The pairing of chocolate and cheese is quite unlikely for other countries, yet so popular across many Indonesia’s favorite desserts. Whether it’s martabak, bread, cookies, baked goods, and many more.
But apparently, it’s not so much of a popular pairing outside Indonesia.
Stephanie Dish, one of Indonesia’s famous TikTok celebrities posted a TikTok video that portrays her experience with her Australian friends while living in Australia.
The story starts with them getting bread for breakfast, and Stephanie Dish–being the Indonesian she is–wants her bread with chocolate and cheese fillings. Unexpectedly, her Australian friend(s) (portrayed by herself) sees it as a very weird combination! Stephanie says that it’s an Indonesian traditional food at first, but then denies it and says that it’s a culture.
This is quite the fresh and unique take of a simple flavor combination that we all think is normal (and undoubtedly delicious). Cheese in desserts is nothing new in the Western culture, cheese cake, cream cheese cookies, puddings, and many more. But chocolate and cheese, not so much.
Salt is a welcomed flavor in indonesia.
Many sweet snacks sold in local traditional food stalls (warung) usually offer cheese as a complimentary topping. Another reason is that this roots from the Dutch colonization in Indonesia back in the 19th to early 20th century. The infamous Roti Bakar Coklat Keju we all love is firstly introduced by them. Grilled bread, chocolate sprinkles (meises), and western-style cheese. It later became a trend in 1994 when Kraft Cheese just launched their product (which then became the all-time choice of brand to make sweet snacks like grilled bananas, martabak, grilled bread, grilled corn, and many more).
We grow up eating chocolate and cheese in our desserts/sweet snacks.
It’s like the two delicious flavors that makes it way much more delicious together. In fact, Tasia Seger, the co-owner and chef at Makan in Melbourne tells SBS Food that the combination “is very complimentary and gives this other level of flavor.”
This combination also sparks late-night snacks.
When we are feeling hungry or bored at night above 10 PM, usually roti bakar and/or pisang bakar with cheese and chocolate is such a comforting dish to munch at night.
Now back to our original question, is chocolate and cheese really just an Indonesian thing?
It may be not originally made by Indonesians, but it surely is a culture/habit we all Indonesians might have shaped!