After getting up at 3:30am to see sunrise at Borobudur we thought it would be a good idea to plan a food cuisine tour around the city. Thankfully we had a couple of hours in-between activities to catchup on sleep, it almost made it feel like we got an extra day of vacation. We planed our trip through Via Via a restaurant and travel agent, we hadn’t realized until after we booked that it was a chain that we had visited in Copan, small world.
The tour we signed up for consisted of riding around on the back of mopeds as a few college students took us to different local eats. It gave us a chance to try some food we wouldn’t have normally and also gave us a tour of the city outside of the touristy sections. The unknown benefit was it gave us a chance to talk to college students and learn a little bit about Indonesia.
The tour started off with us going to check out a Bakpia factory. Bakpia are little bread like pastries filled with anything from green beans to pineapple. Our guide informed us that it was a local favorite and was frequently used as a gift to take back to family if you visited Yogyakarta. He referred to this process of bringing back gifts as ‘oleh oleh’, we started to notice billboards using this as a marketing tactic.
We then headed off to find some Lotek and Gado-Gado. We got a chance to see the preparation of Lotek, which consisted of using what looked a lot like a molcajete. I thoroughly enjoyed the Lotek as it had a little bit of spice and Kaffir lime leaves. It made for a nice lunch, I would later find out that over indulged too early on in the tour.
The following stop was a snack stand that consisted of a variety of sweets and a couple of savory treats. Our guide Reza a college student studying Psychology suggested a few then asked if there were any others we were interested in. I was curious about a ton but at that point I was already starting to feel the button on my shorts straining.
So from there we headed to try Gudeg which is one of the famous cuisines from Yogyakarta. Reza (Who reminded me a ton of a former student) showed us the kitchen and the preparation process. He explained that the older kitchens are believed to imbue a better flavor into the food and why they haven’t upgraded. The dish consisted of cooked jack fruit, banana flower, tempe, rice, slow cooked eggs with palm sugar.
Following Gudeg we proceeded to the central square were we attempted to pass the Sultan’s test for becoming an advisor. We had to walk blindfolded across the park and between two large Banyan trees. It was supposed to determine if you had a good heart, I thought I could cheat the system by walking quickly, probably a clear sign that I don’t have a good heart. I ended up running into a tree. Caitlin was next to attempt the test and quickly showed the color of her heart as she took a sharp turn to the left and was walking parallel to the trees. Not sure how to read that. So it turns out we are two bad hearted people meant for each other.
Following our failed exams we proceeded to get some tea and talk to our guide. The tea was ginger tea with a variety of other pieces of jelly like things put into it. It required a bit more chewing than most teas but was a good end of the night.
By the time we got back to the room I was exhausted and more than a little bit stuffed.