Three unusual delicacies that can be found in Indonesia


At nightfall, the streets of Indonesia are full of small food stands. Meat, soups, fritters, sweets: there are plenty to choose from…even some very unusual dishes.

Kopi Luwak coffee: poop coffee

Kopi luwak coffee is harvested from the feces of an Indonesian civet, the luwak.

The civet consumes cherries from the coffee trees, digesting their pulp but not their core, which is then found in his feces. In the digestive tube of the Luwak, gastric juices react with the beans, which gives the coffee a very elaborate flavor.

The coffee is produced mainly in the Indonesian archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi. It is considered to be the most expensive coffee in the world, with a kilogram sometimes worth more than $1000 US.


Kopi luwak coffee: Author Wibowo Djatmiko

Bats burned with a blowtorch

Bats are served several ways in Indonesia, including cooked in stews, grilled, barbecued, deep fried, and in stir fried. Bats are considered healthy because they are high in protein and have a low fat content.

On the north of Sulawesi, locals eat bats that are known as flying foxes (their heads look like small fox heads). These bats are often burned with a blowtorch before being eaten.

Bats have a reputation for emitting a strong urine smell during cooking. It can be explained by the fact that bats spend most of their time in an upside-down position, during which urine leaks onto their bodies. Locals in Indonesia deal with this problem by washing them and preparing them with condiments like chili pepper, garlic, or onion.


Slicing a bat: Author Edwin S

Snake Blood

Indonesians consume snake in various forms, but snake blood is of particular interest to the male population. Snake blood is believed to remedy the slackening of sexual desire. This is a very lucrative business; cobra sellers can earn about $30-50 each evening, which is a good wage in Jakarta. Often, customers do not make these purchases publicly. They arrive in a large car with tinted windows, never go out, and wait to be served inside their vehicle. Beyond cobra blood, numerous products derived from snake are offered for sale—ointments, oils, tablets—to treat pain, allergies, rheumatism, asthma, eczema, fatigue, and more. In short, the snake market is like an alternative pharmacy, where you can be treated without a prescription.

Draining the blood of a cobra snake

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