I love bitter gourd, though I don’t eat it often. Among Indonesians it’s called paria (Indonesian, Bima, Bugisnese, Batak, Makassarese, Sundanese), pare (Javanese), prien (Gayo), kambeh (Minangkabau), pepareh (Madurese), peria (Malay), pania (Timorese), popari (Manado), papare (Betawian) and many more local names.
It’s widely known among Asians and Caribbeans as medical plant despite of its extreme bitterness. I used to hate this veggie, but then I think the bitterness is a sign that bitter gourd’s advantages are still in it. Reducing sugar blood, diabetes, cancer risks, keeping your kidneys healthy and much more medical goodness.
Well, recently there are so many fruits and vegetables have already been converted into crackers or chips here. From apples to dragon fruits, from spinach to bitter gourd, all can be crackerized. I often try kripik apel (apple crackers), kripik salak (snake fruit crackers), even kripik semangka (watermelon crackers) hahaha…so many fruits and veggies become crackers now.
I watched a Buzzfed video in youtube about Americans taste Indonesian snacks. Those snacks are very tied up with my childhood and I love them until now. Yeah, American taste is very different to Indonesian one. Indonesian is spicier and all tastes blend into one dish. Maybe they had said that Indonesian snacks were little bit awful for their tongues, but one day they had to try bitter gourd crackers.
I bought one in Jakarta Edutech Asia yesterday when I was visiting there. It was from Kudus, Central Java and I tried the samples, but my friend initially refused it and finally she tried it. She said that it was her first time having bitter gourd. I just laughed and bought one, with balado flavoured. There are several flavours like BBQ, balado (chili spiced), chicken and cheese. The owner said he grew his bitter gourd plantation in his homeland and created the crackers by his own. No MSG, no preservatives and fried with new oil.
I tried it, then the first time it tasted savoury, delicious and then left bitter…typically bitter gourd! But I like it, if I remembered on its greatness.
I think Buzzfeed needs to get this savoury bittery stuff. It’s good and yeach, I wanna buy it again one day.
Tangerang, 22 November 2015