Four Cheesy Indonesian Eats to Try | culture: the word on cheese
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Four Cheesy Indonesian Eats to Try


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.

Photo Credit: Eliza Adam | CC

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?

Pineapple tarts

Photo Credit: Karen | CC

Kue Nastar

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.


Photo Credit: Sedap Wangi Bakery

Kue Keju

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.

Sagu Keju

Photo Credit: Dana’s Kitchen

Sagu Keju

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.

Featured Photo Credit: Tarlan Handayani | CC

Rachel E. McLean

Rachel is an editorial intern at culture for Spring 2017. She is Junior at Boston University studying Journalism and Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Known as "the cheese queen" among friends, she's had a passion for fromage from a young age.