The origin of Cendol
Have you heard about Cendol before? Well, it might be familiar for people who live in South East Asia especially in Indonesia. This dessert is very popular either at big cities or small villages and that is the reason why Cendol is easy to be found. Most people in Indonesia believe that the name of “Cendol” was associated with “Jendol” (in javanese language which means Bump). The Bump sensation is what everyone’s expected when they took a glass, bowl or a cup of Cendol. Worm-like jelly form simply turns on the Bump sensation when you drink Cendol and it is very tempting to have a glass of it while exploring Sunny day in Indonesia.
Main ingredients of Cendol
Want to create your own Cendol style? No problem. We can prepare coconut milk, rice flour and palm sugar as main ingredients. The green color of Cendol can be derived from pandan leaf (with traditional cooking method) or for simplicity reason we can buy certified food coloring powder at the grocery.
To create Cendol (worm-like jelly) we can use traditional wok called “Saringan” and it is free to choose the hole-diameter so we can get the size of Cendol which is ideal for our own style. To enrich the taste of it, we can add various topping such as chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream and even cube-sliced plain bread. Most people in Indonesia like to add jack fruit and some milk as Cendol topping but if you like durian, then go ahead and just add it as topping.
Cendol also good for other dessert menu such as Ice Cream, Pudding (cake which made from rice flour) and Es Teler (this one is also considered as another favorite dessert for some people in Indonesia and it is usually served after you are dealing with a hot bowl of Bakso).
Cendol as an icon of pop culture beverage in Indonesia
As a part of dessert ingredient, Cendol takes important part in massive pop culture culinary campaign since decade ago (especially in Jakarta). During the 80’s period Cendol became one of the most favorite street beverages in Indonesia and until today there are various packages of Cendol which simply told us that the Cendol as an icon of pop culture beverage in Indonesia was accepted by most people here.
It is still fresh in my childhood memory that every time i am going home from school, I always wait for a glass of Cendol in front of my house. At that time, usually the Cendol cart will arrive at my neighborhood around 2-3 PM everyday. I and my friends always ask for a glass with chocolate milk as the topping and that moment was very memorable for me.
Now, we can meet with Cendol at foodcourt, restaurant, coffee shop, traditional dawet seller and even 5 stars hotel. A cup of Cendol could vary due to the place which sold it. Commonly, Traditional Dawet (Dawet is an Indonesian traditional beverage which used Cendol as main ingredients) seller sold a cup of Cendol at IDR 2000-3000 but a restaurant can charge you up to IDR 10.000-12.000 for a cup of Cendol. For me, a cup of Cendol (with shaved ice or cubed ice) is perfect to recharge your mood at noon but night time also fine to take a cup of it.
By Amar Pujo Wicaksono
(Contributor at visitingjava.com)