife’s parents home around Easter (26th – 28th March 2005, to be precise). Their home is at Ciapus, Bogor, on the foot of Mt. Salak. I had taken a leave of absence from my daily journalistic work and we were spending holiday away from the stressful Jakarta.

On Monday morning, i have a mild case of boredom. Well actualy i was kind of hungry and looking for something ‘different’ to eat. So my wife suggested we took a little adventure to a nearby schoolyard and give some of the peddlers there a shot. After all it would be kind of a nostalgic-gastronomic trip.

It is a known fact that Elementary Schoolyard in Indonesia holds a ‘fiesta’ (a ‘carnaval’ of some sorts) of many kind of peddlers’ food. It is also known fact that most (if not all) the food sold there is low in nutrition and high on additives.

But we go there anyway. Brave ourselves up and went for A (Gastronomic) Misadventure at The Schoolyard.

A Starchy Start

We started with Cakue, this was a starch based snack originated from China. The name itself must’ve been an adaption to its original Chinese name. (Exactly what the real name is, i have no idea).

These Cakue is not the usual kind found on many peddlers in Jakarta. The Mamang (the man who sells it) made his Cakue a lot smaller than usual. Priced at only 200 IDR per ‘finger-sized’ Cakue.

To enjoy the Cakue, one must dunk it in a special red sauce. The composition to this sauce remains a mystery. I would guess it consist of Acetic Acid, Chilli pepper and bottled sauce. Mind you, this bottled sauce is not the kind usually sold at a known supermarket. It’s the one sold cheaply by the bulk and, as i happen to know for a fact, consist of textile coloring and leftovers from starch making. How healthy is that? (Yet we happily dunk the Cakue in it anyway)

The same peddler who sold Cakue also sold them on stick (for IDR 100 per stick). Aside from that, he also sold Cireng (short for Aci Digoreng which is roughly translated as ‘fried starch’). That particular Mamang had made Cireng like i never seen before. It was rounded into small balls, and every three balls is put on a stick (much like satay).

Having spent 2000 IDR on Cakue and Cireng, we had almost call it a day. It was when we were heading back home when the idea came to us. “Let’s go to other schoolyard and find other food”

On The Way to The Peddlers Heaven

So there we went, happily along some labyrinth like alleyways. What’s at the end of the tunnel you might ask? It is ‘the peddlers heaven’. A large field, known as Sakura Field, near by at least three elementary school. On the side of that field is a small shady areas under large trees where the peddlers gather to sell their MSG-filled meal to children.

(Cimol/img by Mikupuku)

(Cimol/img by Mikupuku)

That was where we headed, The Peddlers Heaven!!

But it was in the middle of the labyrinth-like alleyways that we found a ‘treasure’. It was a peddler selling some stuff called Cimol. Until today, we dont know what Cimol stands for, the Ci suggest Aci (Starch) but the Mol? We’re utterly lost there.

It was a snack like i had never seen before. It was starch, possibly fried. Shape like cubes. It was priced at 500 IDR each portion (of 15 pieces). The cubes was served inside a plastic pocket and sprinkled on top with ‘special powder’.

The Mamang asked us if we wanted our Cimol complete. Complete? We asked, of course we want it complete! We want the whole nine yards, the real McCoy, give us the full monty! Or just sprinkle both kind of seasoning on it and we’ll be happy!

Sad to say though, after that Cimol all the other food at Peddlers Heaven seemed a bit dissapointing.

Little Too Weird

We had brave ourselves up for some pasta (noodles, macaronis, shells and spirallis), fried dry that is. And that pasta on a plastic tray is served with sprinkles of pink dust (Oh My GOD!!). I almost said to the lady who sells it, “What the hell are you putting on my food?”

Another snack we had was sliced Cakue on nutsauce. It was so and so and was nothing compared to the first Cakue in redsauce.

We also had some fried spaghetti-like snack. It was like spaghetti, but not quite spaghetti. It was like noodle but was not quite noodle. It was fried dry and served hot with redsauce. When we want to buy some, the Mamang would take a layer of dough, process it through a machine (sort of like a pasta making machine) and out come the dough in strings (small or big, it’s your choice). He then fried the strings, put it in a (sort of) papercup and spray some redsauce.

Our misadventures ended on a bottle of softdrink to wash it all down. We had decided not to finish our fried-pasta with pink powder, it was just too weird. Oh yeah, it didnt taste as good as it look anyway.

One thing left on my mind though. How can it be lawful to sell such strange food to children? I mean the textile colouring and MSG’s aside, fried starch is not exactly real food is it? Go figure.

(first of all, excuse the grammatical errors.. second of all, 1 IDR equals 0.000105480 USD, so you’d understand how cheap all those ‘food’ was)

posted by Wicak

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