3 interesting things I saw while grocery shopping in Jakarta

1. Two feet long aloe vera

huge aloe vera

It’s called lidah buaya in the local parlance, except these monstrosities grow up to 2 feet long (!). The shortest one is easily 1 1/2 foot and the girth is pretty impressive too.

2. Sukkari dates

sukkari dates

The appearance of dates means the fasting month of Ramadan for Muslims is around the corner. Sukkari dates hails all the way from Medina in Saudi Arabia and it’s hard, dry and intensely sweet. The appearance is conical and Sukkari dates are considered a delicacy – premium items that’s very much in demand according to the people at Hero (a grocery store chain in Jakarta). It retails for IDR 35,000 (RM 12) for 100 grams and I ate a couple thanks to the person manning the place.

They also sell Anbara dates – the largest date species in the world, and the polar opposite to Sukkari dates texture-wise. I had Anbara dates a couple of years ago and it’s soft and chewy unlike the “grainy” mouthfeel of Sukkari dates.

3. Short bean sprouts

short bean sprouts

This is something I’ve never seen before despite trawling the specialty grocery stores back home. It’s simply called “short taugeh” and you can see the bean with just a hint of sprout. The unusual retarded sprouting process is pictured next to regular bean sprouts for comparison. It looks like an adolescent trying to grow facial hair. smirk

Posted: 1:55 am Jakarta time (GMT +7)

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25 thoughts on “3 interesting things I saw while grocery shopping in Jakarta

    • I’ve never seen short Ipoh taugeh. Ipoh taugeh always has a fat, long and juicy sprout, at least from the ones I’ve seen.

      The bean sprouts in Ipoh produces the characteristic huge, thick and juicy girth of Ipoh taugeh. :)

      I’ve never seen these short bean sprouts. Do they harvest it before it’s fully mature e.g. take them out once they start to show signs of sprouting? :D

    • Yup, that’s part of the appeal of travel for me – experiencing new culture, meeting new people and trying new things. :D

    • Nope, I have honestly never seen these things before. :D

      The huge aloe, the sprout less bean sprouts and the Sukkari dates.

      I’ve had Anbara dates before though. :)

  1. Hey Huai Bin, I think the Indonesian aloe vera is long partly because of their soil. Now that I’m looking at it, it sure looks a little like the miniature crocodile toy. Their radish surely looks about the same as ours.

    Can’t help but wonder if the farmers had injected something to stop the bean from sprouting at its normal size…

    • Interesting! It’s the soil that makes it grow to such monstrous proportions eh?

      Hmm…good question about the aborted sprouting process. Maybe they just harvested it as soon as it shows signs of sprouting?

      It’ll be interesting to see how they do it. :)

  2. sounds uh… healthy, if somewhat unusual, the sprouted beans i mean (won’t even call them bean sprouts). i wonder how best to cook those!

    • It *looks* healthy too. :)

      Yeah, I wonder what recipe calls for beans sprouts like these. I bet it’ll taste a bit different since it doesn’t have the sprouting bit, just the bean an a wee bit of sprout.

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