Traditional Asian dishes are widely cheeseless. Lucky for caseophiles, one country that’s welcomed the dairy product with open arms is Indonesia, a former colony of the Netherlands (a nation we all know for having a robust curd culture). A variety of cheeses are used in Indonesian snacks and desserts; we’ve rounded up a few cheesy munchies for you to sample.
Lapis Legit Keju
Lapis legit is a sweet thousand-layer cake in Indonesia, and these beautifully intricate desserts often make an appearance at festivities and special occasions. A few recipes we found, such as this one, use cream cheese in the batter (as well as 16 egg yolks and nearly a pound of butter). Needless to say, it’s extremely rich, but holidays are meant for indulging, right?
If you’re the superstitious type and desperately seeking some good fortune, turn to pineapples, a symbol of prosperity. Kue nastar, or Indonesian pineapple tarts, is a popular Indonesian dessert; add a sprinkle of cheese on top for some salty-sweet action.
Looking for something more savory? Try kue keju, a popular Indonesian cheese stick brought to the multi-island nation by the Dutch (they’re known as Kastengel in the Netherlands). It’s traditionally made with cheddar or gouda and baked to a lovely, golden hue. Read more about these delightful and addicting snacks here.
These treats, which translate to “cassava cheese,” incorporate flavors of the Netherlands and Indonesia with grated Edam and cassava. Cassava has long been an important crop in Indonesia (and Southeast Asia in general) and can be found in main dishes, snacks, desserts, and drinks.