By: Ade Tanesia
This article was originally published in Latitudes magazine, a renowned bi-monthly magazine focusing on Indonesian culture. The magazine hailing from the island of Bali previously existed in paper form and was especially known for its in-depth critical articles and beautiful photography. As a tribute to all contributors of this magazine Latitudes.nu presents a selection of articles published in the years 2001-2004.
“This is our own sugar. Try it, mbak.” Nearly every family in the village has a jar with pieces of palm sugar on hand to offer guests. We are in the hamlet of Nganjir, Hargorejo village, Kokap sub-district, Kulon Progo district in the Special Territory of Jogjakarta. A visit isn’t complete without tasting the host’s palm sugar, or gula jawa, as it’s called. I am not in the habit of eating palm sugar, but I try a bit out of respect for my hosts. It is a semi-spherical cake, pale to reddish-brown in color. Although it is hard, the sugar melts immediately on the tongue. The sweetness is rich, like chocolate.