There is something about extreme delicacies that draw tourists into taking a bite. And when you’re in Indonesia, there is no shortage of weird, exotic culinary delights. In today’s post, we are listing down some of the most bizarre Indonesian extreme delicacies:
1. Sago Maggots
In Timika Regency, Papua, there is a tribe of craftsmen renowned for their amazing wood carvings. This kinfolk is known as the Kamaro tribe. The tribesmen pride themselves for their artistry and rich heritage. Also, they’re infamous for making tourists eat the most extreme Indonesian delicacies. In this case, sago maggots.
Sago maggots are beetle larvae that live inside palm trees. As the worms reach adulthood, the tree dies. As such, sago maggots are considered as pests. And what better way to eliminate tree-eating pests than to serve them to guest raw or sautéed with fresh veggies. The tribesmen swear by the energizing effects of sago worms. They prefer to eat the beetle larvae raw and unseasoned.
2. Nyale Worm
In Lombok, the tourist attractions aren’t just the beautiful white sand beaches or the fabulous seafood. You can eat fresh sea worms locally called “nyale.” Nyale worms live in coral reef holes. These slimy critters are “in season” from February to March. According to locals, the sea worm is packed with protein. It keeps men strong and the women youthful-looking.
3. Fried Grasshoppers
In Asia, grasshoppers are cheap sources of protein. In Indonesia, fried grasshoppers are a favorite snack among locals. Featuring robust flavor and a satisfying crunch, fried grasshoppers are sold in Gunung Kidul, Wonosari, Paliyan, and Semanu. They come in sweet chili or chili flavors. Apart from grasshoppers, crickets, moths and even butterfly larvae are fried and turned to snacks too.
4. Giant Rats
In Indonesia, a species of rats is raised and eaten just like pigs and cattle. In fact, certain parts of the archipelago are infamous for serving up exotic meats from snakes, dogs, and monkeys. As for the giant rats, they are roasted whole; furs are singed, scraped off then sold by the kilo. Some roadside food stalls called warung, serve up dishes made with rat meat.
5. Fried Lizards
One of the strangest local delicacies in Indonesia is fried gecko. Geckos are lizards usually kept as pets. The animal is surprisingly meaty. Those who tried lizard meat describe the texture as being a cross between fish and chicken meat.
According to locals, gecko meat has powerful medicinal effects. It’s often served to people afflicted with severe asthma or skin diseases. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, lizard meat can shrink malignant tumors. But there is no scientific proof that gecko can cure cancer.
6. Cobra Satay
Indonesia is the home of satay, barbecues slathered with peanut sauce. Usually, satay is made with chicken meat. But several food stalls in Jakarta offer satay made with cobra meat. Aptly called cobra satay, the delicacy is meant to cure various diseases. According to locals, the venom of the cobra will energize men, improving their arousal and sexual performance.
7. Melted Bat Meat
Locally known as Goreng Bumbu Kelelawar Khas Manado, this extreme dish involves grounding bat meat then adding chili ginger, soy sauce and galangal fried sweet. The bat meat is fried then served piping hot.